I like being at home, in familiar environs with most of the things I need a few steps away. Home is where I can dress in comfortable clothing, eat whatever I wish, sleep in a bed that suits my body, and not feel awkward about taking an afternoon nap. A schedule-adhering person, I am able to get things done at home, both professionally and personally, and this, too, pleases me.
But sometimes, I want to go someplace else. These trips to visit family and friends are often taken in a car – another place I like to be, if I’m driving. Give me a good book to listen to, a desirable destination hundreds of miles away, and permission to eat a cheese quesadilla at Taco Bell, and I’m almost as content as I am in Mystic.
Less frequently, I need to board a plane to get to Point B. Last week, such an occasion presented itself: a wedding in Manhattan Beach, CA. I don’t particularly like airports or airplanes, but there is one thing I love about flying – and that’s reading. When traveling across the country, I can read an entire book in one go, something I never make time for at home. I sit in my seat, put plugs in my ears, wave off the drink cart, and turn the pages. And I read an entire book on the return trip, too.
What I wonder is if I will ever allow myself to do this at home, say, on a cold, rainy Saturday, in front of a fire. Do I have to be physically restrained? Maybe I could have seat
belts installed on my living room couch. No, what I really need to do is still my mind – to encourage it to stop calculating, estimating, speculating – chugging! – for just a little while. And then I will be able to read a book from front to back, at sea level.