Over beers last night, a good friend and I came up with a few things that we felt would be good exercises in life. Nothing all too necessary to survive and get by, but things that would probably improve one’s character and perception.
1) Wait on tables.
Working as a server is a trade that you can apply almost anywhere. It’s a good thing to learn when living a transient lifestyle or when as yet unsure of a career as you would be more likely to find work no matter where you ended up.
It is also pretty hard work that would instill a solid work ethic and the ability to work with others even when incompatible — it helps you play nice!
It also gives you a chance to observe human interaction in a rather important part of daily life — the breaking of bread. There are first dates, anniversaries, birthdays, break-ups, christenings, and celebrations of all kinds surrounding a meal. Even a bartender gets to pour a man’s first beer after a hard day of work. Delicious!
2) Learn/play an instrument.
Music is my favorite. Duh. And I do feel strongly that learning and playing an instrument is so much more than just songs and notes. If anything, you get to practice rhythm and harmony while playing music; two things that we could all apply a little bit more in our conscious lives.
When playing music with others, you focus intently on what the other person is conveying in hopes of combining your own ideas to produce a brand new composition.
It is also a good and healthy exercise for your brain. Keeps it flexible and open-minded using parts of it that aren’t normally used. Brain nutrition. It’s hungry so feed it!
3) Go on a cross-country trip.
If you haven’t yet, hit the road Jack! This country we live in is huge! It is gi-normous! There are deserts and mountains and incomprehensibly large lakes, ravines and caves 1000 year old trees, coasts that stretch out sooo far. It’s incredible. And almost all of it is accessible by road; it’ll at least get you real super close. Did you know that there is a paved road 14,000 feet above sea level? What? That’s crazy Herb! Your crazy Herb! Uh-uh. No foolin’!
If you don’t really know where to start or go, you could try fashioning this trip around a theme. Like visiting ball parks. National parks. Rail roads. Big cities. Small towns. Follow your favorite band on tour. Visit friends and family and squat at there homes until they grow tired of your jobless butt and you get to move on to the next person’s hospitality. Frisbee golf courses. There’s so, so much. So many people living so many different lives in so many different ways all underneath the same sun.
It’s overwhelming some times. Happy travels!