20130806 – Contemplating Lifestyles
I faithfully follow several bloggers who are full timers. In RV lingo, that means they live in their RVs full time and have no permanent home; i.e., no utility bills, no lot or apartment rent, no property taxes, no flooded basements, no 3000 square feet to keep clean, and no lawn to mow or driveway to shovel. Some work full time on the road, some are full time retirees, and some are work-campers and take seasonal jobs in national or state parks, or in other business establishments. They all seem to love their homes on wheels and their freedom to pack up and go whenever and wherever they want. Obviously I’m not talking about the RVers who rent a site for a whole year or six months at a time. That may be full-timing but it’s not an “on-the-road” lifestyle, which is what I consider true full-timing to be.
Some are family-oriented and travel to visit far flung relatives; others are loners with no close family left. Some like the solitude and travel with a pet or entirely alone. Some enjoy making new friends for just a little while. And some have social networks spread all around the world. All of those in the blog-o-sphere find a way to use the internet to stay connected in a big or small way; and are writers, at least enough to be willing to share their lives and adventures. Hmm, I guess I do that too.
I may not be thinking very creatively here, but it seems like life in the sandwich doesn’t lend itself to the full-timer RV lifestyle, or to any lifestyle other than the one we currently choose to maintain. Ignoring the work issue since D does not work from home, I think what keeps me from considering different lifestyles and different locations is the sense of obligation I feel about being close to D’s Mom and my Dad, just in case they need us, and to our son and his wife, to provide something of a safety net.
Personally, I’ve always enjoyed having a home base, a place the kids and grandkids can return to, and a place where I can feel as if I’m vacationing without having to go somewhere. I like that sense of place. I think my Dad does too, because he’s lived in the same house for over fifty years. Not to say that I’m not a little bit adventurous; I’ve always enjoyed camping under some canvas, cooking with fire, and exploring God’s majestic handiwork. And there’s something to be said for a pleasant summer evening with a campfire at your feet, a million stars overhead, and moon-shadows dancing across a lake.
Still, Mom is well taken care of in her assisted living apartment. Dad is quite healthy and able to maintain his own home and has my three siblings nearby if he needs anything. Our house-sharing son and daughter-in-law do well enough for themselves when we take our brief vacations. It doesn’t seem like those situations should limit our lifestyle choices and certainly not our ability to travel more.
Borrowing a thought from a Facebook “share” this morning, maybe what it comes down to is making lifestyle choices that help your family have the life they deserve but don’t force them to sacrifice for the life you want. Of course for the other members of this sandwich, this lifestyle choice thing is a two-way street; well … maybe more like a multi-lane round-about.
Enjoying roots, but contemplating wings…