Retirement Anniversary –

living life on MY terms

It’s pouring rain as I write this, snug and comfortable in my little trailer. This past week 2 milestones went by without me noticing; April 2, 2019 marks one year since I stopped working for a living and started living on my own terms. Yesterday, April 7, 2019 measures 10 months of my nomadic adventure traveling the U.S. As I think about these two events my overall feelings are a mixture of pride, gratitude, and growing confidence in the rightness of my initial decisions. As my cousin Jacque pointed out, I was stubborn enough in beginning to make this lifestyle work but having lived it for 10 months now, it still feels the right decision for me.

I don’t really think of myself as “retired”, I still work; there’s housework, trailer maintenance, research for campsites and travel routes, things to see and do in various locales, getting enough exercise in, cooking, playing with cat, pursuing my artwork, putting myself out there to meet new people, etc. I may engage in “workcamping” at some point, it’s looking more agreeable as time goes on and I meet more people who are doing or have done it in past. I guess I think of it more as finally having gotten to a point in life where I can live on MY terms and not have to answer to some outside authority. Although I still struggle with guilt when I have a really lazy day or two.

I’ve used most of this blog to highlight the fun things I’ve been able to experience while on the road. The negative issues have been so minor I’ve basically categorized them as learning curve items, or funny stories, i.e. almost running out of diesel in the middle of Nicolet forest Wisconsin. Even finances have worked out a little better than I had initially figured. It’s looking like I won’t have to touch my savings for another month making it almost a year of living on past income, unemployment, and tax refund. Health-wise I’ve seen a Doctor, had all my lab work updated and prescription renewed (and I’m basically as healthy as I was when I hit the road), seen an Optometrist and ordered new glasses and have even found a possible health insurance policy through Family Motor Coach Association that’s reasonably priced (comparatively speaking). I’ve taken care of my cat’s health as well, she has all her shots and has been spayed. No Vets for at least another year. Life is really good!

I’ve explored 9 different states so far. I’ve used rainy days like this one to plot out my next travels and I’m booked into sites in 6 more states. Thanks to a friend who has a son recently moved into Colorado I have a lot of sites to research and book before I get there in early June. I’ve had visitors stay with me (my son, grandson 2x, Best Chicago girlfriends), and there’s a possibility of more visits in future. I’ve been able to spend time with other friends and family scattered across the country – planning to meet up with another cousin in Arkansas this Spring – and met a lot of interesting people including one who invited me to participate in a Lakota prayer bead ceremony. Interestingly I’ve met a lot of fellow RVers from the Midwest and gotten lots of help and advice both offered freely and when I’ve asked for it (which is hard for me to do).

I watched an episode of Sixty Minutes last night which focused on the changing state of our nation and it got me to thinking. The goals and accomplishments an individual values changes over their lifetime, what’s important to someone in their 20s and 30s is very different from what’s important to them in their 40s and 50s or even 60s. Therefore as a country ages its goals for its citizens probably need to change and adjust as well. Hopefully these changes – both for an individual as well as for our country – can be accomplished through positive avenues – but personal growth is often painful so not sure some pain can be avoided.

Okay just want to add – if you have suggestions for any stops along my route ( you can see the route posted on home page of this blog) – especially in Kansas where I’ve yet to plot anything terribly interesting – PLEASE comment on blog and I’ll try to check ’em out and write about it. Thanks for reading!

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