Why I Keep On Keeping On: Life is Just Too Short

A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook earlier today and it just reaffirmed my decision to keep taking steps every day toward realizing my dream. Even if some days it’s just a small step, it still counts. Because some days, you take huge steps. Like this past Monday, when I went to five different RV dealers so I could take a look at a variety of travel trailers. Some conventional, some expandable. I’ll explain what conclusions those visits helped me come to in a later post, but first, I want to share this video with you:

Woman with Terminal Brain Cancer Decides to End Her Life Nov. 1  

When I hear stories like this, and think of how many more years I have been fortunate to live than someone like this woman, it makes me feel a few different emotions: gratitude (there but for the grace of God, go I); sympathy for this woman and her family; regret at having wasted so many years of my life living the way I thought I *should* live it, thinking that the only measure of success in this world was to achieve the conventional ideas of what is a successful life. You know, being married, having a house, a good paying and stable job, etc.

“Seize the Day. What’s Important to You? What Do You Care About? What Matters? Forget the Rest.”

These are all statements made by Brittany Maynard toward the end of this video.  Think about them, and I mean, really think about them. And then, do something about them.

I spent so many years of my life just *thinking* about what I might want to do, but that’s all I ever did was think about my dreams. Didn’t take any action beyond the dreaming part. I kept myself in debt. Kept trying to ignore that little nudge my insides would give me when I felt like something was missing, but was too afraid to really figure out what that was.  What I knew was safe, and safe was supposed to be ok. It was supposed to be enough. And a few years ago, it just wasn’t.

A few years ago, I was terrified I couldn’t make a go of things on my own. But I did. I have been terrified to make mistakes in the past, and let myself stay rooted in place. Toward the end of this summer, as you know, I bought a scooter. It was a mistake, and one that really stressed me out there for a few weeks and I felt a lot of self-loathing for having been so stupid. And then I realized I was beating myself up for being human. I made a mistake. I could keep beating myself up about it, or I could learn from it, and try to move forward. (And hope that I can sell it in the spring when people are more likely to buy one.)

Life is too short to keep beating yourself up. So, don’t do it. Life is too short for fear to be given the power to hold you in one place. So don’t let it. Life is too short to keep caring what other people think about you and let their opinions form the way you life your life. So stop caring.  Life is too short to waste it by doing things you don’t want to do. So stop doing them. Start doing what you want to do. Start doing what you love. Start doing what makes you happy.  

When you’re outside and see something beautiful, really take it in. Really absorb it and see how it makes your heart feel. How it expands. How it makes you feel at peace. That’s what I do when I hear the wind blowing through the leaves of the trees. That’s what I do when I see the waves the wind causes on the reservoir while out walking with Osito.  It’s why I get such a huge smile on my face when I see my 13 year old, blind dog start running on our walk, with no fear whatsoever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to look at freelance jobs for research and writing. Because they are two things I’m good at, and want to be able to do next year when I’m living on the road. And to read a book that has really sucked me in, because it’s something I love to do. Read, and expand my mind.  Reading takes me into another world. It’s something I would like to do for others.  And I write this blog now because it’s something  I love to do. Writing is cathartic to me. It helps me to say things I might not otherwise be able to express. And to connect with others, hopefully.

Thank you so much for reading. Please leave me a comment below if you have any thoughts on the topic, or hit like or subscribe.

 

I want to do this..wait, no, that…wait, no this!!! (Decisions, decisions)

photo (32)

When you tell someone you have this dream of living in an RV, you usually get a few of the expected responses. Some are afraid for you, because, as you already know, you’re a single person. How will you support yourself? How will you stay safe? How will you drive it? You’re a little person after all!  Even last week, a friend of mine said “why can’t you just move into an apartment somewhere new? You won’t have a guy with you.” I was like “um, you’re telling ME that I won’t be with a guy, and that’s why I should be worried….” Of course this friend of mine , who I love dearly, watches a lot of true crime shows. As a single person, more specifically, a woman, I don’t need to remind myself of all the sickness in the world. All I can do is prepare myself as best as I can for whatever each day throws at me.  And well, my friend must have momentarily forgotten that I can be like the Tasmanian Devil as one of my friends nicknamed me. But in a good way (of course.)

