Life is too short to learn everything. I have long hoped to learn something new every day but the older I get — and the more limited our activities become — the harder it is to accomplish that goal. Still, I go into every day hoping with a little of that expectation the explorers much have felt: eager to learn something new.
I’m not sure I’m particularly wise, but if I listen carefully, it really is easy to learn something from (almost) everyone. Life takes us on such divergent paths, and we all have unique ways of reacting to events such that if nothing else I can learn how not to react or accomplish something; but usually I can learn something positive.
This desire to keep growing, keep learning, has a lot to do with my own motivation in RV’ing. Peggy has her own reasons. But for myself, I know that I have not tired of living, and I have not tired of meeting new and interesting people and I can think of few ways to meet the variety of new and interesting folks we have met whilst RV’ing.
I know I’m a lucky guy. I actually had a happy youth. I had parents who cared for me. We didn’t have a lot — I know there were times when the cupboards were quite literally bare and there was nothing in the house to eat — but I have no recollection of being hungry (even though I heard that old admonition to eat everything on my plate because there were starving children in China) and I have no recollection of being abused. I got a few good swats on the butt while growing up — but I also learned that what I’d done to deserve those swats was not tolerated either by my parents or by society — and I rarely needed a repetition to master the lesson.
Dad was a blue collar worker. Mom had a short (couple year) career outside the household but most of the time she was a homemaker and I was glad for her presence in my life. She was big on education and I always had a cheering section when I tried something new, or wanted to learn something new.
I can’t say I remember a lot of my dad playing with me; but I have proof that he did. By the time I got old enough for Boy Scouts he joined the troop as an adult leader and we had plenty of good times. There was a time when we didn’t get along as well, and then near the end of his life — well, for the last 10 years of his life we were exceptionally close. He helped me in my home businesses and thought nothing of taking orders from “the Kid.”
One of the reasons I started driving commercially (other than the money) was the diversity it gave me. I loved going in and out of factories; seeing how other people made a living; seeing how things were made and came to be; seeing lots of the country — and too much of the cities. Whether I had a white collar job or a blue collar job — continuing to learn was always a priority for me — and often by the time I mastered the job I was ready to move on to another one. I didn’t just have wanderlust — I was a restless soul. Still am, I guess.
It’s been a good life. We’re still close to our only daughter. It would have been nice to have more kids but we never could have been as lucky with #2 as we were with #1 — she is the joy of our lives; has always been. We’re still close to each other. In a different way perhaps than when we met 48 years ago. A better way.
One of the lessons learned (fortunately for us it wasn’t the hard way) was just how important trust is — and we both have worked hard all the way through our marriage to make sure that we never lost that trust that we started out with. Without trust everything else is fake. Without trust everything else is hollow.
These little volunteer gigs give us a great chance to continue meeting new people. To continue learning new things. I don’t know how long we’ll continue volunteering after this gig. We probably won’t do it ALL the time. By the end of 5 months we may be happy for a time when we don’t have to process our Daily Arrival Report and we don’t have to clean up after other people. Or not. We’ll see.
But I am happy and thankful for this summer. It’s turning out better than I hoped — though to be truthful it would be nice to have a little more warmth. Still and all, in another month I’ll probably be complaining that it’s too hot.
Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here again tomorrow to chat.