Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
|Not ready yet, but at least there's soda.|
|Can you tell we are getting ready for a yard sale?|
|My big closet got sacrificed for a pantry. I may not have anything to wear, but at least we will eat!|
|This small bathroom has more counter space than the one in our duplex.|
|Don't wake me until coffee is ready. No excuses, it is built in!|
|Aren't they the ugliest?|
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
What is joy? What is happiness? Are they the same? Not in my book.
What about joy and instant gratification? Are they the same? Certainly not.
Happiness has a tendency to be fleeting. By its own common usage, we assign happiness many times to a single day, such as happy birthday or happy anniversary. It comes and it goes. Many times it is used flippantly, not really addressing true happiness at all. I am happy the mail arrived. But I am sad it is all bills.
Instant gratification is undoubtedly defined by pleasure-seeking behavior. One’s need for instant gratification means that they cannot put off getting rewarded. They are not satisfied unless it happens now. I must have my spectacles within one hour, my pizza delivered within half an hour (without my butt leaving the sofa until it gets here), and anything and everything else via drive-thru, where I don’t even have to get my lazy rump out of the car. And then there is an offer of instant credit everywhere I go.
What happened to the anticipation we giddily danced about when we were children? Waiting forever for Christmas morning to arrive. Waiting literally years to be old enough to date or drive. Working our first job and waiting two weeks for that meager paycheck. It may have been small, but we earned it ourselves. Saving up those tiny paychecks to buy a name-brand pair of jeans or concert tickets, without the help of parents or credit cards.
Or the ultimate postponement for a woman, waiting 9 months for her baby to be born. Those last two weeks can be torture, especially when the baby is late. Though we may complain, God is in control of postponing that little bundle of joy.
Though many things should be postponed to maintain a healthy balance in life, joy should not.
Joy is real and tangible and I can feel it bubble up inside me, spilling over into a smile or even an uncontrollable giggle. Joy is seeing my son getting excited about something he has done or wants to do. Joy is seeing my best characteristics coming out in my offspring. Joy is feeling the unconditional love poured over me by my little Tinker Belle, my assist dog, as she snuggles against my back to help relieve my pain. Yes, there can be joy in a painful situation. Joy and unconditional love go hand in hand. Joy is each step we take toward our mutual goal of traveling for five years. Joy is seeing my husband enjoy his retirement and actually seeing him truly relax for the first time in our 13-year marriage. Joy is knowing we made the right decision for him to retire even though it means less money and more rice and beans come dinner time. Ultimately, joy is knowing I am loved.
True, it seems we must postpone our joy at times. But even if your goals seem far away, always remember that there is immeasurable joy in each step along your journey.
Monday, August 22, 2011
As many have attempted to do lately, my hubby and I are planning a five-year voyage across our great states. Now, this is not a pipe dream or something we just came up with yesterday. This is something we began dreaming about when my kids were still in grade school. It is now becoming more than a dream, now that my hubby has retired and the children are grown.
Sadly, we do not have the funds to just go out and buy the perfect rig and jump right into travel. Last February we bought our coach, a 1996 Firan Raven. This was the last year Firan was in business, but this is not to say our coach is a lemon. Far from it. Back in the day, Firan made luxury coaches, and our 32 foot darling has many fine attributes and quality workmanship which you do not see in a lot of the newer rigs out there. She is a well-made beast.
I’ve never been one to like being tied down for too long. These same four walls of our tiny duplex drive me nuts. We’ve lived here only a year, and I am definitely ready for a change. This is my pattern, though. Once I was on my own, I never lived in one place for longer than a year without aching desperately to move on. The only home I was content to stay settled in was the home I raised my children in. We lived there for 13 years. Even so, I yearned for the open road, for travel, for adventure, and we often took two-week trips in the travel trailer we had at the time.
I must sit on my heels for now, biding my time until all of our unnecessary possessions are sold and our coach is ready. I must also bide my time and do my best to get healthy. Lyme disease has been my constant companion for many years now, and it is time she leaves. Our goal date is quickly approaching. Spring 2012 we will be on the road one way or another.
At one of our recent yard sales, a customer asked why we were selling everything off, and also why I was no longer working in my chosen field, why I was selling my medical transcription books and such. I explained Lyme disease to her and how it had stolen my strength and many of my memories. She frowned. Then I had to explain how I had gotten Lyme in the first place—from a tick while camping. She frowned even deeper. “So, you are choosing to go live in the woods, the very environment that gave you the disease which is killing you?”
Basically, yes, but I pray not to die from it. You must understand, I have Lyme; it does not have me. I cannot not be myself. I enjoy the outdoors. I thrive with the sun and the wind in my face, with the smell of pine trees and the early morning chirping of birds you can only find in the mountains. I cannot deny who I am just because I am ill. I just gotta be me. And I just gotta be free.