Others are very excited for you, and some are even wistful, maybe wishing that they could do the same, or at least experience some of that feeling of freedom from the drudgery of the routine of day to day life. Now, before you think I have gone off into la-la land and think it’s going to be all roses and petunias, trust me, I don’t. I know there are going to be problems along the way. I know there will be times when I worry about money (ok, I already do that….), and repairs, etc. But I also know I can’t wait forever. I guess it’s kind of like what they say about having kids – if you wait until you are ready and have enough money, it’ll never happen.

So, I keep reading RV blogs and RV forums, etc., and watching YouTube videos of people living in their RVs, trying to learn as much as I can. I’ve subscribed to the Dreamers portion of the Workampernews.com website so I can learn as much as possible about that way of life and see if it’s viable for me. I like the idea of being able to work some place seasonally, see the region and learn different skills that I won’t get by sitting in an office every day. But at the same time, the idea of not necessarily being in one place all year round is a bit scary. Will I be lonely? Will I be able to secure enough work for myself far enough in advance and even more important, will it pay enough to allow me to pay for my expenses?

I know that I would like to be able to either work outdoors or work in an area that is beautiful and has places I can escape to on my time off. I know I want to be more connected to the natural world than I am now. So, I think about going to school for something like that, but then I hear from others that it is more important, sometimes, to get on the job training rather than learning a lot from books. And a big part of me agrees with that. And what if I spend all this money on more schooling and don’t end up making any more in some job than someone who didn’t spend all those bucks?

I have been thinking of attending an outdoor school but the price tag is a bit scary at $10,350. That’s about 2/3 of the balance of the LAL loan I’ve been fighting so hard to get rid of. (Oh, and drum roll please, with my most recent payment, the balance should be BELOW $15K!!!!!!!!!!)  I cannot tell you how much I want and NEED that loan to be gone by the time I go on the road. It will make such a huge difference, and be a great weight off of my shoulders. To have part of my law school education paid off, FINALLY.  It’s a loan I thought I would have until I turned 54. Can you imagine? Yes, it is like a freaking mortgage, but let’s not get me started going down that lane.

I do have a concern about getting work – when I tried to get out of the legal law firm world many years ago, I faced so much hesitation on the part of employers. After all, I had this law degree….why would I ever not want to do something in that world? Wasn’t it such a glamorous life?? (Um, in a word, NOOOOOO). And not all lawyers get paid the big bucks like everyone thinks.   But that fear is again creeping up – I am worried that people will think I wouldn’t possibly take a job that pays less than $15 an hour, or who knows, even less… (Many workamping positions don’t pay highly because they are something akin to entry level positions.)  But can I be honest? It would be REALLY nice to leave my work at work, both mentally and physically, for a change. And if I could spend some of my time living in a gorgeous area of the country, say, the Olympic Peninsula, or the Grand Canyon, well, trust me, I can find stuff to do that’s not going to cost me anything, or very little.

So, as you can see, I feel like I am all over the place. I like the NW but wonder what kind of seasonal jobs there would be to had, if I went that route? And what happens if I start having to pay more on my federal loans? How will I afford them? What about the fact that I will be taxed at a higher bracket for 2015 than I will in 2016, but not making the same type of wage I am now making in 2014? (My thought on that is to save extra for the tax bill while I am working in my full time and part time jobs so that I don’t get stuck when filing my 2015 taxes.)  So, yes…I am a planner. But from what I am reading online, that’s a trait that will help me when my home becomes an RV.

By chance, I came across an interview on youtube the other day of this blogger, at Interstellar Orchard and I’ve been reading through many of her posts, because it seems like every question I might come up with, she has had to deal with. She makes it on seasonal employment but she didn’t start out with the debt that I have. But I know she knows of others who have. I just like her very pragmatic approach to tackling problems and the type of lifestyle she is  leading. And she seems very down to earth. If you are even considering this lifestyle, I suggest you head on over to her blog and check it out.

