That’s the screaming question in my head these days as I’m getting me and the RV ready to travel again. That’s what I ask myself when I get that anxious feeling in my stomach as I’m researching routes and places to stay, initially for the stay in SC, and then for the summer in Michigan. I’ve wanted to go there for 2 years now and there used to be butterflies of excitement whenever I was heading out again, what’s the deal this time?
I guess in part my momentum has been stalled. What was supposed to be a 3 month home stop in Austin to celebrate the birth of my granddaughter’s twins has turned into over 3 years now. First because of wanting to watch them grow strong, then that transitioned into having to stay as my mom’s health deteriorated and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Then it felt like my life became a blur of doctor visits and hospital stays and trying to figure out what was best for mom when even she didn’t know what that was. After trying everything we could to keep her first in her own home, and then in assisted living, we finally came to recognize the only realistic alternative was to have her go live with my brother and his wife in SC. More about that in post “I’m Working On It.”
So my first trip from Austin will be to SC to be with my mom and them for a few months until the weather is acceptable in Michigan. And I can’t believe how hard it’s been to do things that I don’t remember giving a second thought to before. I tell myself I know from past experience that everything always works out – I never used to feel the need to plan every single detail or know every single stop along the way. I tell myself this trip is not nearly as big a deal as going all the way to Alaska by myself, so why all this anxiety now?
The only thing I can really come up with by way of explanation is that it’s now been 10 years since I first started fulltime RVing. And I can attest to the fact that as I get older, I am more scared to try new things. I also have concern about the age of the RV and its safety on the road after being parked for so long, although I’ve kept it pretty well maintained and have a long list of things to do in future preparation regarding repairs and maintenance.
I’ve heard that’s normal for us all, so is it that as we age we are just more aware of the potential consequences of our decisions – and we’ve seen too many newscasts about all the bad things that can happen and how much can go wrong?
So while I’m not happy about the fear, it’s something I can’t deny. But Angelique reminded me that it’s really nothing new. She said she remembered me telling her about a dream I had right before I was getting ready to take off the first time in 2001 that I had just discovered the RV had no toilet – talk about making up problems and useless fears!
So maybe I can’t deny being afraid, but on the other hand, I need to remember that I don’t need to let fear paralyze me.
In emails with my friend Glenda about these fears and how lost and alone I can feel, she wrote, “Re-read your own wise wisdom, Dear One! What a great story … you will find your own way again, you were never lost, just a detour to be the daughter your mother needed. Now, you get a reprieve and the angels are still around because you keep company with them.” I had to laugh because she was throwing my own words back to me as she quoted from my Long Story of how I became a fulltime RVer. “We all have this choice: let go of our dreams or let go of the excuse why we can’t have our dreams. With a little faith, creativity, courage and work, it is possible to excuse the excuse instead of the dream.”
And again today I had my own words sent to remind me. A new Facebook friend posted my rationale for my own dreams in regards to hers: “The short answer to what finally pushed me out the door is that I once read of a study done with people near the end of their lives. They said that in review, their regrets were for what they hadn’t done, not for what they did. The response I most often get then is how inspiring that is. So, I figure if I can do what I want to do and at the same time if I can inspire one person to follow their own dreams, the trade of security for freedom was well spent.”
So in the spirit of the sage advice “even if you don’t know the exact right next step, stop doing what isn’t working” I’m ready to let go of the fear or at least to walk around it. Whatever it is, whatever the reason for the fears, whether it would make more sense or be more “prudent” to stay in one place, I’m still going to start taking those baby steps again toward my own dreams.
So this is me putting myself out there – taking myself out of my self-imposed exile – wanting to hear from other people – not only to share road tales and tips, but also other issues we’re dealing with in our lives these days. I designed this blog for that purpose, so here we go!