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Vagabond Journey

Lesson on How to Live Deliberately

“What have you been doing all night?” my wife asked me with a touch of scorn, “downloading travel guides? You don’t even use travel guides!!!” She was exasperated, and rightly so. I had just worked over ten hours on the farm, returned home, and immediately ran off to chase my largest windmill: this website. (a [...]

“What have you been doing all night?” my wife asked me with a touch of scorn, “downloading travel guides? You don’t even use travel guides!!!”

She was exasperated, and rightly so.

I had just worked over ten hours on the farm, returned home, and immediately ran off to chase my largest windmill: this website.

(a chase which usually lasts for hours and hours each day without getting any closer)

My wife allows me time and space for this internet project — she stands back and watches me bang my whole body up against this brink wall all night long. She loves me and knows that I love to write words – even when she so obviously thinks that I am like a rat on a spinning wheel: I think I am going somewhere, but, in actuality, I am just running in place.

But my wife still applauds me when I proudly proclaim that I now make as much money off of Vagabond Journey.com in a month as I do in three days of farming.

But we will make more money from this someday . . .

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Bangor, Maine, USA, North America
August, 2009
Wade’s Travel Gear | All Travelogue Entries
———————

But on this night I got caught, I put in a good four hours on the computer interspersing website work with stupid shit. I was wasting time on inconsequential activities that really did not need to be done when I was doing them.

I was tired from working all day, and I intuitively found myself angling towards tinkering away at easy thinking nonsense rather than going full force on the day’s website chores and getting it all finished — finished and done for the day so that I could have a couple hours with my wife and new baby before bed.

But I tinkered, dabbled, and spliced real work with nonsense internet browsing: I was downloading travel guides that I will not ever use for f’ck’s sake.

The day waned into night, and my wife seemed a little perturbed. But I ignored very obvious signs and tinkered until bed time. I did about two hours of real website work in four hour’s time.

I wasted two hours.

My wife was angry, and I knew that she was justified: she sacrificed her own time so that I could have the space to work on this website, and I threw it in her face by taking the long road around my intended tasks.

I learned a good lesson: I have a baby, a wife, I work real jobs, and I write words. If I want to do everything, I need to do it without hesitations, distractions, or being knocked off of my path.

I need to be like an arrow flying towards the bull’s eye.

It is the easy, brief seeming moments that eat up the lion’s share of a person’s time. Do I tie my shoes and walk directly out the door or do I sit down in a chair, breathe deep, read a few words from a supermarket circular, look out the window, stoop down, tie a shoe, and then repeat the entire process all over again?

Do I write my travelogue entries, publish them, and get off the computer or do I check my email a dozen times, play on Facebook, see if anyone @’ed me on Twitter, check my adsense earnings, and hope that in vain that someone out there bought something from my travel gear shop?

There are two ways to get the mangoes down from the tree:

1. I climb the tree and just take them.

2. I stand down at the bottom and throw rocks up into the branches in hopes that a mango will fall.

The first way gets more fruit.

Direct action gets the goods . . .

This is the transition that I am now in: I do not have the expendable, easy thinking moments to spare any more. I do not have time to open a new window and browse another website when I am waiting for a page to load, I do not have time to open up my email 25 times a day, and when I know I want to do something, I need to do it, without hesitation, without being diverted on the path.

I am eating a large ice cream cone in the sun on a hot summer day: I either eat it down fast in one initiative without diversion or it is going to melt all over the friggin’ place.

I now have a big rich life — to keep it all I need to put my attention into what needs done the most “right now.” To dabble is to allow my riches to dwindle away.

My wife taught me a good lesson about life.  I am a busy man now, but this is nearly irrelevant: why would I ever want to piddle my time away with half actions even if I were not busy?

Time is  life, and I do not want to loose any of it like change through a holey pocket.

It is the empty, restful, easy thinking lee side moments that eat up a life. Those do-nothing, day dreamy side steps that come in between one action and the next need to be creamed.

(Less than pertinent travelogue entries like this one perhaps need to be creamed, too.)

I need to thin down my gut and walk the road that lays before me directly and fully: grab the cookie and get my hand out of the jar before I get caught.

This is called living deliberately.

Time is just as much worth saving as money.

All journeys are journeys of learning. I am learning.

