Saturday, October 30, 2010

My (Somewhat) Unconventional Life

This blogging enterprise is most interesting!  I’m becoming less shy about sharing my life with strangers.  Does anyone else feel this sort of public disclosure comes easier than with people you know?  I find the cool thing about getting older is looking back and seeing your life as a series of decisions, steps, pieces of a puzzle.   One thing I'm loving about finding this RV/Travel/Blogging community is hearing your unconventional choices. 

Here's some of mine:


Help Me! 

I grew up in the military - nomads surrounded by other nomads.  It was a great childhood.  That must be why, when I can’t travel, I feel like an unwatered plant.  A droopy, withered, gasping plant. 

As a result, I’ve always tried to arrange my life with a built-in roaming option.  It doesn’t always work out that way because I also have the conflicting ambition gene   (which I curse from time to time).  The following is a list of critical steps I’ve taken that got me to today.


Step One.  Choosing nursing as a career.  I know I’m supposed to say that I wanted to be a nurse to ease suffering.  Well, yes, that is rewarding but my primary reason was that nursing is a flexible way to earn a living.  Part-time, full-time, on again, off again.  I’ve been doing it for 25 years and have never ever taken this particular perk for granted.  I’ve had 2 major career tracks changes in nursing and have taken 4 travel jobs - memories of which I wouldn’t trade for anything on earth.  (More on them later).

Step Two.  Saying no to parenthood.  The second adult step in my unconventional life was the early decision not to have children.  That crucial decision has enabled me to live a life with an exponential number of options.  I’ve taken full advantage but ... I remain greedy and (at the time when I might well have been a grandmother) I want to go more, do more, experience more.

Step Three:. Choosing the right partner.  (Actually, this was dumb luck).  My wonderful husband of 27 years has always respected my independence even though, at times I’m sure, it has made his life more difficult. 

Step Four.   Living deliberately.  I’ve always avoided debt and this has earned me a lot of “freedom points”.  In 1995 we left our jobs, sold everything, and moved to our alma mater town that we love.  We have lived small and (mostly) happily ever after.  We own a very modest home that we may stay in for the rest of our lives (more on that later, too).  We live below our means.  And when we do spend, we prefer experiences over things.  Our investment in this lifestyle pays ever greater dividends as we grow older.

Well, those are my pivotal choices.  At the risk of sounding smug, I like them.  (I made some bad ones too but, well .... let's just stop here). 

  
 Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
 I took the one less traveled by,
 And that has made all the difference

- Robert Frost -


3 comments:

  1. Sounds like you've made some great choices. And they are still working for you.

    When I first started my blog, I wasn't going to make it public. I just wanted to document what was going on so I'd have a record later of my preparation to full-time. Then I'd continue it to document my travels. I did tell my daughter about it, though, and once someone else knew, I realized I'd have to monitor myself somewhat anyway, so why not open it to whoever was interested.

    I have only told a few people, and was surprised that they don't usually read it. Virtually all of my readers and comments are from the RVing community, and that has made it easier. Strange, huh?
    Barbara

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  2. I, too, was raised in the military but I never thought about it as "nomads surrounded by other nomads". There are certain mornings where the sun is just right as is the temperature and I want to get going like we did when I was growing up. Back in '93 when I lived in my first and only (so far) RV park in Tucson, I was surrounded by traveling nurses. I envied them their employment flexibility because I'd just finished working 25 years behind a desk (aargh). It wouldn't have worked for me because I never wanted to be a nurse. Although we're all connected through RVing, I like learning about the other connections...for us, being military brats.

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  3. Me & My Dog: I started my blog for the very same reasons!!! Maybe one day I'll let people know about the blog - especially if they won't read it.

    Four Windows: If I were a sociologist, I would conduct a study about people who grew up in the military. I think there would be some common themes. I've observed that they are, generally speaking, an adventurous, curious, and very tolerant bunch.

    I have been in social situations - say a party with a lot of folks I didn't know - and I'll end up meeting someone really cool. More often than not, the person was a military kid.

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