…it is too!
If relationships are important to you, then you realize the importance of keeping them healthy. Otherwise, what’s the point? You’re not much different than a hermit or you’re so narcissistic that you expect everyone else to keep them healthy. Not your job, right?
PHASE 1 – LOVE
Take marriage, for example. For some reason, falling in love is like…”a rush”. Finding someone who thinks you’re awesome is a boost to your ego and makes you feel like you are indeed lovable. You’re not a weirdo who has no redeeming qualities. Someone loves you. That boosts your self-worth. Hopefully everyone else in the relationship agrees.
PHASE 2 – MARRIAGE
Now you’re married to that person who thinks you’re Prince or Princess Charming. You’re together a lot more and there’s some positioning and learning that happens. You both might have had little, insignificant things about you that you never shared or divulged. It’s all good, right?
Being together all the time or at least around your work day causes those little insignificant things to come into the light. You’re in love though, so you smile and shrug and love goes on.
People enter into relationships with partners without really being sure who they are themselves. We figure we know enough, since there’s some history there, right? We like to sleep. We enjoy eating three times a day. Our bodies, when we’re kind of young, are excellent and so we don’t need to be concerned about that lasting forever. Well, that’s how we think. Young people feel immortal and like time is of no consequence. It stretches so far out in front of us that we can’t see the end of it and that’s good enough. I, personally, am not saying it’s good enough. I’m saying it because we have this subconscious opinion that it is.
PHASE 1 1/2 – WAIT – WHO AM I?
Knowing yourself is a sliding scale of course. It’s different for each of us. There are factors like how long we wait to enter into a relationship, how much time have we spent just with ourselves, how you were raised, etc. I’ve watched lots of videos about people who are mountain climbers, cyclists, marathon runners, world travelers, book lovers, on-line gamers, and all sorts of things where the person is passionate about whatever it is, and they are comfortable with feeling that way. They expect it to last a very long time. Yes, even the on-line gaming. Hey, if you love doing something and you know you do, you want to keep going. Well, you get the point, don’t you. Knowing yourself is like being in a relationship with yourself and that’s kind of what I’m getting at. You must be in a good relationship with yourself first, before anyone else.
PHASE 3 – KIDS
After you’re married for a while, life sets in. That honeymoon phase dissipates and there are probably more bills to pay than when you were single. The number of bills usually increase from there.
Children come on the scene and a new sort of honeymoon phase begins, except its being crazy in love with these amazing little beings that are the result of the love between you and your partner. Those little beings start school and get into soccer, ballet, scouts, gymnastics, and probably more and probably different things all the time. Puberty arrives for them and they get a little crotchety and their expectations are higher for themselves and their freedom than you’re able to go along with, in all good conscience most likely. Small things get blown out of proportion and seem bigger than they probably are.
PHASE 4 – AND SO IT GOES…LIFE
We heard our parents talk about it, but we always believe it’ll be better for us. Marriage will be forever. Children will be amazing beings forever and they’ll be happy acquiescing to our expectations for them their entire lives.
NOW! RV LIFE
PHASE 1 – FULL TIME RV LIFE – A RELATIONSHIP, TOO
Really, it is. Stay with me for a few minutes and then see if you agree or disagree.
Whether you’re an expert on YOU or just a novice, you think you know what you want and what you are. Perhaps you see a movie or a video about people who live in RVs. It looks exciting and fun and smart. It’s minimalist living and so you’re not as tied to things and the purchasing and maintaining of it all. Not having all that stuff to take care of frees up a lot of time. Going over every rise or around every corner will take your breath away. What’s better than that?
PHASE 2 – THE DECISION AND THE SEARCH
After maybe a day, a week, a month, or years you decide to make the leap. You’ve done some homework and researched it all. Time to just do it.
Finding, falling in love with, and purchasing that RV is like falling in love with a person and getting married. It’s a two way falling in love. You love that RV and it loves you and is going to change your life. It’ll last forever, too, right?
The beginning of RV life happens somewhere just after you’ve finally sold, donated, or discarded all your possessions. Well, perhaps not all were reallocated. You probably read that it’s a good idea to put some stuff in a storage shed or bin or cubicle somewhere for a year. That gives you time to find out if you did the right thing and it’s worth continuing. If it isn’t, you have your stuff back there somewhere and you have a plan B. If it is the life for you, then you can empty the shed and move on.
All sorts of people embark on full time RV life, whether you’re independently wealthy, retired, a digital nomad, or just plain nomad. Single people, married people, grey haired folks, and young folks might hit the road in some sort of RV.
PHASE 2 – RV LIKE COURTSHIP
The big day has arrived. You post on all your social media accounts that the day is here and you’re heading out. Day One. It’s an amazing day and sort of like a wedding. It probably cost a bit to reach this big day. Maybe a lot of people told you they were jealous and wish they could do it. They’re so excited and happy for you. Some say they could never do that. They couldn’t leave behind family and friends and jobs. A few will question your sanity. You are not deterred. You’ve never been more certain about anything. CHARGE!
PHASE 3 – LIKE A HONEYMOON
You’re behind the wheel of something, be it the RV itself or the thing that pulls it. At last it’s the honeymoon phase. Wonderful things are sure to happen, and everything will be perfect and all expectations will be met and even exceeded.
PHASE 4 – MARRIAGE
Somewhere ahead of you, along the road or on a campsite somewhere in the country, real life happens. Perhaps you have a partner with you. Maybe you have a whole family. Some shuffling about has occurred as everyone found the amount of space they could handle and needed. Clothes have to be thinned out to make room for everyone else’s clothes, too. If you have a pet, they need some space. Nerves calm a bit when they realize that they will indeed still get to eat meals every day. Chores are distributed. Joy is confirmed when fun is had here and there. No one has jumped out of the boat, desperate to return to their stuff.
PHASE 5 – LIFE!
Dishes still must be done. There is no dishwasher probably. Groceries are purchased just like old times. Beds are made. Floors are swept or vacuumed. Showers are taken. Life is happening, mixed in with a walk along the rim of the Grand Canyon, rides in an amusement park, s’mores and hot dogs made over a campfire. You’re making your way. Maybe there are still tears and disappointment or arguments about invaded space, but it’s all worked out and smoothed over.
There are days when you wonder at yourself. What were you thinking when you decided to do this? It’s more expensive than you thought it would be. Your house or apartment didn’t get flat tires or have things fall out of the engine compartment. You didn’t have to lubricate the slide-out on your house. Most assuredly you didn’t have to empty black and grey tanks every few days.
PHASE 6 – HANG IN THERE!
However, you round another corner, and your breath is taken away. You encounter other people like yourself and, after a great evening around a campfire talking and laughing with them, you remember just why you did all this. You figure out that if you buy something for the RV, something has to go. You make concessions and the RV loves you for it.
PHASE 6 – THE PAY-OFF
One day you fly out to visit family for the holidays. You sleep in the guest room and eat, graciously, whatever they cook for you. The bed isn’t what you need, or the room is too hot or cold. The whole thing is mixed in with good stuff. Maybe you begin to wonder if, after being in a house or apartment again without grey and black tanks and without the sound of rain on a thin roof, will you be able to go back to RV life. Again, you wonder. Hm. What have I done?
Time to go back to the campground where your RV has been waiting for your return. You step inside the door and realize that you are home. This small space with its give and take has come to feel like home.
Congratulations. You made it.