Funny how a road trip can change your perspective, your attitude, and your mindset.
Lynda and I truly enjoyed our 3 month excursion into Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and back to San Diego. 8000 miles all in all. In that time we became aware of many lifestyle changes that fell into place as we boogied about the US.
The first? We slowed down. A lot. We found that when we don’t have a specific pushing reason to get up at the crack of dawn? We don’t. We snuggle for a couple of hours, and that truly is priceless. I can remember being up at 0430, stumbling for the coffee pot, hitting the shower, and bouncing out the door to fly down the road at 70mph+ so that I could get Lynda to work, then get myself parked in front of my laptop at work for another day at the grind.
I remember standing up one day and looking over the top of my cube and had this pressing thought. “If today were the last one I would ever have, if I knew that time was up at the end of the day, is this where I would want to be”? and the answer to that thought was an overwhelming
The thought that stimulated this was the remnants of an experience from Alaska while working for Chris Pecci a good friend, at Unocal. There was a very well liked Vice President out of Houston who was known for working hard, many hours a week, great person to work for and with, and was held in high regard by all. He had a massive heart attack at his desk. He was dead before he hit the floor. After his services, several executives at Unocal quit. They didn’t want their lives to end at a desk. Funny how the loss of a human life can sometimes save others.
The idea of being a “gopher” in a sea of cubes suddenly became revolting. The funny memory of all these heads popping up when there was a loud noise in the ocean of cubes was chucklacious, but, the humor suddenly escaped me. The pay was EXCELLENT, and the people, overall, were good folks to work with and to work for, but if someone had stepped up to me 10 years ago after a wild road trip across the US with my high school sweetheart and said “You, sir are going to spend the next 10 years of your life in a cube farm”, I would have smacked them in the head and told them they were stoned.
The scary part? They would have been spot on. Lynda and I became wrapped up in the idealistic life that we had been sold on by our environment, and that environment being our parents, Wall Street advertising, blame it on whatever you want, but we had purchased the “American Dream”.. Lock. Stock. and Barrel.
Now, honestly? Working with Lynda in our wood shop at our home on Fairburn Street was beyond fantastic, we enjoyed it. and we were wholly responsible for the dream we created. We built our own furniture, fixed up our home, enjoyed days of putzing in the yard, it was truly, the “American Dream” and we did cherish it. Then a serious kick in the ass came in from left field. Lynda had been diagnosed with stage IIIA breast cancer. and our world melted.
Doctors, Surgeons, questions.. above all, questions… what to do? The standard way or what? and we began our trek through the wonderful world of really scary shit. We rode the roller-coaster from hell. But buried in that roller coaster, we both turned our thoughts to our beginnings, our road trip in 2004 from Alaska to San Diego, via Key West… That was our happiest trip, our best of our best times, and how do we do that again? How do we reduce stress and re-learn how to focus on living and less on chasing the almighty dollar?
Finally, we had our answer.
Just do it. Scrape your cash together, toss out all that you are willing to cast off, point the boat of our lives to uncharted waters, give each other a huge kiss, and set sail. We bought our motor-home, donated our “stuff”, tossed our “stuff”, cried about our “stuff”, laughed about our “stuff”, but downsized our “stuff” to what we had when we met each other again… and in that, learn to live for the moment, to enjoy the now, and let life be, while we create memories that last for our lifetimes.
And so far? Can you remember the last time you got up and actually looked forward to your day? Truly enjoyed a long snuggle with your soul mate? Spent the day enjoying your surroundings? Made wild plans for the week, the month? the year? and knew that you could change them on a dime and it would be OK?
We want to share our journey with our friends of whom we truly miss. That was our other insight… We may not care for San Diego, but we truly miss our friends, all of them. We love sharing our stories, and listening to what their lives have going on in them… In that loss, our hearts can often ache for the warmth of their company… please remember that as we share our current story, you truly are missed.
The story is far from over, and the journey has just begun, and it begins with a fresh perspective, new ideals, goals. Easy? Easier than we expected, but not without concern.. If you follow the theory of the “law of attraction” essentially thoughts are reality generators, and in that, what you dream of, what you think of? You create. So in your day, spend some time thinking of what YOUR life should look like. How you would like it to be. Then make it so. It is NOT impossible, may not be EASY, but not impossible. Dream it. Do it.
Our dream? Travel the US, ski the mountains, scuba the oceans, but to SEE America on the road for the next decade or so. Meet new friends, and share our lives with everyone who is interested in our tale. As this goes along, you will find that we are fluid, things change, goals shift, and the wind blows.. but our course is set, our smiles are wide, and our love is deep. Please enjoy our crazy path, comment, laugh, share.. and please share yours… our friends life stories are wonderful to us as we hope ours is to you.
So, if nothing else, the take away from this current rant? For all our friends, and anyone who stumbles across this blog…
Life can be a short run thing. I have heard that since I was a teenager from my brother and it stuck with me. I have been fortunate enough to have made it this far with only a few close calls. Many of my friends were not so fortunate. I cannot count how many lives seemed to end before they should have.
So before a “close call” becomes a permanent thing? Get passionate about your life’s dream, whatever it may be, and reach for that dream. Never give up, never surrender that vision, if you have buried it? Dig your dream up from the grave it is buried in, give it life’s breath, bring it back to the world of the living and set it free. See where that vision leads you, perhaps the road less traveled, maybe even the one you are on. But pursue it like a man on fire running for a lake.
“Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.