My beloved asks me if I want to go on a trip. 12 days on the Danube. A few days in Paris, or another city of my choice.
I immediately wonder if I can get the time off work.
And then I laugh at myself.
I don’t need to request time off. I’ll be unemployed!
And then I wonder… is it considered unemployed when I’m retired? Rejuvenating? Stepping into my next adventure?
I love the way my mind works! It definitely keeps me on my toes. As Benjamin Zander, Conductor, Music Professor, author, would say, “How fascinating!”
Something else Benjamin Zander said in one of my favourite Ted Talks is that “[…} the conductor doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful [..] I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people.”
That’s what I want to do in my rejuvenation. Awaken possibility in others.
Which brings me back to the Danube.
I remember the first time I saw it. I was about 16 years old. We’d travelled through the then Czechoslovakia into Austria, to Vienna. I was so excited to see the Danube for the first time. And then, I was disappointed.
The piece of music I’d learned to play by heart on my accordion was, (yes, I played the accordion but that’s a whole other story), The Blue Danube Waltz. I loved that piece of music. I imagined couples dancing outside a castle on the banks of the Danube. There were women swirling in the arms of tuxedo clad men, their ballgowns fanning out around them. Lights twinkled in the night. Servers moved silently amongst the crowds, their trays filled with crystal glasses of champagne.
My vision was beautiful.
The Danube, when I saw it for the first time, was not.
It was brown. Dirty brown. Not the sparkling clear blue of my imagination, or even the blue of the title of Strauss’ waltz.
Dang those expectations.
It is my first memory of encountering what expectations are called — premeditated disappointments.
And here’s the rub.
I want to go drifting down the Danube for 12 days. I want to visit Prague and Budapest. To spend some time strolling the avenues of Paris.
I don’t want to set myself up for disappintment.
An interesting conundrum because my imagination loves to write storylines that capture all the romance and leave out all the humdrum.
Fact is, where ever I go in the world, whatever I do, to savour the experience in all its beautiful complexity, I must let go my expectations it will be anything other than, an adventure.
Which brings me back to the realization of what I want to create in my world — opportunities to awaken possibility in others.
I have no expecations of where I will go with this desire. What I will do. All I know for sure is that the adventure of unfolding my dream, of colouring it in, of giving it depth and tone and meaning is the journey I can choose to live, arms and heart wide open, dancing joyfully under a star studded sky, gracefully dipping and to-ing and fro-ing to the rhythm of my heart.
What others do with what I create is up to them.
What I do with it is what matters to me.
Once upon a time, I saw a river and was disappointed by its colour.
These many years later that river could be blue. It could have been cleaned up. I’m not going to see just the colour of the water. I’m going for the experience of awakening myself to possibility of what can happen when I travel wihtout expectation of anything other than the journey being a grand adventure in Love.