On my way up to Harbin Hot Springs for my annual retreat, I decided to change the routine a bit this time. Instead of hauling all the way from Santa Monica in one day, I stopped in Oakland to visit with an old college chum and then take a leisurely drive to the hot springs about two hours north of the Bay Area. In preparation for this trip I searched around for some interesting night life; jazz, reggae, or spoken word in the East Bay. After all these days everything worth doing is on the internet. I found nothing. No worries. I let go of that need and surrendered to whatever happened in the moment.
|Jack London's Klondike Hut|
That was not the end of the not on the internet surprises: Walking around the new waterfront, we found a super cool bar with a four piece jazz/ salsa/ pop band. I must have been on a jazz vibe because the next morning in Berkeley, looking for a cool spot to check my email and have breakfast I went to Telegraph. It felt like desolation row with several new empty lots and boarded up windows. No one around and expensive parking. I passed and went to another excellent spot on San Pablo (see piece from 2011) but they had a line out the door. Rolling around I happened upon the 4th st shopping area and had a coffee with wi-fi. The next day the street was shut down for a free jazz festival.
|Oakland Museum and an Ex-'68|
What does this mean to the reinventing Boomer? Consider this: Make enough plans to get your ship to sea but you don’t know what you’ll find there (think Columbus). A common idea these days is that everything can be found with an internet search. None of the above pleasant surprises were found on line. I tried. I looked. But in vivos, on the ground stuff arises that can’t be planned. Like the last person you fell in love with, it happens when you least expect it. Another reminder to the Boomer: Now with the ubiquity of the internet we think we know where we are going, but keep your eyes and heart open and pleasant surprises may appear. Are you ready? Are you open to see or do you have blinders on? Do you listen to your gut or your head? Next time you make a plan be ready for surprises.