Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a nice start.
What a week. We usually say that at the end of a week that was, for whatever reason, extraordinarily challenging, tiring, depressing, or otherwise miserable. Oh, we say the same thing if it was a good week. The only difference is we add an exclamation point at the end. What a week! See the difference?
Sometimes, it’s not just the words we say, but the tone, inflection, and yes, even punctuation. It reminds me of one that made its rounds on the Internet several years back … “A woman without her man is nothing.” That’ll get some women fired up! But a little extra punctuation changes the meaning entirely. “A woman – without her, man is nothing.” Yes, ladies, now would be the time to do the happy dance.
It goes without saying that this has been a week I don’t want to repeat. It began in a Hospice room, and it’s ending with an unplanned trip for a funeral. Everything in between was a blur. There were happy times, sad times, hours on the job, and the constant juggling of priorities to answer calls, soothe emotions, and try to make Dad’s final journey something worthy of the man he was. Whatever we do, it’ll never be enough.
It’s also the end of our longest-ever stretch as potential fulltime nomads. Last night, we spent our 28th consecutive night in the RV. It was a test, of sorts, as we decide whether we may be able to do this on a more permanent basis. Sure, a younger Dave would have just sold the house and hit the road. I’ve always been an adventurer. Besides, bill collectors can’t chase you down if they don’t know where you live.
There’s something to be said for changing the scenery any time it gets boring. It’s also a great way for people our age to decide where we’d like to retire. Instead of moving in, you move around. You stay in one place and say, “Let’s come back again later in the year and see how it is then.” And other places, you drain the tanks, secretly hoping a little spills out on the ground. I’m just saying.
Moving from a three-bedroom house to a 300 square-foot box on wheels is an adjustment. Funny thing is, we have one more toilet in this thing than we do in our house. Go figure. And, in case you’re wondering, we DO have one at home. Inside. With plumbing. Shame on you for even thinking that.
RV living means downsizing, in more ways than one. My entire wardrobe consumes a single drawer and six hangers. We’ve become really creative in use of the kitchen counter. My wife wanted a bread maker, and we debated long and hard over where we would keep it. There’s a mantra among RV fulltimers – one in, one out. You buy a bread maker, the bath towels have to go. I don’t make the rules.
On the other hand, we’ve never really felt cramped. We’ve slept nine in relative comfort (for me, anyway – we get the bed), and on one rainy night we fed 11 inside. Nobody was on the floor, but it did take an hour to vacuum after they were gone. And on that point – if you don’t like house cleaning or laundry, buy a really big home and stay there forever. RV living isn’t for you.
So, here we are. With a month behind us, I’m fairly certain we can do this long-term. We had originally planned to be out until spring, but that wasn’t in the cards. You adapt and do what needs to be done, and then get back on track. Our trip hasn’t been cancelled. It’s been interrupted. We’ll take care of more important things for now, and then get back on the road. The goal hasn’t changed.
As young entrepreneurs, Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel set sail in the Caribbean. Neither had any sailing experience and, apparently, neither was an expert used boat inspector. Not long after they set sail, their boat sank off the coast of Cuba. They were rescued and, after a brief period of time ashore, collected the insurance and continued on their adventure as repatriated landlubbers.
The point is, despite a major setback, the adventure continued. Would it have been easier to go home, lick their wounds, and get a job in the factory? Sure. But it wasn’t in their DNA. And I’m willing to bet it’s not in yours, either. The very fact that you read these ramblings every day puts you in an exclusive class of people. You’re one who wants more, who isn’t willing to be swayed by a single misfortune.
Life will always present its share of challenges. But if the dream is strong enough, those challenges become speed bumps, simply slowing our progress for the moment. It’s what we do after those moments that counts. Stay in the game and press on. You’ve got this.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
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