Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Day #365 #VanLife: One Year Later or Life Is What Happens When You're Making Other Plans

It's hard to believe that I've been living in a rolling home for exactly one year as of today.  So much has happened since that fateful day, some of it wonderful, some of it extraordinary, some of it beautiful, some of it challenging, and some of it beyond heartbreaking.  In short, what a ride it's been!

There's an old John Lennon lyric that goes something like this, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

I learned long ago that the sentiment expressed in that simple observation was profound and it certainly has rang true for me this year.  I started out with one set of goals, dreams, and vision and ended up with almost none of those plans working out or even mattering now.  What a difference a year makes.

This leads me to ruminate on something that I've been working on for a while and that is, that I think it's important to manage our expectations.  Expectations left to their own devices and desires can run amok in our lives and steal our joy if we let them.

Now I'm not suggesting that we do away with hopes and dreams but what I am suggesting is that we don't let our natural expectations define our moment.  I don't think we should use them as a litmus test of success but instead, we should use them as a measuring device of where we were, where we hoped to go, and where we are now.  We should always try to look for the joy of the moment, even in despair, frustration, and or perceived defeat.  It's there, if only we'll look.

My journey in #VanLife, when I first started out, was littered with expectations and if I let them, those expectations would convince me I had failed in my journey.  Almost every one of them played out in a different way for me than I had expected.

Some of those ways have been very hard to adjust to and some of them have been very uncomfortable but they have all introduced some much needed introspection and ultimately personal growth for me as a person, a glassblower, a writer, and as a person of faith.  It's important to state that, left to my own devices and desires, I would have not chosen a single one of them for myself and yet, here I am.

For those of you thinking about embarking upon #VanLife I would invite you to hold your expectations lightly.  I would invite you to be gentle with yourselves as you approach a new way of life.  I would invite you to be open to the beauty of the moment instead of getting caught up in perceived projections and or half-assed assumptions.  Try to be supple rather than rigid.  You won't break that way.

Let yourself be; let yourself breathe; let yourself grow.  Give yourself the gift of time and exploration.  Don't rush or try to control the journey but rather simply live it.

For what it's worth, that's my reflection after a year of living on the road in a rolling home.

I will turn half a century old soon.  Statistics would suggest I could easily live to be a century old before I retire this ole body.  Regardless of how long I have left, I plan on living my life radically different than I did for the first fifty years.

I'm going to try to let myself be; let myself breathe; let myself grow.  I'm going to give myself the gift of time and exploration.  I'm going to try not to rush or control the journey but rather simply live it.  I would invite you to do the same.

Be safe and do what you love and love what you do!

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