How to Check Out of the Bates Motel


Have you ever arrived at a secluded venue during your travels, settled in for a short stay and became so comfortable that you never wanted to leave? What if time and money were no object and you could remain there indefinitely? There’s nothing really to do but that’s what you want – total relaxation and no responsibility. There’s a beach right outside your modest cabana suite and a pool nearby to either swim or soak. Welcome to the Bates Motel without Norman’s theatrics.

You recognize them. You know them. They’re the end-of-the-roaders. They’ve arrived at a particular place and time and feel that there’s no point in going any further. Despite having a wallet bulging with cash, platinum credit cards, and plentiful savings in the bank, they refuse to fuel up because they have no intention of going anywhere. They’re still mentally sharp older folk and an increasing number of well-educated middle age ones as well.

For the former, they feel that they’ve lived life as much as they could and are just psychologically “checking out” by doing absolutely nothing waiting to die. For the latter, it’s a defense mechanism to avoid dealing with a still rapidly changing world in which it’s too psychological exhausting to keep up, change, and adapt. Their reaction is to “whine, bitch and complain” more often than you care to hear and ceaselessly question new things particularly the purpose of new technology and new ways of doing things. So they’re more than happy to vegetate and watch the world go by. They’re happier still if they have company such as yourself because misery always does.

Associating with the wrong group is dangerous. With respect to those in a psychological vegetative state, they’ll cleverly convince you in many different ways that it’s a waste of time and energy to participate in a rat race. Such words are highly infectious and which eventually saps, strips and eventually paralyzes your will, energy and desire to continue on an already fruitful journey. These are the people who overnight put sand in your psychological gas tank and claim that it’s destiny (or whatever guilt mechanism works best) to keep you in the Bates Motel for the rest of your life. The reason this tactic works so effectively is that these same people tend to be closest to you, namely family or close friends, so it’s much more difficult to recognize what is happening.

To paraphrase Woody Allen in the movie “Annie Hall” (1977) referred to relationships that are like sharks that must keep moving or die. We’re not all cut out for the express lane yet we always need to be moving forward and avoid inertia. It’s not necessarily what you’ve accomplished – sitting on your laurels – rather the future goals that you’re striving for. And these goals need not be grandiose, rather modest such as removing clutter, a new paint job, taking a course, or eating healthier.

The weakest point is psychologically over-sleeping. This is the period when you take a respite from your activities to recharge. You justifiably take a week or two to rest, which then becomes two months, then two more months and before you know it it’s difficult to get started at all. Getting back on the road seems so overwhelming that you don’t bother at all and sink into that ultra-deep, plush leather chair in the Bates Motel lobby never budging an inch. Rest is important but set a hard, specific date that you get going again even if you just putt along on the service road as long as you’re moving forward. Eventually you’ll gain speed and traction to ease onto the main road as the end-of-the-roaders vanish from your rearview mirror.

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