Tomorrow marks the one year birthday of the blog. Which means today is the one year anniversary of Donald's retirement from the Navy, an event that still deeply saddens me. I'm not sure if that's pathetic or not. You decide.
I look back over the year and I think, "Whoa - what a ride!" We galloped, walked and trotted. We went around in circles and occasionally went off the beaten path. We got bucked off a few times. We got back on. The view was incredible, except for that dodgy campground in Louisiana and parts of west Texas. The end of the ride did not bring us back to where we got on, as we had originally supposed. Instead, we've made an extended stop somewhere we never even dreamed.
Here are a few things I've learned in the last 365 days:
1. The journey will always take longer than you expect. Make frequent and unscheduled stops and prepare to be surprised. Don't bother with an itinerary.
2. Don't have regrets. If you, or a family member, wants to see/do something, make it happen. We went to the Florida Keys solely because Donald wanted to. I was the one who fell in love with salt, ocean breezes and fiery sunsets. Yes, also sunbathing in February.
3. When you go to Harry Potter World, pretend to be a kid. I guarantee you will have as much fun as your children.
4. If you live in an RV with boys, dogs and a husband with PTSD, there is no such thing as too much time out of doors.
5. There is a reason for a savings account. Even if it is nearly gone by the time your husband gets a job, be grateful if was there to serve its purpose. Then start refilling it immediately.
6. If you get the chance to travel for an extended length of time with your kids, do not, for one minute, think it is a crazy idea. Just Go! Besides, you'll quickly find out you aren't the only family doing it.
7. To avoid the anguish of hoping and losing, make certain you aren't waiting on a government agency when you decide to buy a house.
8. No matter how good you are at planning, no matter how much you love planning, it is always better to wait and see what God's plan is first. Trust me on this.
9. When raw sewage comes gushing out of a tank and drenches your spouse, it is way worse than you could ever imagine. Again, trust me.
We set out on the road as a means of healing our broken family. Are we healed? Maybe so and maybe no. A better question is, "was it worth it?"
Some people thought we were a little crazy but many folks were envious. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said, "If you want to improve be content to be thought foolish and stupid."
10. It doesn't always have to be conventional, rational or fit into a tidy box. You have to determine what is best for your family. Others may argue or call you foolish. Sometimes that may be how you know you are doing the right thing.