Mindful with Irene (36)

Those who dare to get lost, find new ways. That’s the quote we’ve featured on the cover of our latest issue of Dutch Flow (4-2016). Whenever I read that sentence, I realize that I’m very bad at letting myself get lost, of going astray. I love certainty, regularity, knowing it all. And that’s what I hate, because I would actually really love to be the type who does go astray. The type who lives by the day, who takes open-ended directions, and who dares to follow unfamiliar paths. If only I was someone who books a trip to Cuba, and spends a month driving round the country in a pink classic car, with the kids in the back. If only I was someone who always chooses something new and different from the menu. If only I was someone who has no idea what their tomorrow or next week will bring.

But no, my life is packed with certainties. Work, appointments, and even appointments with myself to spend an evening doing nothing: they all run smoothly and systematically, because everything is sorted and organized. In short, I go straight. I don’t deviate. And so, I never find new ways.

Does that mean therefore that I’m depriving myself of anything? Does it mean that I would otherwise have been a writer, explorer or pianist? Sometimes I get lost in dreams about how different things can be. I imagine that I’m going to become a “digital nomad,” and work on Flow from Lesbos. Or that I’m going to take a few months off, disappear to a cottage on the French coast and write a book. That my children will come with me and attend a small village school. And that New Love will lovingly follow me there and happily work away in our vegetable garden and never show any interest in watching sports again.

Well, at least, with an amazing imagination like mine, I can get lost in my head. And then wake up in my regular life. That way, I have the best of both worlds!

Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.