Anyway, this post has already grown much longer than I expected it to, so thanks for listening/reading if you’ve made it this far.

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

If you know Boston at all, you know where this was taken.
If you know Boston at all, you know where this was taken.
  1. I am so thankful for my friends, both new and old, in person and online. You know who you are. I’m grateful for all the questions you throw in my direction when you feel I might have my head stuck in the clouds about my dreams, because they keep me down on this earth. And I’m grateful for your ability to make me smile and laugh.  You teach me that it’s ok to dream, and not be like everyone else. And that if you work hard enough at it, your dreams CAN become your reality.
  2. Air conditioning, folks, plain and simple. Yesterday, there was 93% humidity in the Boston area at one point. In case you live in a climate where you never see those kinds of numbers, well, let me just tell you, it’s GROSS. You basically walk outside, take a breath, and wonder why you ever bothered to shower that day already.
  3. It has actually been really nice to have a roommate these last few weeks. While it’s been an adjustment to having someone else around, she’s pretty respectful, and so is her partner, and when I walked into the apartment last night, she was doing some exercises, so I got to teach her a few things and correct her form on some others. It was nice to see her doing something which I love so much, and to realize, you know, I really can help people with this. I may feel like a fraud some days, not having the hands-on experience yet, and I definitely don’t know everything there is to know (and won’t even claim to do so), but it’s something to work on. When you know everything there is to know about a subject, then it gets boring. Luckily, my current field, and my next one (notice I didn’t add in the word “hopeful” after next…I AM going to make it happen) are fields where lifelong learning is involved.
  4. Baby geese!!!
    Baby geese!!!

    I came in late to work on Monday because of an appointment and because our policy is either you make up the time or have to take an entire half day off, I took the half day. It allowed me to spend time on my way home just gazing at the Charles, sitting (and laying part of the time) on a park bench, as if I didn’t have a care in the world. And I truly didn’t for that short period of time. I was still enough that even the baby geese felt safe enough to walk right past me.

  5. I am so very grateful for the view below and the cloudy skies. A lot of people don’t like having an overcast day. But for me, I enjoy them. First of all, I LOVE running in overcast skies. In sun, I literally feel like I am going to wilt. And also, they make me appreciate the sunny days all the more. I’m grateful for this realization because it has really helped me to focus and decide on an area of the country where I want to move. At least a state and a few regions of that state anyway. More on my decisions in a later post…..dum dum dum….. (by the way, I was touched with how many of you responded to my request for information on WA state. Thank you…)
  6. I think I have made a few decisions this week about the direction of my life over the next year or 18 months and while they are a bit terrifying, they’re also exciting. Might involve slowing down some of my paying off of debt so I can bank a lot in savings, but I’ll keep at both goals. I”ll explain in a later post.

 

:-)
🙂

 

As always, thanks for reading, and I hope you will all have a great weekend if I don’t post over it (although, I’m in a writing mood so you never know…)

If you’ve liked this post, please hit “like” below or subscribe or drop me a line! Thank you!!

 

Sorting it all out

Looking up at the clouds through the trees
Looking up at the clouds through the trees

Maybe it’s the stress of the craziness of the fall semester weighing down on me, but I feel like my mind is all a jumble some days. So, I’m writing this post today in the hopes that it will help me to sort things out. The more I write or blog, the more I want to do of the same. That’s a good thing in my mind. Read more

It’s Simple, Really

Solitude

If you had asked me even a few weeks ago what my dreams were, I think I would have answered you much differently than I would today.  I had even started drafting a few different blog posts but none of them really sat “right” with me and I wasn’t even sure I would start this blog. After all, I had stopped blogging over at Middle-of-the-Pack-Girl a few years ago when I felt like I wanted things in my life to go back to being more private. Why start up again? Read more