Ming the Mechanic:
An interesting life

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 An interesting life2004-04-03 04:08
picture by Flemming Funch

An old friend from highschool wrote to me recently. Actually it took me a moment to place who he was, as I hadn't thought about him for a moment since then. But we were hanging out a bit even if we weren't in the same classes. He was a friendly sort of oddball, who was restoring veteran motorcycles and driving them around, mostly in his front yard.

He had recently been to some kind of anniversary gathering in our old school. I don't know why nobody invites me to those things, other than that they never bother to look on the Internet, but that's another story. Anyway, as he was looking over the list of people there, he realized that most of our schoolmates had the equivalent of Danish .gov addresses. I.e. they were working for the local city, county, government agency of various kinds. Good, solid very boring jobs, close to where they grew up. Paper pushers, planners, looking like their parents.

And my friend here had led a rather different life. Lived in a dozen different countries. The deserts and jungles of South America, being a deepsea fisherman in Alaska, leading construction projects in various exotic places, being a community agriculture activist in South Africa, marrying a girl he met in Cuba. Speaking a whole bunch of languages. Wrote a book about his life.

So, he wrote to me because he found my weblog. The way was interesting enough, as he was looking up "Cede & Co" to see who really owned his company, and he ended up on one of my pages, and recognized my name.

But, to get to the point, he was happy to find that there was at least one other person who had been leading some kind of interesting life. OK, he's obviously ahead of me in terms of exotic places, but it is not a contest, and the point is how one leads one's life. Would it bore you to death to stay in the same stable job for most of your life, doing very ordinary things, getting a good mortgage, and feeling very engaged because you join the parent council on your kids' school? Or is life an adventure, a mystery, a challenge, a journey of transformation? Not that one has to put down half of the western world, but I tend to get along best with people who are on some kind of adventure.

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3 Apr 2004 @ 14:53 by sharie : If only people realized...
If only we all realized just how significant the role is that we play as we act out our own lives.

Great point you made in your post Ming.

Everyone of us chooses what we experience, how we perceive, interpret, respond and feel. What we create is our choosing.

Life is great.  

4 Apr 2004 @ 23:22 by Darryl Grant @ : one small problem
Hi Ming, I like your blog and agree with most of this post except for one thing. I feel that you are maybe underestimating the adventure involved in being a parent. Seeing a new life be brought into the world and doing your best to help that new being get the most out of their time on earth is indeed a grand ride. And the adjustments that you need to make to your own previous mind space are as much of an adventure and journey of transformation as living in a different country or working in an interesting and edgy field. Having lived in more than 1 country and having worked in over 20 different jobs since leaving school I feel that I am qualified in some small way to make an assessment on this.

Some of those "boring" schoolmates may be living more exciting lives than you think.  

5 Apr 2004 @ 06:51 by ming : Exciting Lives
Yeah, let me not put down the adventure found in "normal" activities. I have three kids myself, so I can certainly also attest that it is a life changing experience and a guaranteed journey of discovery and wonder for many years.

Just traveling a lot and engaging in all sorts of extreme activies is no guarantee that one really lives a fulfilled life. It just looks good on the outside.

I guess what I'm trying to indicate here is more a quality than it is any list of impressive accomplishments. The quality of living your life as fully as you can, and being really present for all of it.

Who am I to judge that the people who stayed and worked for the county all had boring lives? Well, I'd suspect I might largely make that conclusion also if I met them today. But probably with some exceptions I didn't expect. I'd probably find that some people lead fascinating lives I'd love to hear about, even if I wouldn't have guessed it from the outward circumstances. I'm more looking for the sparkles in your eyes than for the stamps in your passport.

And I must admit that I find much of my own adventure in life in very ordinary things. I moved to France, and the most interesting stories I have to tell are about taking the bus, getting my kids into school, meeting the neighbors, and each of my family members' little struggles and successes and that kind of thing.  

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Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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