How to be a father books

Filed under: Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3396 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s writing on this blog (please help):

Wade Shepard is currently in: Rochester, New York

8 comments… add one

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  • Emery September 23, 2009, 11:50 pm

    Learning good time management is a good life lesson. When your life fills up like this, you have to step back and think more about how you’re spending your time to make sure you have some left over for the things that are important to you.

    About 10 years ago, I started writing for a living, in a high-speed, high-stress corporate job. I’d spent the previous two years writing a novel that needed more than one rewrite, and then I thought, I don’t care what I’m writing as long as somebody’s paying me to write, so I found the job and dove into it. Shortly after that I joined a local chorus, became an officer in the chorus, and started writing their weekly newsletter. Meanwhile, I hadn’t worked on my novel in two years, and I realized that I wanted to get back to it. I had to do a lot of soul-searching, organizing and rearranging to figure out what to cut out so I could do the things I wanted to do.

    For you, it’s your wife and baby girl you need to make time for by getting in, getting the meat done and getting off the computer. It’s good when you can immediately see what can be trimmed off. It’s not always so obvious.

    Best of luck.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 26, 2009, 6:53 pm

      Great perspective, Emery,

      I can tell that you must really love writing, and it is good to do what you love as a living — even if it is not exactly what you want. I am sure that the corporate writing world help hone your skills for your real work.

      How is the novel coming? You should get it done! I would love to read it.

      Wade

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  • david September 24, 2009, 2:11 am

    And I need to get off vagabondjourney.com!

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  • david September 24, 2009, 2:12 am

    In fact, this post is just too ironic… 🙂

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  • fruugal September 24, 2009, 7:14 am

    Wade, you’re learning at light speed! By fully realizing the concept of life force/money spent, or $1 of your time to earn vs. $1 money spent, you are flirting with the upper levels of Maslow”s pyramid. By not spending on stuff that is quickly consumed or discarded or harnessing yourself to huge debt, you will have more time to seek self-actualization.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

    You go dude!

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 26, 2009, 5:55 pm

      Right on Frurgal!

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  • Bob L September 24, 2009, 8:36 am

    Wade Wrote: Time is life, and I do not want to loose any of it like change through a holey pocket.
    Wade Wrote: Time is just as much worth saving as money.
    Wade Wrote: It is the empty, restful, easy thinking lee side moments that eat up a life. Those do-nothing, day dreamy side steps that come in between one action and the next need to be creamed.
    END-QUOTES

    Your life is measured in minutes. You are given only so many minutes, however, you never know how many until you have used up the last one. Wasting time is worse than wasting money. Now, just what constitutes waste is not always clear. Is working a lot of hours a waste? Or is it an investment in your future minutes? Is puttering on the ‘puter a waste, or is it a form of relaxation or release? Is sitting on a beach relaxing a waste? Or is it the whole point in life?

    I suspect that it is a balance of the above and more. You need to work not only to make money to support those non-working minutes, but to feel and be useful. To, again, quote Ayn Rand: “The most depraved type of human being is the man with no purpose” Your purpose is your family, supporting your family, enjoying yourself, helping others enjoy themselves (this web site 8^) and making the most of those valuable minutes. Sounds to me like you do a pretty good job, and recognize the need to budget your minutes as you budget you money.

    Wade Wrote: All journeys are journeys of learning. I am learning.

    Yes, and it sounds like your Chaya is doing the teaching. That is usually the case. Women see things differently than men, and we tend to teach each other. Although, I think it is women who do most of the teaching. Men are slow learners.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com September 26, 2009, 5:54 pm

      Motorcycle Bob,

      Way to pick up the tail end of this entry — as usual. You are right, time is more valuable than money– but time should be valued in how much I enjoy what I am doing. If I truly loved the easy thinking involved with wasting time, then it would be OK. But I don’t. I was just doing it because it was easy. I will not remember it, and its only value in this instance is that it lead to a realization: I never feel worse than when I do something for two hours and have nothing to show for it. I feel as if I robbed myself and my family and that I don’t want to do it again.

      But, on the other hand, everybody needs to relax — and there is nothing wrong with that. But relaxing can be done deliberately as well and every second of it can be fully enjoyed. Opening random pages on the internet may be relaxing, but it is not done deliberately — with energy and attention — and therefore it does not have the same value.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Wade

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