Balance. Unlike my usual days at home waking up to the overwhelming amount of work that lies ahead, today, here in Costa Rica, I awake to the need to only get 2 things done. I’m sure you have heard the saying ” working to live” or ” living to work” . Most people fall under the latter. They get up everyday to go do something that they really don’t care for, only to make enough money to get by until next month. I try to keep one other cliche’ in mind every week. It goes something to the effect of “if you find yourself waking up Monday morning and don’t feel like going into work then you need to do something else”. Since starting DEG I’ve never felt that way on a Monday morning. Yes, I am overwhelmed most of the time but I have one thing going for me. I love what I do. And that brings up another over used cliche’ ” if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”. I don’t buy that one for a second, because I work my ass off. But I do see what whomever’s brilliant mind was thinking when they coined that phrase. It makes sense. My problem is that I work so much that I don’t have any hours left in the day or week for that matter,to really enjoy life. I’m in “work mode” all the time.
Back to the 2 tasks at hand for today. The first was to grab Jose and trek down into the rain forest past one of the rivers that we pump our fresh water to find in simple terms, a piece of wood with holes in it. Jose made the mistake of pointing out the unique piece of art made by Mother Nature herself on my first (Sarah’s second) trip down into the jungle. Well much to Jose’s dismay, I remembered that chunk of wood and thought it would make an awesome artistic looking type thingy display in our kitchen. Jose just thought I was crazy. It hasn’t rain here for a day or so but the forest floor is always wet and slick. Thinking I was going to have to lug this wood back up I chose not to bring one of our homemade bamboo walking sticks. Sarah again showed me this trick. About a fourth of the way down Jose here’s me slipping and sliding and grabbing onto vines and anything else I can use to slow my falls. He buzzes off into the thicket and hacks me out a walking stick with his machete . Just so you know, I have my machete as well, all native style in a cool sheath, but it’s mostly just for looks as Jose hacks down all the growth in front of us as we make our through the jungle. Man can that guy use a machete, both right and left handed. I can’t even brush my teeth with my left hand! I notice at this point he has not fallen one time, nor even slipped up a bit. He’s got solid footing in this jungle, not sure if it’s from experience or what. Robbie has been in this stuff, he knows this ain’t no place for us Gringos! About half way down Jose gives me the look like ” there’s no way in hell we are going to find that piece of wood, it’s been a year and the river just washed it away” look. If you know me, I can be somewhat persistent , so we press on. About 15 more minutes in, Jose points with his machete off down the way and low and behold I think we have a winner. We get closer and I’ll be damned… it was still there, leaning up against a tree just like I remembered. The only problem is I remembered the wood to be only 3 feet or so long, this one is over 6 feet, and REALLY heavy. It’s soaked with moisture ( this is the rain forest) and its a hard wood, making it heavy in nature. I’m thinking, this is going to suck for us holding onto this thing and trying to make our way up the mountain. Mid thought, Jose knocks all the spiders and centipedes off it and throws it onto his shoulder and motions me to roll out. Jose is amazing, that guy has a huge piece of slimy, mossy, wet wood on his shoulder and is hiking thru rivers and up muddy mountain slopes meanwhile hacking us out a path with his machete, in his left hand to boot! Of course we stop a few times on the way back so he can rest. I offer to carry the wood, he says no, probably knowing I would slip and fall and the wood would land on my head or something and he would have to then carry me out of the jungle. Smart man. On the way back, it hits me. This guy has balance. Both physical and in life. I have neither. Even though he works for me, he doesn’t really have a lot of stress or work load here. He spends tons of time with his family and he knows how to have fun. He can also tight rope walk across a mossy fallen tree with another tree sitting on his should faster than I can get across with nothing except for my walking stick and dangling machete. He never misses steps, slips or tries to catch his balance. He has caught it already. I hope I can someday too.
Oh, I almost forgot, the second thing was to pick my wife up and I managed to get that done too!