Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday

"An agreeable companion on a journey is as good as a carriage." -- Publius Syrus

An ode to the summer traveler. What was it Twain snarked so long ago about traveling?

Oh, yes. Here it is. "I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."

Are you on the cusp of real-world travel? Perhaps you're a writer like Twain, even preparing to travel aloft the magic carpet of your own imagination.

Whatever the case, I wish you every success. Remember to take deep breaths if you're traveling with children or a spouse--that goes for my spouse in dealing with my temper flares, too!--and to always be prepared.

Yes, it does help to have a Boy Scout outlook to travel with children. Or with pets. Or with both, which I so happened to have done, through a heavily flooded zone, as it so happened. The dog was calmer than the kid, believe it or not!

If you're instead stuck in the work vehicle or office, at home or otherwise, my condolences. I know we're going stir-crazy with the heat keeping us lidded inside our little breadbox.

For those quicksanded in the office or with an interest in work-life balancing, I ran across a series of short excellent videos from author Juliet Schor, who wrote Plentitude: The New Economics Of True Wealth, which I'm now itching to pick up after viewing the videos.

The Globe and Mail of Canada provides several Schor videos, but I'll only mention one here. Get past the annoying commercial, and it's called "Why cutting back on working hours works." Unfortunately, it's not available for embedding, but you can find it and other videos by Schor (and other thought leaders like primatologist Jane Goodall, in fact) here. The start of Schor's videos currently occurs four videos down, with "Shorter hours pay for themselves."

She makes a great case for "time affluence," as seen in countries like the Netherlands and Germany. When work hours decline, guess who benefits? The planet and its people. (The average worker, anyway. CEOs and high-paid staff get enough perks already without reduced hours.) She notes a correlation between fewer work hours and "reduc[tions] in greenhouse gas emissions, lower unemployment, and higher quality of life."

In Germany and the Netherlands, the average person works more than 300 hours fewer than we do in North America.

And, so, please let overwork be a sort of inspiration for you this Wednesday. If you can bear to part the curtain of your particular kind of chaos, please go out and enjoy your lives and families.

Note & Caption: My posts will be irregular for the next two or so weeks, owing to my own family commitments and downtime. Meanwhile, enjoy our daughter's quizzical expression from a past excursion at Nauticus (a museum of naval history and seafaring), in Norfolk, Virginia.

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