Other than trips to visit our friendly neighbors to the north, I haven't left the country in more than two years. I think that might be a new record. I'm starting to get the feeling it's time to get a move on. Somewhere warm would be good, and my friend's journal about living in Lisbon provides a constant stream of encouragement. He's also a graphic design prodigy who stays busy keeping the rest of us entertained with videos like this:
Incidentally, I was a little disappointed that no one thinks the world is going to end in 2012 (see poll). Come onnnn, not even just a little bit? Sometimes I just use that as motivation; i.e., "well, if I've only got two more years I may as well get out there and ride my bike." I thought at least one guy would be on board with the 2012 apocalypse after spending so much time on the hippy bus.
And all that got me thinking that maybe a lot of athletes, artists, and other wanderers probably have a more present feeling of mortality than those working desk jobs. At least those of us who aren't big time enough to have extrinsic rewards for the amount of energy our "jobs" consume. I don't mean that in a morbid, impotent, "staring at your belly button" kind of way, but more of a celebratory, "seize the day" kind of way. Whenever something happens that reminds me of the passing of time--someone dies, gets sick, or even married or pregnant--that somehow provides a weird bit of extra focus to live intentionally and make sure I'm not wasting any sand in the hourglass. I can't imagine having that feeling and NOT having something to immediately pursue that I really care about... that would seem overwhelming. And now that I think about it, maybe that's why death is so stigmatized--because it seems like most people don't have an expressive outlet that actually makes them feel alive, so any reminder of that hourglass just comes as a burden.
Okay, less death, more bike racing in the future, I promise. I think it's time to get out of Seattle.