My husband finally stopped dreaming about owning an RV and actually bought one. It was an older model that needed some work. But after spending all summer fixing it, with the help of our handy youngest son, it was ready to use.
He was pretty excited. Me, not so much. It was never one of my dreams, always one of his. But his delight and enthusiasm was contagious and I was happy to go along and see how this might work.
We hit the road, going south…seeking warm weather and a place to park that would give us the feeling of freedom and leisure “where the livin’ is easy”. It was meant to be a trial run, a test, to see if doing the retirement RV-thing was really doable for us, and to make sure all the mechanics worked.
(I probably need to say that neither one of us is particularly mechanically inclined. In fact our most often used app is “OK Google…how do you…?” and our second is YouTube!)
We drove interstate highways, toll roads, and small county roads, through cities and around cities, rural towns and coastal resort towns. We saw beautiful Autumn colors on tree lined interstate highways and ugly cement road systems winding around city centers, large outlet malls, wind turbines around fields of snowy white cotton, and pecan groves and cattle ranches and dairy farms. We watched the sun go down on the Gulf. We heard the rain on our metal roof one night in Mississippi as we slept. We saw millions of stars in a dark Oklahoma night sky. We “played house” in a tiny cozy space and drank our morning coffee slowly as the sun took its time rising.
Nine days later, sitting with a scared dog on my lap inside the RV, on the side of the highway just 95 miles from home, waiting for the roadside help to come and fix our front tire that had just blown out, we began to scrutinize the happenings of the adventure and analyze the pros and cons.
We both agreed we had enjoyed the newness of this 3,000 mile adventure even though it brought with it a fair amount of stress and a little anxiety. Trying new things, whatever they are, always creates a bit of stress. But not trying leaves an unfulfilled longing and not knowing.
The tire was fixed eventually and we pulled back onto the highway, headed north to home. It had been another long day and we were tired but it didn’t take much to get back into the speed and flow of traffic.
But then suddenly! A slight swerve. We heard the loud noise of the rumble-strip on the side of the road. YIKES! The dog whined and sat up and I yelped! Another quick swerve and we were back in the flow. It was like a hiccup. No harm done.
Thank God for rumble-strips! It woke us up and got us back on track.
Recovering from the swerve heading towards home in the twilight of the day, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I had tried something new and discovered by hearing the loud interruption of a rumble-strip, of sorts, that I wasn’t going in the direction I really wanted to go. Something woke me up and I was redirected back on track.
But isn’t this part of the magic of old age, being able to look back and see the big picture, the process, the effect of one event or choice upon another, the beginnings and the outcomes… and to recognize the rumble-strips, the things that served to wake us up and redirect us?
Our families act as rumble-strips for us, if we listen to their opinions. Our years of experience serve as rumble-strips. Knowing ourselves serve as rumble-strips. Somethings we just already know what will or won’t work for us, because we know ourselves and we’ve-been-there-done-that, sort of thing! Our limited finances act as rumble-strips sometimes, as do our aging bodies.
Rather than limitations, I see rumble-strips that help to keep me on track and move me forward in this most interesting stage of life.
If I am listening, I can take the risk of trying something new and have the confidence that I will hear when I swerve onto the rumble-strip.
Not sure if the RV adventures will continue for me, but I’m thankful I had the chance to try it out…at least once!
Sometimes your journey
will take you off of your path.
It’s all part of the same trip.
– Curly Girl Designs
How do you see the limitations in your life, or do you? What are they? Do you reframe them?