Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Semi-Retirement, The Fork in the Road, and Choosing Truth over Comfort

Recently I have realized that I have saved enough to revert back to being an adjunct professor. I enjoy working on the Fashion After 50 website; I have additional online teaching possibilities that I don't fully use.

But I like comfort. I like the extras that working full-time allows, even when the restrictions -- no vacations except a week (five days) after every four-month term,  have to punch a time clock like a kid on her first job, responsibilities that crowd out my creative work and make it more challenging to exercise -- cramp the possibilities of growing fully into who I am.

As so often is the case, a serendipitous nudge seems to point in a certain direction.

Writes Alice Gardner, in her wonderful little book, Life Beyond Belief, Everyday Living as Spiritual Practice:

"If there was one factor most responsible for the continued awakening of those who seek the truth, it would have to be that of consistently choosing to seek truth over the comforts that appear to be available along the way.

"Each stage of development that we move through has its own kind of comforts inherent in it and we may be tempted to settle for those comforts instead of some far-away-sounding spiritual destination that mind isn't even sure exists. (p. 129)

 "By what means can we avoid these kinds of diversions?

"There is, of course, not a method, but only a cultivating of an awareness of our deepest intentions and a willingness to look inside ourselves to find our own most authentic responses to each moment.

"If there was anything that might be called a method to deal with how to make the little decisions in life without compromising truth for comfort, it would be to unearth this internal navigation system [that each person has] and be true to it and to ourselves in all of the little day-to-day decisions that come along, as well as the occasional major decisions." (p. 130)

That seems to be an answer of sorts, and I have a timeline for easing back into adjunct work in a way that will cause, hopefully, the least financial disruption to my goals. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Venice, Florida, Flea Market with Unusual Architecture

On a recent trip to Venice, Florida, I spotted this beguiling dome-roofed flea market.

Whimsically painted in turquoise and aqua, it looks like a fun place to stop.

I love the remnants of kitschy Old Florida, fast vanishing from our landscape of strip malls, parking lots, and neat subdivision homes where dogs are not allowed.

The dome stretches behind the front structure a good way. The sky the day I took these photos was miraculous.

Fish Depot: From the Ocean to You

Fish Depot in Boynton Beach is the best fish market in South Florida. I drive up from Fort Lauderdale with my cooler.

By the time I get there, the selection may be depleted as you see here.

You might think that this old-fashioned method of refrigeration wouldn't be as good as coolers. But that is far from the truth. People like me come from all over to Fish Depot on Federal Highway (U.S. 1).

When I lived closer, I often saw fishermen driving up with a boat on a tow to offload whatever they didn't want for personal use at the back door of Fish Depot, shown here.

If I recall right, the unusual structure once housed a neighborhood bar, way back in the early 1980s.

I like the whimsical windmill design. Kitschy structures like this once dotted South Florida, calling out to tourists making their way South on U.S. 1.

Most have fallen to wreckers and been replaced by trim subdivision housing.

Besides having the best fish, Fish Depot has this cool mural to hide the dumpster.

Why do I love living in South Florida? Let me count the ways.