Untitled Blog

Check out images, stories and observations as I navigate through everyday life. Think of this blog as a way to experience my experiences.

Buckle up.

A Walk To The Mailbox

The other day I was restless. I decided to walk to the mailbox which is 2 kilometers from our house/cottage. Don’t ask me to explain why the mailbox is so far away. If you’re interested read this.

The rain had let up and the area surrounding us looks very different after a rain. I prefer to walk after a rain. What was familiar seems different and the silence makes your ears hurt. There is an eerie sense of mystery that is not present when the weather is calm. I have made this trip in all types of weather, the landmarks and scenery are always the same, but somehow they tell a different story each trip.

Every trip to the mailbox I notice something different. Maybe it’s the weather, the season or the mindset I’m in that forces me to pay more attention or just wonder. Nonetheless, the trip is never the same.

Our daily routines have a tendency to suffocate us. We no longer pay attention to what is around us. We simply press play and go.

Next time you’re stuck, press pause, take in what’s around you, then resume play.

John Kochmanski
Who Came Before Me?

I try not to dwell on the past, although I am not always successful. To obsess over scoring the winning touchdown in the high school state championship game or winning the hot dog eating contest at the state fair can be exhausting and depressing. Just to be clear I did not participate in either of those activities.

I do, however, believe it’s okay to acknowledge the past while realizing things and people change. If you’re like me, you’ve aged. Sorry to be the spoiler, but aging is part of living. We can no longer be the people we once were. We’re smarter, wiser, calmer and in most cases we move a bit slower.

So what am I getting at? I’m not 100% sure, but hear me out. When I’m out exploring I will often find a spot to sit. I’ll make up short stories about who came to this spot before me. How many people have been here and what was their life like when they visited. Did they come to this spot for a vacation? Did they take refuge here while trying to survive? Where they alone? In a group? With family?

Our past experiences have made us who we are today. To dwell on our our past experiences is a fleeting attempt at trying to change what we’ve become. Gloating about who we were does not change who we are.

There comes a time when we need to move on. A time to enjoy who and where we are so that the stories written by a future explorers will end well.

John Kochmanski
Immersed In A Sea Of Color

After spending time in the city I like to jump on the ATV and head out on the trails when I return home. Normally I just ride around looking for interesting places to sit and chill for a bit, but yesterday was different. As I was riding around I found it hard to keep my eyes on the trails. To keep myself from slamming into a tree, I would pull off the trail once in a while to stare my surroundings.

Everywhere I looked there was vivid color. Not stopping to take it all in would have been an insult to mother nature.

I have lived in places where the leaves change color my whole life. I never really appreciated it. Being in the open air completely immersed in the color is something I never really experienced. Sure, I used to go on “color tours” in a car, but that felt less personal. I’d also go for walks in the woods, but the walks made me focus on what was in front of me and never gave the sense of scale I experience out on the trails surrounding our home.

Maybe it’s the area we live in, or that I am more open to letting nature absorb me, but when mother nature performs her best Bob Ross impersonation I can’t look away.

Click to check out this post from last year.

John Kochmanski
The Annoyance of Uncertainty

I’m a worrier. It’s annoying as hell. When things are out of my control I tend to worry. Not because I want to control a particular outcome, I worry because the outcome is uncertain and may be an outcome I do not want. One I did not ask for.

I think it’s safe to say that all of us like certainty and would like to bitch slap its evil twin uncertainty. We like to know what we are up against. Knowing every aspect of what we are up against lets us plot the moves needed to guarantee our desired outcome. Not knowing all aspects of what we are up against can paralyze us. Don’t believe me? Ask a fainting goat.

I am learning that letting go and embracing the unknown can be rewarding. Let’s look at a couple examples.

Example One:

  • The Situation: You’re kayaking on a lake, in the fog. You have limited visibility to what surrounds you. You’re trying to make your way home. You’re tentative because you’re worried about what you may encounter. You slowly move across the water creating what-if scenarios in your head while missing out on the beauty that surrounds you.

  • The Outcome: The trip home takes forever and when you arrive your nerves are shot. The trip was uneventful and you are left with no story to tell and a need to slam down some bourbon to calm your nerves.

Example Two:

  • The Situation: You’re kayaking on a lake, in the fog. You have limited visibility to what surrounds you. You’re trying to make your way home. You’re enjoying the peace and quiet. Letting go of the uncertainty that lurks beyond your field of view, you embrace the tranquility of your surroundings. Then out of the fog appears a mother goose. Not just any mother goose. A pissed off mother goose. She attacks. You react by paddling toward home at a speed an olympic athlete would be proud of, all the while trying to keep from shitting your pants.

  • The Outcome: You make it home quicker than expected and when you arrive you’re full of energy while your heart is racing. The trip was very eventful and you’re left with a great story and a need to slam down some bourbon to celebrate your new water kayak speed record.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, when you let uncertainty control your thoughts you become paralyzed and miss out on what the journey can provide. When you go with the flow and are open to what may lie ahead you can enjoy what is here and now.

John Kochmanski