Efficient travel: we spend time and effort to devise the ‘best’ route between stops along our RV-ing way. I wonder if we are as efficient about our stops along life’s road?
I’ve been juggling the desire to make a couple stops along our route to S. Texas with the cost of making those detours and the process of searching out routes and potential overnight stops has me wondering about life-parallels.
“People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars,
and yet they pass by themselves
– St. Augustine
When we first started RV’ing fuel prices were higher — a lot higher — and I used the value of $0.50 / mile as a rough approxmation of how much it cost us to detour on our journey. That was just taking into consideration the cost of fuel when fuel was almost $4.00 / gallon and we were getting about 8 mpg for fuel. It was an easy number to remember; a simple computation to make. Now, the price has come down to about 60% of that and I could adjust my cost per mile estimates but I have not done so because that $0.50 only considered fuel and none of the other costs of operation so I’m still under estimating by a longshot. Why not leave it the same. It’s “out of pocket” expense.
I have seen a lot of RV blogs that talk about the blogger’s monthly budget. Some bloggers actually share their running totals of expenses and budget. Even after having been a small businessman I’ve never liked doing budgets. All the ones I commonly see seem backwards to me, so I rarely bother. I know what our income is. I also have a mental list of things we want to do (including regular things like maintenance and surprises like repairs). And I adjust my scale of how quickly I can get them done so that the expenses balance with income. I don’t look at spending too much one month or too little another — if I did what I wanted that month I’m happy. Either way I would have had enough to pay the bills — I don’t spend what I don’t have. But I always get to do what I want — because I’m the one who chooses to which expenses (on my mental list) I choose to commit. It’s a budget but not a budget. The bottom line isn’t profit or loss, the bottom line is what and how much have I done. I’m not tracking my money, I’m tracking my own behavior.
The thing is that we can travel to all these places and the one thing we never see is ourself. Whether our traveling changes us or not depends on … ourself. It’s kind of like budgeting. What are we monitoring? The places we go, or how we are when we are there? I can take precious days out of my life (irretrievable days) and spend untold amounts of money and for the expense (in days and resources) am I at all changed? Am I at all better? Am I at all more kind? Or easier to live with? Or more compassionate? What do we know better about ourselves than we knew yesterday or the day before?
For example, at the moment we are living through a mosquito hatch. We’ve had a lot of rain here lately, there are places where eggs can grow to maturity and even though we try to walk instead of using the CORPS golf cart making our rounds if we choose to stop in the middle of the road for a chat we do so at the risk of being engulfed in a cloud of skeeters. We have not lived through an entire Northern Wisconsin Forested summer before. Three years ago we were in this place for 8 weeks (about the same length of time we have been here this year — except this year we have again as long plus a couple weeks before we head south again) Part of our interest in this locale for this year was to see how we tolerated the “summer” in Northern Wisconsin. Last time poor Peggy seemed to get bitten to pieces by the skeeters and other flying hazards. This year she is fairing better but still getting bitten more than me. We’re undecided yet about whether they are too bad to consider another year or not. The hosting couple that we replaced 3 years ago left because of a.) health issues and b.) too many bugs. It bothered them enough that they just gave up. We have yet to see how we’ll feel at the end of the season. I suspect some of our decision will depend on how much more rain we get as the season progresses.
Thanks for stopping by, Kathryn is here at the moment so I’m trying to keep my writing short and spend more time with her. 🙂 What father wouldn’t! I’ll be here tomorrow to chat again.