As I see it, our freewheelin’ lifestyle hasn’t been so carefree lately. We had big plans to follow our bliss this winter snowbirding season:
- See family & friends in CA
- Install solar on the new rig
- Boondock at the Slabs, Quartzsite, Tucson and Big Bend
- Meander over to Nashville for the 2015 Blog Paws conference in May where Jim will be speaking again.
- Revisit the Northeast
- Swing by the Upper Midwest to our favorite places
- Land in Colorado for the rest of summer.
But in the last few weeks we’ve been hit hard by the reality that we couldn’t actually pay for all of this on top of normal business and personal expenses, all while staying out of debt. Week by week, we’ve been crossing things off our list and putting them on hold until we can actually afford them without going into debt.
Meanwhile we’re workamping two days a week at a relatively easy job that isn’t awful, but requires us to stay in the type of concrete camping RV parks that we aren’t fond of, in a loud, noisy city. Thank Dog there’s an awesome fitness center to help us stay sane.
My biggest emotional struggle over the last few weeks is: how to Be More Sam.
Sam is our awesome friend who we love dearly for his personality and kind-hearted nature, and especially because he knows how to live life to the fullest, without being bogged down by “What Ifs.” Sam walks the talk of a Zen master, he truly understands that tomorrow isn’t a guarantee, and he lives each day as if there were no tomorrow.
Unlike Sam, I’m a worrier, always have been. And even though everything always works out in the end, I tend to forget that more than I should.
This week my head and heart are trying to grasp the concept of how to Be More Sam and pursue our own version of happiness, while keeping our best interests in mind, like paying for a solar system, versus saving for the inevitable income tax bill in April. Or stashing money aside for our old decrepit years, while freeing some up for roaming.
Staying out of debt is hard work. It takes a lot of cajones to say no to credit cards and pay for things with cash, even while watching our bank balance go into freefall. Deciding between wants and needs is a constant two-way conversation between us that takes patience, time and effort, and it’s exhausting at times.
I know eventually things will work out and we’ll find that happy spot between responsibility and spontaneity. For now, the real work is figuring out how to get there while staying optimistic, kind and being constantly grateful for all that we do have.
First world problems, I know.