Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day in the Life (part 6)

Jack leaves the office in a hurry. He wants to get home in time to catch a netflix movie on his laptop.

Not so long ago, he might have left his bike at the office for a chance to indulge in the wonders of alcohol consumption with some of his lawyer friends. Sometimes it was at a bar in Adams Morgan. At other times, Chinatown did the trick. If it was warm, the Georgetown waterfront was the place to be. Regardless, there was nothing like drowning away the evening with a glass of beer in your hand, good conversation and hot chicks all over the place. And there was nothing like indulging Monday through Saturday, if at all possible.


But that was before Jack’s big epiphany. After a couple of years indulging in all things excess, Jack began to feel that something was very wrong. At first he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He was making tons of money, had a bunch of ‘friends’ he could count on, and he was as promiscuous as his free time allowed. “What else could I possibly want?” Jack asked himself.

His first reaction was to indulge even more. He went to more bars, slept with more women, partied until all hours. One day he found himself on a bathroom floor reeking of tequila. Looking up at the ceiling he realized what had been bothering him for so long: he was horribly unhappy.

It was such a simple but powerful epiphany. It was as if he had been using his bare hands to dig sand out of a hole, only to find a shovel at the very bottom. In time, he would come to discover the beauty of simplicity and the happiness that comes with a simplified, deliberate life.


But that’s a story for another day.

16 comments:

amy said...

(smiling). this is my favourite part so far. aren't epiphanies great? i wish i could have one every day.

Elizabeth said...

Oh - I love that fall photo. We're getting so close to those colors here; I can just taste it.

I love epiphanies. I had one the other day, though thankfully I was not on the bathroom floor at the time. :-)

anita said...

nice.

Sub Girl said...

Always remember it's the simplest, smallest things that make us the most happy. Cloudy days whan you can't find your sunglasses. Your dog shaking with glee when you come home. Hummingbirds partaking in the feeder you just installed. Excess never really makes people happy.

I adore reading you blog, Jake! And I'm very proud of your life change. You sound like a good man!

And thank you for visiting my simple little blog.

Jade of the Jungle said...

That's not an epiphany, that's old age.... :)

Janneke said...

Hi Jack,

new here. Stumbled onto your Blog via the family on bikes. I think it's awesome what you are trying to achieve. Hope you will. I'll keep following your progress.

Janneke from Holland

Jack said...

Amy,

Yeah, they certainly are. I've had only a couple, but they have definitely changed my life.

Elizabeth,

I wish I could take credit for the photos; plucked both from google. Umm...you should share your epiphany when you get a chance!

Anita,

Thanks!

Jack said...

Sub girl,

Absolutely agree with you. Expect a future post about dog shaking in the future. But believe me, I have a ways to being a good man. The important thing is that I'm giving it a shot.

Jade,

I prefer to think of it as wisdom! It sounds so much better :)

Janneke,

Thanks for the comment. And yes, love that blog. Been tempted to fly out west and join those guys for a couple of days on the trail. No joke, but thinking about doing something similar after this part of my life is over.

Claire said...

Jack

I can relate to this - I used to spend most weekends and lots of money drinking to excess trying to blot it all out, but it doesnt work does it? When you wake up in the morning your problems are still there plus the hangover, since I have sorted some things out in my mind i no longer feel the need to find oblivion. Buddism helps me.

Claire

Elizabeth said...

that particular one was -- a strong streak of independence is absolutely a blessing, but it can can also be a curse

well, curse is a bit too strong a word, but you get the idea ..

Buddy said...

Jack,

Simplicity is fantastic. I've achieved a lot of it. But similar to your situation, though in financial ways, my family has been draining me dry.

I want simplicity, but I refuse to be broke / bankrupt / bereft. It's a friggin mess hereabouts, but I am working through it daily.

We all have our challenges, don't we.

Buddy

Cynthia said...

I loved this post Jack...

I'll share a midnight epiphany with you and others that was a bit life changing psychologically for me... at least at the time I thought so.

It is all Good.

Even the bad experiences in life are Good, because we learn from them.

I want to know you.

Jack said...

Claire,

Interesting share. I think on my end it was less trying to hide the problems by drinking, et. al. It was more that I was doing those things that people expect to make you happy to excess, and finding the opposite.

Elizabeth,

I get it. Also a poweful realization.

Buddy,

Things don't sound too good on your end. I can probably guess what's going on. Just take it one day at a time. And do your best to appreciate the happiniess that you do experience in life.

familyonbikes said...

I think you've just hit the nail on the head - that's EXACTLY why we're on the road. No - we never reached bottom like Jack, but we finally realized the American Dream wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

You're doing great! Keep taking those baby steps - they add up quickly!

nancy
www.familyonbikes.org

Jack said...

Cynthia,

Thanks for your post. That is definitely a good one. I've had the same one once, though it is sometimes hards to reconnect with it whenever things don't go my way. But you learn that even bad experiences teach you something about life.

Nancy,

You guys are an inspiration to me. Seriously. Keep riding. I may just join you one day.

kari said...

sounds like you are on the path. have you read any of your namesake, CS Lewis aka "Jack"? give him a read if you are inclined, his words are water to those dying of thirst. i wish you all the best in your searching.