Two weeks into our twelve-week family adventure I lay awake trying to figure out what it is all about. I remember saying to my friends as we were packing to leave in a couple days that I really had no idea what I was going to do on this trip.
I knew that it would be fun, relaxing and great for the kids. I knew that Julie (my partner) was living out a dream by returning to Mexico for a long period and now practicing her new occupation; freelance kids music teacher. I guess I really didn’t or still don’t know what I am doing here.
When I told people about this trip they often said; “it’s going to change your life.” I would always agree but deep down wondered how that would manifest.
One of the themes I have noticed so far is limitation. Everything here is more obviously limited. I have less time alone to work on my music. We have less access to food. (ok, we do live across the street from a grocery store in Toronto) But we are starting to get used to waiting for the tortilla guy on his scooter to go by or the beer truck that only drives by on Tuesday and Friday or the fruit truck. (I think he is on the same day but somehow it seems less important)
We live in an eco-friendly house here for our first month and we are not supposed to use much power. It is good practice for our us in turning off lights and there is a limit to the length of our day as we often go to bed soon after the sun has set.
There is a limit to our space here where we live on the second floor. Although there is a huge balcony in the front overlooking our beach and the ocean it kind of feels like one big room or at least a small one-bedroom apartment. (this has certainly made the “romantic get-away” element of the trip extra challenging)
How is this all going to change my life? I think I was always one to often work well within boundaries, making compromises etc. All seven or my CDs have been made within limited budgets and limited time frames. I get a lot done in a day back home but my workday often ends at 3pm when my kids get home. (I guess that is often just the first half)
We don’t have a car at home and we certainly live on a limited budget. However, I think the endless possibilities that exist in a large city like Toronto versus a remote location in Mexico is the thing I am realizing might have the biggest effect on me. I am always saying how you can do just about anything in Toronto on any given night but here we barely even make it into the night. As much fun as I am having so far, our big daily concern is which reef to snorkel in and what other variation on Tequila can we come up with.
I like to think that I am the same person wherever I go and that as humans we take our challenges with us as they are mostly within ourselves. It may be that the limitations on this trip will help to expose the challenges that I brought with me.
Earlier tonight the boys and I tried to watch Hockey Night in Canada on our limited internet connection that we hook up to in a grass hut beside our house. After realizing that we weren’t going to be able to watch our favourite Maple Leafs I stuck it out and tried to find it elsewhere on the internet. After many tries and many frozen screens I finally got a hookup to HNIC. There they were; my fave Canadian Saturday night hosts; Ron and Don live on my computer. After one highlight and some brief but witty banter from Don Cherry my computer immediately shut down. Limited battery time.