I thought I was done writing “about” the transitioning from RV to house, but a good friend commented specifically about the fact that a great many bloggers talk about becoming RV’ers while not many bloggers talk about what happens when you come OFF the road. I’m not (consciously) going to spend much time in the future dealing with that exactly — but those of you who follow this blog know that what I write is never far from stream-of-consciousness so it’s pretty ridiculous to think that I’m not going to be touching on how we are coping with the change.
What I wanted to talk about — in light of that friend’s comment — is more along the lines of the nature of change, and how we deal with it.
There are many reasons that a person/couple come off the road after RV’ing. Some rare few end their days still RV’ing. More often it’s the husband who does so, and the wife is left to pick up the pieces — and it’s been said (crassly so) that there are bargains to be had in the Spring of the year when widows want to sell their rigs and move back North after their husband has passed. That is (in my opinion) a really hard hearted attitude but the world is filled with all sorts of people.
There are, secondarily, others who come off the road because of health problems. Hearts, breathing, you name it, as we age things stop working and sometimes we are forced to admit that our days as happy-go-lucky RV’er are over.
There are also those couples that started out as full-timers but where one part of the couple wasn’t as committed to full timing. Perhaps they didn’t want to leave family behind, or friends, or something else. It’s not always the wife who feels that way. But in whatever case the decision to come off the road results from a sort of unequal yoking between partners. And the hold out finally gives in and says, “enough”.
There are still others, a number of whose scribblings I read in their blog who have gotten off the road where the individuals have indicated that they saw their own transition back to stationary life as some sort of failure. That I don’t understand. Anyone who takes courage in hand and spends time on the road certainly has been braver than most of their friends and family and even a short period on the road should be seen as success. But the fact that they sell their rig and immediately stop writing speaks to the fact that for some reason they feel they no longer have anything to say. That’s an idea I have a hard time fathoming. Surely, anyone is of more interest than just the fact that they spend time traveling in an RV!!
Transitions — any kind of transition — calls for a good deal of soul searching. The idea that once I thought RV’ing was a good idea and now I no longer think it’s a good idea is filled with suggestions that you were wrong in your first estimate; that going RV’ing was an error.
Anyone who is honest with themselves should realize that there aren’t many decisions we make in life that don’t cause a change in the very circumstances that we used to make that decision. And changing circumstances are the very reason we make lifestyle changes.
For Peggy and I the only thing which has changed as far as we are concerned is our health outlook. We are getting off the road before any major RV’ing problem; without any major financial surprise; with no family emergency. We are making a choice to make a proactive decision while the opportunity avails. I wish I saw, and heard from more RV’ers who made decisions before they were forced by circumstances. I know they are out there, but they don’t speak up very often. This applies not only to decisions about staying out on the road as RV’ers, it also applies to making timely maintenance decisions, to making reservations at peak travel times, to making sure they had enough fuel in their tank to get where they are going. Timely decisions ought not to be a rarity. They ought to be part and parcel of our lives.
The thing about decisions, though, is they have more ramifications than one often anticipates. I was never in the military, but I’ve become aware through friends of the huge investment of time and energy that the military make in planning. The idea of anticipating an army or navy’s needs and acting in advance to have supplies staged for their use is a monumental undertaking. And on some levels it would be nice if we humans — as individuals — to similar care to plan things in advance. Alas, we often fail. And sometimes we open our mouth too quickly, and force ourselves into tight corners from which maneuvering out causes us no lack of tight squeezes. But life doesn’t have to be that way.
Yet… even the best planner may not anticipate all their future needs; or the reactions of others. For us, we made the choice to sell out coach and settle in Texas for a while. The coach is on the market. We’ll close on our house around the 10th of January even though we are already moved in. It’s “just paperwork.”
We were pretty well prepared for the changes this decision is making to our lifestyle. Much of what we have faced in the last month has been anticipated. Some of it has been a surprise. Other details have not yet made themselves apparent and I’m sure we have some surprises yet in store for ourselves. But we are facing each and every one.
Some are worth while talking about. Others aren’t. Still others might be of merit but aren’t anyone else’s business and I may purposely omit mention of them. Consider that part of our Life Unscripted. My point being, simply, that decisions have repercussions. Any decision. All sorts of repercussions. No matter who we are, or what the decision is, the best bet is to face the repercussions — the changes — head on.
It’s desirable in life that we give enough consideration to our own plans so that we don’t have to hit the brakes at the last minute and risk careening out of control. Transitions are important. Nothing happens in a single fell swoop — except maybe falling on our tush, or maybe on our face.
Never underestimate the value of transitions. Never ignore or pretend that a transition isn’t necessary — as if you could jump from one course to another without missing a step. If you remember your science from grade school, we all should have learned that a body in motion tends to remain in motion until acted upon by another force… in life we are those bodies, and we tend to continue in the same direction. When acted on by another force we surely can change directions, but if you’ve ever been in a car at highway speed and tried turning the steering wheel hard to one direction or the other you know damn well that one of two things is going to happen. If you are judicious in the amount of turn to that steering wheel you’ll simply feel yourself propelled against one sidewall of the car or another. If you turn the wheel too far too fast the result is quite unpredictable. The car will lose control, will flip, and where you may end up (ironically still trying to go in your first direction) is anyone’s guess. Transitions are important. In life, as well as in driving.
Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here again tomorrow. Why not stop and say hi!