The Uncertainty Paradigm


A year ago I interviewed an RV couple for a position at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  It was part of my volunteer gig as Volunteer Coordinator.  I had been talking to them about a position 5 or 6 months hence — or at least I thought I was.  It turned out that they were looking for something 18 months in the future because they plan their RV travels 2 years in advance.   Interesting, I thought.

I have tried very hard not to censor my blog posts this past month and a half.  It has been hard because we have not been doing many interesting things but I have been convinced that if this is to be an honest blog about our Unscripted Life that conveying the good, the bad, and the ugly are part of what I need to do.

Uncertainty is an integral part of RV’ing.  We experience it in many different ways,  as individuals and as a little sub-culture, but experience it we do.

  • Some RV’ers think that buying a new RV will negate the need to worry about RV repairs for the first couple years — and the idea behind that sounds good, but I have known a lot of RV’ers who bought new RV’s only to spend a surprising amount of time getting the assembly bugs worked out of the brand, spanking new RV.  Never forget that the more bells and whistles you have in your RV you the more things there are to break down.  It might be wonderful to have all the comforts of ‘home’ but bouncing all those comforts down the bumpy roads of America often leads to product failures.
  • I have met RV’ers like the couple mentioned above who plan their lives out in the tiniest of details — only to find that one of the couple gets sick or passes away and they have to change their whole program.  Or their RV breaks down en route to a destination and a three days trip turns into a 6 week delay while waiting for parts.
  • Then there are the campgrounds that suddenly close, or get flooded out due to unseasonable rains.
  • Don’t forget the highway detour that your GPS knew nothing about because you failed to update the construction file.
  • Or, as in our case, the routine medical that turned into something less than routine causing you to spend 8 weeks in town instead of 4 weeks.

If you want to go RV’ing you have to expect uncertainty.

Part of the reason I tried to blog without filters this past two months was to illustrate what happens to you when control is taken from you and suddenly you’re the pawn in your own story rather than the King/Queen. You retired.  You sold your home.  You thought you’d be free to go and come as you chose and suddenly everyone else is making your choices for you — and not yourself.

If you follow my blog you know that I love the full-time lifestyle.  But I’ve tried to make it clear that Peg & I love it in spite of the complications — there’s no kind of retirement that doesn’t have it’s share of complications and you better be ready for them.

Are there solutions that make the uncertainty easier?

I’ll say there are! The biggest one, the only one I want to talk about today, is good communications with your partner.  Uncertainty is going to happen,  having someone to talk through the uncertainty so you can come out the other side stronger and still just as happy is crucial.  Communication lends itself to venting and we all need to vent from time to time.  If you don’t have good communication between the two of you one partner may hear nothing but whining.  And there can be some of that, but the whining is the less important part of the process.  The important part is that you process the uncertainty.  Find a way to deal with it.  Find a way around it.  Find a way to internalize what the changes mean to you.

Humans don’t make very good islands.  We all need other people in our life to help us along.  And I never believed the old thing about marriages being 50/50.  I’ve never met a couple who had a 50/50 marriage.  In the first place, the relationship isn’t static — in a marriage sometimes one party gives 30% while the other gives 70%, at another time in the same couple one party gives 90% while the other gives 10%.  None of us is statically strong or weak;  none of us is strong in every aspect of life;  none of us has perfect health, nor does it work out very often that one person is always the sick one.  We are social whether we like it or not.

If you can’t communicate with our partner, it might be that full time RV’ing isn’t for you.  There’s not a lot of space to hide from your partner in an RV.

So, if you have been wondering about where I was going with some of my posts you can chalk it all up to illustrating the effects of sitting around waiting for things in my blog.  So, there you go.  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

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