Centrifugality (fun and food)

To move away from the center, this way and that — and look, over there! – can be a most enjoyable sensation and feeling. I know it well.

As everything else, it also has a dark downside. If I were a bird I probably wouldn´t think much about it. I would fly to this bough and that, park on this tree and that park bench. But now I am a human, Homo sapiens, and there´s more to life than flying in different directions.

The directions and rays can be collected and directed in one specific angle. This is not longer a Free as a bird, happy go lucky-thing, more like a Let´s save and put money in the bank-thing.

One could say, it is not a Grasshopper but an Ant thing.

As I young child I read this fable (La Fontaine) and, without much reflection or doubt, identified subconsciously with the song and dance man: the grasshopper.

The fable in short; the grasshopper sings and makes music all summer long but when winter comes has no food. He then goes to the the ant, who has been constantly toiling toiling, to beg for food….

“What were you doing at the warm season ?
She asked this borrower.
— Night and day, to anyone
I sang, please you if it may.
— You sang ? I’m delighted :
So, go on and dance now.”

One could compress the whole thing into a short question: Food or Fun?

But actually centrifugality is not only fun. It is not the same thing as music or dancing. What centrifugality hinders or stops is building. You cannot (at least I cannot) dance a castle into reality. It has to be built stone by stone, which demands consistency and dedication, day after day.

So how to get out of this binary cul de sac, this choice between two evils (fun without food versus food without fun)?

Tim Ferriss has a great, balanced view on this (and many other thing). He suggests mini-retirements.

Tim Ferriss: Why You Should Take a Mini… by FORAtv

I quote from another page:

“Though similar to a vacation or a sabbatical, mini-retirements differ in some key ways:

  • A sabbatical is a one-time event. Mini-retirements are meant to recur throughout a lifetime.
  • A vacation is short, and often involves a tourist lifestyle with little immersion in a new way of life. A mini-retirement is long (one to six months), and allows one to fully participate in his new environment.”

So, the idea of mini-retirement seems to put an end to the old dichotomy between ant and grasshopper. You can dance and still have food for the winter!

However, this is not exactly the same as centrifugality and centripetality. The latter has a lot to do with inner peace, with being collected, calm, reflecting, with choosing “deepband” rather than broadband.

One more thing. The distinctions between regular retirement, sabbatical and vacation are worth pondering.

Regular retirement mean the end phase of life, you are winding down, you are out of circulation, old, worn, have not much to look forward too. Sabbatical, as the quote says, is a one-time event, at least not something recurrent. And vacations, well, some say that after many a vacation you need a vacation…

Perhaps what your really need is a mini-retirement. (The touristy aspects of vacations I certainly find tiring and exhausting. And very centrifugal.)

This subject is clearly not exhausted. Will come back to it, God and (centrifugal) Winds willing.

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