In our former world, JJ and I had very regimented, stable, and predictable patterns to our lives. I worked at a public library and he for a university. We knew our work schedules years in advance, and could check on just when we’d, say, be off for the Christmas holidays, even into 2020, if we wanted. For many years, we religiously went to a gym and worked out on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Yes, we had some spontaneity, but only when I planned it. 🙂
I specifically chose a new way of experiencing life because I was interested in forcing myself out of those old patterns that were starting to feel constrictive. I wanted new experiences that would encourage me to think creatively and try new things. I didn’t want to operate on autopilot any longer. And, hooooo-boy, let me tell you, I’ve gotten my wish. Stability and uncertainty are 2 sides of the same coin that I’m currently trying to balance, but I have to admit that it’s sometimes hard for me to enjoy the process.
We are in the final weeks of work at our summer job at the Eastern Sierra resort and we start our next gig for Amazon.com in Fort Worth, TX in about 3 weeks. But, I still have no idea just how we will go about moving from one to the next, and issues like this are the sort that plague me at 3am. Here’s the sorts of details that make the planning process interesting:
-The weather. Right now, our little canyon is starting to see the beginnings of winter. We had snow flurries and clouds for the last week, and temperatures are drastically lower. Meanwhile, in the desert southwest that we need to cross, temperatures remain in the 90s into the foreseeable future. We always try to use free overnight stops whenever possible, but we can’t forego electric hookups (and the accompanying A/C) when it’s so hot. Options do include driving all day and stopping only once the sun is down, or packing the cat in the ice chest, but the variability is really confounding.
-Our start date. We told Amazon.com that we could start on Halloween, but they reserve the right to start us one week in either direction of that date. Furthermore, they only tell us their decision 3 weeks in advance of our start date. So, while it seems that we’re safe from an earlier than expected start date, we might be on the road, making tracks for Texas, and find out that we need to cool our heels somewhere for another week. Fluid dates mean that I don’t want to make reservations at any campgrounds, particularly those that don’t offer refunds!
-My fantastic ability to imagine disasters. JJ recently read a quote, that worrying is just using our imagination to create a future we don’t want. As I construct our plans for not just this trip, but our winter and onward, I have the ability to imagine awesome things. But it’s so easy to instead fret about terrible possibilities and I’m being my own worst problem. All the issues that I thought might happen as we lived a mobile life? Yeah, they did not happen, and it’s horrible to think about how much time and energy I gave to nurturing those fears.
Which brings me to the mantra of the day (and of the week and month, really): As much as I can, I want to embrace the concept of the “Joy of Jello”. Our plans are fluid, our futures are uncertain, but therein lies the excitement of this life. And, I can either struggle to know the future and the precise details of what will happen, or I can just do my best to ride the waves of what comes, and enjoy the process.
As always, it was helpful to take a meandering walk yesterday to let that concept percolate in my brain. I hope the lovely sights I saw might be a point of reflection for you today, too.