A lifetime’s worth

Floating house, Lake Sebu © Jojie Alcantara

Floating house, Lake Sebu © Jojie Alcantara (click to view large)

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest.  It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” ~ David Attenborough

Floating house and fisherman in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
© Jojie Alcantara 2013

Whenever I am down (the artist in me gets into bouts of depression periodically for no reason at all), I try to remember the reason I get up early morning to catch memorable landscapes and scenes, and I bounce back to my cheery self. Purged of negative thoughts, I start living in the present, and enjoying the NOW, dismissing anxiety of the past and fear of the future.

If you are bogged down with that routine work you are in, try taking a break. Walk out the door and breathe, gather your thoughts. If you are as impulsive as I am, head for some exciting, unknown destination or do something entirely novel to you. It may be a new cafe around the street corner, see a movie in town, learn how to blog, or drive to a tourist spot two hours away. Depends on your comfort zone.

If you are a nutcase like me, try taking a 5 hour ride to another city at midnight and come back the next day (okay I had an excuse, I was on a magazine travel assignment with a deadline).  If you feel more reckless, you will buy a two-way ticket to nowhere for a day or two (and worry if your boss will kick your a**).

This momentary “glitch” in our routinary lifestyle keeps us well-oiled. Taking a sudden break from a monotonous schedule helps. It clears our brain “caches”, deletes unused data (read: excess emotional baggage) and tells us we’re just fine and in working order. When we come back down to earth, we face our workload and responsibilities with renewed energy. For those who dare not risk it, a coffee break is ample chance to recollect scattered thoughts. For others, though, it takes a sudden change of lifestyle —leaving a job, having a relationship, or travel — to find oneself.

It’s like a human RESET button, only most times, we’re reluctant to press it. Most often, it is the fear of taking chances or commitment that paralyzes us. We don’t realize we are at breaking point until it’s too late.

The question you ask yourself is, “Am I worth the risk?”  Well, we only have one lifetime each to find out.

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6 thoughts on “A lifetime’s worth

  1. Stunning image. And I totally agree. Stopping to smell the roses and take a breath of fresh air can make all the difference in the world. I think I’m also one of those people who falls into the category of needing to travel… ;)

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  2. The upper half of this photo is the real world and the bottom 2/3 of the photo, the water reflection of the world is like us, how we see the world, sometimes hazy, sometimes misinterpreted, sometimes as clear as the original thing..and we struggle to see the whole truth, nothing but the real thing is our quest of optimality, to see clearly those that brings fruition some of our lifelong longings, happiness, love, justice and prosperity. So be it! Thanks Jie for the wonderful photo, as always your photo is beautiful and well captivated. Cheers!

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  3. I love what you do when you take a break (ex. “taking a 5 hour ride to another city at midnight and come back the next day etc.). I should try that some time. :) But, for now, to “reset”, I just do 15 minutes meditation almost everyday whenever I need to de-stress. Also, trying to learn golf. It takes just 2-3 hours a week of my time but is quite relaxing. It takes my mind away from “work” stuff.

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    • Haha, yes, there are mild and extreme ways of taking a break, depending on our state of mind. I thrive on deadlines so I do get into impulsive trips, only if I don’t have commitments back home. So it’s also important to keep my calendar free within that period. Meditation is also very good practice. I think my form of meditation is just going out and shoot. So good luck with your golf and let me know how it’s working for you in the long run. :-)

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