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Lady Sylvia Ashley & Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. with a Kabuki actor in Japan, 1930s

In an effort to remove some of the frantic hecticness from my life, I’ve been making fewer plans. It’s amazing how much more time and space one has when every minute isn’t accounted for! As a result, I’ve been flying solo more often. And taking the scenic routes.

I’ve always felt this time of year–summer fading into autumn–has a particular circumspect flavor to it. A natural turning inward as the weather cools and the days shorten, like some sort of weird inherent hibernation drive left over form our Paleo days.

This combination of introversion and slowing my pace have conspired to give me a new perspective: savoring. I’m no longer a worker bee flitting from flower to flower, never tasting the nectar. I have time to notice things and be more present. I have the chance to ruminate and feel my feelings and make selections from a more centered place. And I find I’m making different decisions on how to spend my precious time and with whom. Now it’s not out of obligation but by authentic choice.

I get Sylvia on a new level. I better understand her desire for a leisure-class lifestyle rather than endless toiling just to make a living. We all strive for better lives, but I think she was really onto something. If all your basic needs are met (and then some, in her case) you have real riches: the gift of time.

By the time you read this, blog followers, I will have embarked on the journey of a lifetime: a three-week tour of Japan with my best friend. It’s the longest trip I’ve taken since backpacking through Europe in the 1980s. It is certain to be adventuresome, altering and enlightening. And it is lavish in it’s generous length of time.