The goal is to keep the goal the goal

I heard a quote recently that really spoke to me, that “the goal is to keep the goal, the goal”.  We are in the midst of getting ready for this RV plan, and some days, that goal seems so far away that I almost want to just chuck the whole idea.  But, then I also have experiences that remind me of why I want to go, and my faith in the project is renewed.

I met with a photographer this week, a man that I met at the Library.  He is an accomplished artist, with works currently in the Smithsonian, and he’s an Artist in Residence for the National Parks.  He had an exhibit at the library a few months ago. I don’t usually pay more than a glance at the art exhibits in the library, but when his photos went up, they really caught my eye.  I went over to the exhibit area one day before we were open, and I was shocked at how moved I was by his work.  I generally say that I’m not much of a spiritual person, but I felt the hand of…something bigger than me…showing through his pictures.  I started to get teary-eyed, and then felt really silly about crying in the middle of the library!

The next time I saw him, I took him aside and told him how much his pictures moved me, and what I saw.  He gave me a giant smile and a hug and said: “You get it!”  He was so warm and welcoming, and had such a fantastic outlook on life.  When I found out his connection to the National Parks, I decided to ask him to get together and tell me about his take on work possibilities in the parks.

Nat and I had a great time with him!  He thinks our idea of working for the parks is a good one.  He had some very practical advice for dealing with government work: cast a wide net and apply for all sorts of jobs–we may need to start at a lower paying position or in a less than desirable location, but once we’re in, we would have more choices about where we might like to go next.  (When he first applied to be an artist for the parks, there were 750 people vying for 1 spot at Yellowstone.  He saw that only 50 had applied for Petrified Forest in NM, so that’s where he applied.  He got in there, and now has his choice of where to go.)  He has met many people doing what we want to do, and talked about how much fun they had and how much they enjoyed the experience.  It was reassuring to hear his stories, and his enthusiasm was contagious!

This week, Nat and I started on an organizing project: we faced a huge blank wall in our house, and started writing post-it notes.  We have labeled columns, like work, living in the rv, house loose ends, and we just began writing out our to-do list, one item per post-it note, and putting them in the correct column.  It’s a tactic I heard of that helps with the overwhelming feeling you get from facing a huge task.  Rather than say: “we have a million things to do, what do we do?”, we are getting out all those thoughts and putting them out for the light of day.  Every couple days, we pick something that needs to be done, and work just on that item, and leave the rest for another day.  This week, I finally read the RV maintenance manual and figured out what needs to be done soon.  After I finish that project, I’ll pick another item.  Hopefully, this slowly but surely method will get us to our goal in a less painful way!

And, we’ve scheduled the first of several house coolings we want to host.  A house cooling is where your friends come over and take things you no longer want!  🙂  It’s amazing how much crap we have accumulated in just 6 years of living together, but it’s also amazing how many people want that same stuff when you invite them over and ask them to take it for free!  Right now, we’re getting rid of the “easy” stuff.  I know it’s going to get progressively harder as we dig through more personal items.  And there will be a few items that we will want to store–family heirlooms that we can’t take with us, but also don’t want to throw away.

I think we’re keeping the goal the goal.

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2 thoughts on “The goal is to keep the goal the goal

  1. I’ve just found your blog through Interstellar Orchard and I’m loving it. My husband and I are planning on hitting the road full-time although we are a few years off. Right now we are still in Phase 1…paying off student loan debt. Over the last two years, I’ve been reading as many blogs as I can and I really enjoy learning how people planned and prepared for their full-timing dream. I love this idea of posting your to-do items on a wall..something I will definitely do when we get closer to our dream. And thank you for including that wonderful quote…“the goal is to keep the goal, the goal”. this is something I’m going to hold onto for the next few years as we work toward our dream. Hopefully, we will meet up along the way and if y’all ever pass through St. Louis and need a place to moochdock, let me know!

  2. Hi Sandy! So happy that I can be a resource for you, just as people like Becky were for me!

    As we prepared to full-time, it was definitely a huge help to see everything we needed to do all laid on on post it notes in front of us. It was easy to rearrange our weekly and monthly goals as things changed, and it kept us motivated to see how far we had come. That said though, I recently found the online version of what we wanted to complete before we left in the RV, and many of those items never happened. What I mean is, we have been successful in our lives, even without doing all those things that seemed so important in the planning stage!

    We started our mobile lives before we paid off our student debt, and I can’t say that it was the best decision, but it was great to start living the life we wanted sooner. Still, it sure would have been nice to get on the road without any debt. No one answer is right for everyone in that department.

    Best of luck, and keep on keeping the goal the goal!

    Rayn

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