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.