We were in Cardwell when we spotted a sign out the front of a house offering bags of mandarins for $2.
An honesty policy presided and all we had to do was to chuck our bucks in the box and help ourselves to about 2kg of fresh juicy goodness.
As we were eating them two things came to me – A) these were some of the best mandarins I had ever eaten and B) there were about A MILLION pips to each segment. EACH segment. The boys had absolutely no idea how to handle this newfound crunchiness to their orange treat (we had always gone for the easy seedless variety of everything at the supermarket) so we simultaneously listened to them question what on earth was going on whilst dodging sticky pips being hurled at our heads.
There was no way to eat this fruit quickly – there was a bit of work involved but boy was it worth it – and it got me to thinking about easy living and how maybe we’re being given a few too many ‘simple’ options. It seems to me that lately we are all a bit obsessed in trying to figure out how to make more time for ourselves.
Everyone is searching for the elusive ‘me time’, a time to get away from the daily droll and find something more meaningful. How dare life get in the way of…….[insert neglected or desired hobby]
We have an obsession with fast living, a collective need for speed. We want instant downloads, online shopping with express delivery, faster internet, quick cook, live chat, fast acting, get fit quick, fast results, rapid pain relief, fast track learning, ready meals.
If anyone else was a kid of the 80s you’ll remember having to wait for your computer games to load on your Spectrum or Atari – I’m talking 5 minutes of screechy music and psychadelic colours before being rewarded with hours of fun hitting a ball from left to right across the screen or making a frog avoid being squashed by cars (that’s if the tape didn’t crash half way through and you had to go out on your roller skates for the afternoon while waiting for your gamer hit for the day).
It seems like these days (apologies to my younger self for turning into a generational judgy pants) that the kids are being taught DO NOT WAIT! Have it now – and if you can’t, then make a scene. Complain. Feel hard done by.
And we all know that the nothing great comes easy, right?
One of the things that is becoming clearer to me since we’ve been travelling full time is that sometimes the little things take up most of our day and end up having the greatest meaning. Preparing food and eating together, especially, have become times I treasure. I’m learning to appreciate the journey more than just the destination and am looking for meaning in the menial.
When we bought our first house we ended up hiring a cleaner and a gardener so we could work more and get money to pay them. We put a value on our time and decided that on the days off that we did get together we didn’t want to spend them doing housework – never mind the extra hours we were putting in working for the man to pay for these services.
What I’m now learning is that daily life shouldn’t get in the way of daily life – it needs to become the point. I need to get back to basics and savour the small stuff for the big deal that it is.
We’ve been travelling into Outback Oz and have noticed a different pace of life. It’s hard not to be affected by country hospitality and the laid back attitude that is truly an Aussie accolade. I am learning to slow down and hopefully the search for contentment over convenience can be something I will carry through life with me.
It is not (ironically) something that will come to me easily or quickly. At our current campsite our spot is about 100 metres from the amenities block and I insist on cycling there and back so I can save myself a few minutes (there’s Facebook to look at now the kids are in bed!)