Exploring life's passions

We are not on holiday

Iguazu Falls

Somewhere, over the rainbow, is a boat

We’re in Iguazu. Along the road are the waterfalls that attract almost as many superlatives as tourists. It’s featured in Bond movies, an Indiana Jones and, eh, the Mr Magoo film. And they are impressive (the falls, not the movies, at least, not all of them). We saw them yesterday. Here’s a picture to prove it.

The falls are very close to the borders of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Tomorrow we’ll go on a trip to visit all three countries in one day. Earlier this week we were in beautiful Buenos Aires, and before that, Montevideo and ten days in picturesque little Punta del Diablo, one of the lonely planet’s top 20 places to visit in the world.

Next, we’ll travel to the Argentine town of Salta, supposedly full of stunning colonial era buildings and birthplace to some famously beautiful people, like Matt Damon’s missus, Luciana Barroso.

I have to remind myself sometimes that we’re not only holiday.

Over these last few weeks, I’ve edited two books, a couple of short stories and quite a few other documents, all while continuing to look for more work for when this is done. Leonie’s been busy too. She’s written some more mindfulness articles for publication, continued to work with Marlies developing ACT and mindfulness courses, plus keeping in touch with people and organisations that can offer her short term contracts in the future.

Working for yourself definitely takes a different kind of discipline than working for a boss. And working on the doorstep of a world wonder can take another shift in thinking.

I had a lot of work when we were in Buenos Aires and the weather was beautiful outside. I could have sat there (and I’m not saying I didn’t) and got stressed that we only had one more hour before check out while I still has at least another three hours work before the deadline that afternoon. I could have got annoyed by the tiny table I had to work on, that definitely wasn’t the bureau described on airbnb.

Instead, when I start thinking like this (and I often do), I have to tell myself not to dwell on these thoughts, not to get caught up in them, not to get into that cycle of, ‘yeah, and the WiFi’s crap too, and the guy in the room above should turn down his shit music, and when is Leonie going to finish her far less important work and get me a coffee?’ All this while the sun shines through the window and I can almost, if I could spare a moment to stand up, see the sea.

I even had to work on the boat from Montevideo to Buenos Aires.

I worked on the boat from Montevideo to Buenos Aires

Instead, and it’s not easy, I try to enjoy that sunshine coming through the window and the idea that I can almost see the sea. If I just get my head down, concentrate on work for a while, and let those thoughts fly by in true mindful style, I might just beat this deadline by an hour and have more time to get out there see it all. It means that instead of travelling and visiting all these beautiful places and complaining to myself about not being on holiday, I can appreciate the fact that I’ve got work that I can do just along the road from one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. And I can tell myself, ‘Wow, I’m doing all this and I’m not on holiday.’

As I say, that shift in thinking is not always easy because that’s not how the mind works, but I try.

Now where the hell is Leonie with that coffee?

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3 Responses »

  1. Better look out of the window when you will be coming to Salta (and hopefully going all the way down to Cafayate) – the scenery is amazing and windy and bumpy roads don’t make for a work-friendly trip, anyway!


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