Tuesday, October 1, 2019

213 Days

Today is October 1, 2019. My contract with CTIS ends on April 30th 2020. That means I have 213 days left in Dhaka. Yes, I am counting the days to departure. With that comes all kinds of ideas for summer travel and the fun research that goes with it. Anyways, back to reality about time and counting down days.

April 30, 2020 will arrive soon enough. Counting down to the end of a contract is something I just started doing. I figure it is the anticipation of "what's next". Regardless, it is not so much the 213 days that matters. What matters is how I chose to live those days. I can try to be productive or just pass time, day-by-day, waiting for April 30, 2020.

Countless musicians have written about the human condition when it comes to both time, change and the sudden realization that eventually it all runs out. I usually reflect a bit when someone I know passes away. This time it was Joe Loro from Niagara Falls. I spent quite a bit of time with Joe in my teens and early 20s. Back in the day, Joe was larger than life. He was big, brash and on most days, full of shit. Then again, who isn't? Everybody lies. In the end, bad life choices caught up with him and his last few years were extremely difficult. No more gutter balls Joe, we will continue to strive for that perfect 300.

Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life
Trying to make ends meet, you're a slave to the money then you die.
I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
You know the one that takes you to the places where all the veins meet, yeah.
No change, I can't change, I can't change, I can't change,
but I'm here in my mold, I am here in my mold.
But I'm a million different people from one day to the next
I can't change my mold, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

This is it. The base of my plan for the next 213 days. 

1. I am going to start reading more again. The last couple of months there have been to many excuses not to. The next book I have is "The Book of Negros" by Lawrence Hill. I also have a copy of Gulliver's Travels by Johnathan Swift. I know what the book is about. How is it I have never read it?. I am going to read at least two books a month. That is 14 books in total. Challenge accepted.

2. I have gained some weight since I have been here. To much rice and not enough exercise. Yes, the same old story for all of us. I am 90 kg (198lbs) and I am going to get down to 75 kg (165 lbs) by April. That is a HUGE task but not impossible.

3. Stop with the Pepsi and chips. For whatever reason I have rediscovered Pepsi, every freaking day. The bag of chips every day does not help. Suddenly I have been mixing in Snickers and Kit Kats.  That STOPS today.

4. The instant coffee here is called Nescafe 3 in 1 and it is garbage. As with anything it becomes habit because it is easy. Time to get off this nasty shit. I am going to suffer a bit and go to Green Tea every morning and every evening when I get home. There is a great coffee shop up the street. I will limit my coffee to one large on my days off.

5. Stop wasting time on Facebook, YouTube and News Websites. A body in motion stays in motion. A body online stays online. What a waste of such a precious commodity. 

6. Reboot my writing. Commit to one new post every week. There is so much to observe in the world around me while I am not physically traveling. There are no excuses for not writing. My good friend Jennifer Allan has become an important part of my blogging. She is an editor extraordinaire and takes time out of her day to review, edit and give ideas about a new blog post. She has mentioned more than once that the "spark" from my posts is ebbing away. 

I have time to plan a short internal trip October 8 to 12th. Then plan my three-week trip to Sri Lanka December 16th to January 4th. I then have 2 weeks in March, which I think will be an internal trip as well. Then it is the big "Adios" for 8 summer weeks. There is the option to return which is just that, an option. I am not going to rule anything out. I have a plan for the spring of 2022. That time will arrive soon enough.

Sometimes you just need to write it down, look in the mirror at the aging person looking back and remember... Ticking Away The Moments That Make Up A Dull Day...