This morning I was out walking and ran into a neighbor (that I did not know was my neighbor) & she said, “Don’t I know you?” I have had this happen to me on more than one occasion & I just smile. I am a bit of an introvert, so going door to door to meet my neighbors is on very limited & brief occasions.
We began walking together & talking to get reacquainted. She began to open up about her journey of depression, anxiety, bipolar, mood disorders that she has had to learn to deal with over the years because every single one of her four children has varying mood/emotional disorders. I told her she needed a hug for just going through that journey. I can’t even imagine.
Our conversation reminded me of the different journeys we are all on. We each have varying degrees of difficulty, but we find a way. We find a way to float down the river of life in the currents we are meant to learn from. Some of us have years of rapids in dealing with struggling children. Some of us have a slow moving flow when we can find gratitude for where we are. Some of us get stuck in a whirlpool of addiction & are unsure how to get out. Some of us have a combination of calm waters and then a big drop off into a giant rapid of emotions & struggle within different life situations.
I am in a hard current at the moment, but we are doing are best to paddle through. My husband had to take a job in another state & just moved away from us over the weekend. My daughter is in the middle of a school project that she cannot leave the state residence for, fear of being disqualified. In my twenty-three plus years of marriage I have never been away from my husband for over a week. That whole week I could not sleep & it was tough to have him gone.
Because of our housing situation we knew we could not afford two mortgages, so my husband is sacrificing & living in an RV trailer. We know he will be in Nevada for at least 7-8 months running a retail store. My daughter was in tears for days, but we knew we needed to be strong & handle things the best we could.
My daughter & I tried to figure out what we could do to make him feel like he had a little bit of home with him, so we bought two pillow cases that said, “I Love you” & “I Love you more.” We sat down and wrote a love letter on each pillow. We also got him a travel companion stuffed animal hog named “Bula Bula” which means Welcome, Hello, Goodbye, Love in Fijian (my husband loves survivor–it was a tribe name). We had family send little love notes he could open each day & decked out his new home with big towels & comfy blankets. How do you make an RV feel like home? We tried. Smile. Smile.
He left Saturday morning & it was hard to see him drive away. We have called him over 40 times in the last couple of days. What else can you do?
As a family we know it will be hard, but we are trying to look at this as a life adventure. We are going to plan to see new places, challenge ourselves by stepping out of our comfort spaces and reaching for new ways to stay connected.
The night before he left we were packing the trailer, setting things up & my husband kept asking my daughter how to do things (like where to push the button to open the extension on the trailer). I smiled at my husband and said, “What are you going to do not having Kate there?” Later that night (around 11) I found my husband watching videos about “trailer sway” & he was worried. I honestly was worried how he would do.
I was so proud of my husband because he had never driven or operated an RV trailer (let alone a 27 ft one), so when he called me & told me how he had figured out all the water/dumping/electrical, had taken a shower, was watching a movie…I was so proud!! The best part–he was proud. He said, “I am now an RVer!! I can do anything on one of these things.”
Life is a journey. Life truly is what you make it. You can decide to struggle against the current or do your best to smile at the sun and float. It is a choice.
-Have a beautiful day! -H