Tuesday, October 25, 2016
This past week I did something I had always wanted to do, but felt so guilty about wanting to do it. I rented a 30ft RV and drove it down the California coast with my dad and two kids. It was a guilty pleasure and I enjoyed it very much.
My secret wish was that my husband might join us if we had an RV with a bed, stove, and bathroom included. He has some PSTD surrounding camping due to his time in the army. It is not the relaxing joyous experience it is for myself and the kids. For him it is a stark and intense reminder of a time in his life that he would rather forget. Or it is a very believable and untouchable excuse for him to get out of camping with his family.
Whatever the reason I have come to the conclusion it is not an activity I can force upon him. He will have to decide it is worth the mental effort to overcome his past and make new and happy memories with us surrounding camping. I want him to do it now. I want him to come with us to the mountains and the coast and enjoy being away from home. But considering the stress of his job and how happy he is to be home feeling safe and secure I don't see it happening anytime soon. In the meantime I have figured out how to do camping on my own with my kiddos. It isn't the same without him, but it isn't so bad.
As I drove that bad boy out of the parking lot and started down the highway my heart was pounding and I was on the verge of tears. What in the world was I thinking! I am driving a 30ft vehicle in mid-morning traffic in the middle of Silicon Valley! I started singing to myself and worked on breathing. I stayed in one lane and went a reasonable speed. As I pulled onto our street and in front of our house I felt like I was going to be ok. I had taken on something I wanted to do even though it scared the crap out of me and I did it!
I got much better at driving over the next few days. My husband drove down to meet us one morning and we did a beautiful hike all together. He drove home and slept in the security of his own bed. My dad enjoyed the time with the kids and they had a blast exploring the outdoors and enjoying the comforts of driving down the road sitting at a table putting together a puzzle. It was a good week.
I realized after the trip that my dad had to overcome a level of stress regarding RV's and their menace to the general public and earth. He was able to put aside his bias against such vehicles and enjoy being with his daughter and grandchildren despite his negative emotions surrounding RVs'. I realized that my husband had made a great effort to support my wish even though it was not something he wanted or could even imagine enjoying. I had overcome my fear of driving a ridiculous sized vehicle on my own. And my kids had managed to just have fun.
This past week was a reminder of how many blessings I have in my life. Often I forget how lucky I am to have people who support me. I sometimes get caught up in my version of 'how things should be' and forget to appreciate 'how things are' and that often they are much better than I realize. Yesterday was my first day back to 'reality' after a week of vacation. I was very much caught up in 'how things should be' and wanted to forget all about 'how things are'. This morning after some mediation I realized things are just as they should be. I am moving forward, slowly staying in my lane, and working on my breath. I am carving a path of my own and I am so blessed to have the support and love of my family for every step. It isn't always easy, but it sure is fun.
I hope you are having as much fun on your own RV trip!!
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Over the years my relationship to 'change' has evolved. As a young woman I was blessed with two parents and a relatively stable life. As a college student I found a home and stayed in the same school for both undergraduate and graduate work. During my time in graduate school my mother passed away. The ground fell out from beneath me and change became the theme of my life.
Quitting grad school, taking a job, quitting a job, moving to the mountains, traveling overseas, coming home for another job, quitting another job, moving back to the mountains and finally moving to California. One job, another job, a possible career change, deep uncertainty in my direction and feeling adrift in the world. I had become a master of change. I could pick up and set myself down and be comfortable just about anywhere. But comfortable and grounded are two very different things. I was comfortable, but I was not grounded.
One evening reading in a coffee shop in Palo Alto a handsome man sat in the seat next to me. We started to talk and have been talking for the past 14 years. During our courtship there was more change to come as he was shipped overseas in the midst of our love affair. Upon his return we were engaged and after some initial moving and shifting we settled into our current home and have raised our two children here these past 11 years.
During the past decade we have endured the normal and sometimes intense emotional changes that come with getting married, having children, and coming to terms with your child's educational options. There were rough patches, but we managed them without too much 'change' being required. We have had a stable existence. My family would tell you that I am constantly changing things around on them without permission. I guess old habits die hard. I find change necessary. Maybe it is a therapy in itself. A constant reminder that things change, life changes. Sometimes you get to be in control of the change. And sometimes you don't.
We are comfortable here. We are safe and secure. We are grounded in our relationships with one another. But, I do not think we are grounded in this place. I am not grounded in this place. I feel the need to change. I feel the need to shake off the security blanket we have created and stretch ourselves in new and slightly uncomfortable positions. Change is in the air...
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