Implementing big ideas means an upheaval of everything you know. It’s a time of excitement, wonder, and lots of energy, but there is another side too. There’s a lot of uncertainty about how to make it all work, the stress of doing and learning new things, long hours, and fear about what happens if it doesn’t work out.
No doubt, while the higher risk of pursuing your big dreams often pays off (it certainly did for me) it’s hard to stay in that zone of immense change for long. The adrenaline wears off, the stress takes it’s toll, and you get weary.
Going full-time RVing changed life as I knew it. There were multiple stages where bouts of intense planning were followed by frenzied action over a period of time that lasted a good year or so really. The dust would settle from one big lurch forward in progress, and I didn’t have long to rest before I needed to swing back into action to plan for the next stage. I felt like I was always on my toes, responding to the aftermath of one change then pivoting to face the next, drawing on the support of my friends both on and offline to help sort through the moments of wavering conviction and unexpected snarls in my plans.
But then over time it leveled out. The first six months on the road had some ups and downs as I adjusted to RVing, but sometime during my stay at the Badlands last summer I realized I more or less had a hold on things. The long solo drives no longer seemed as daunting, the thought of RV complications as scary, I discovered that having a social life while traveling solo can indeed work and I’d adjusted to the new pace of seasonal travel following the available jobs. Things have settled down and become easier the past several months, going back to Coffeyville this fall I knew what to expect and predicted within about $200 how much money I’d be making. Having this time has been nice, it’s good to relax and enjoy the fruit of your labors when you’ve worked very hard for a long time at something.
It’s easy to just let things coast and get comfortable. That’s what most of the world does actually: settle for acceptable once they have what they can live with. I was that way for quite a while, or pretended that I was anyway, I was never really happy with a ‘normal’ life. You know, pursuing good ideas instead of the ones that really move you: getting a degree (a good idea), landing a good paying job with upward mobility (a good idea), finding Mr. Right, marrying and getting a mortgage on a nice big house (a good idea). Following the beaten road and doing the stuff that everyone does in the name of a ‘good idea’ because it’s been proven to work, it’s safe and dependable.
I’m not here to debate how safe and dependable that kind of life really is, and I know that for some folks that really is what they want out of life so I won’t knock them for it, but if you’re reading this I’m guessing that’s not the kind of life you’re looking for.
When the results from those first big changes come in, getting on the road in a RV, or creating a career out of something you love or deciding to travel around the world, it’s easy to let that be it. To stop striving and settle for what you’ve accomplished. Heck, at this point you’re ahead of the majority right? But I say no. You’ve done something amazing, now keep that ball rolling. There are still other dreams out there waiting to be realized, ways you could tweak what you’re doing now to make it even better.
And so, to keep from settling I’m continuing to push the bar for 2014. I could have just launched right into searching for another park job for this summer, but instead I’m taking the risk of signing on to sing at a renaissance festival even though it’s not as lucrative of a job option (read: not a good idea), because it’s something I know I’d love to try and while it won’t be as good for my bank account it’ll make for better memories, help me grow, and make me feel more like me.
Yep, surprise, this is sort of a New Year’s Resolution style post, but hopefully more interesting and inspiring than the standard “this year I’m going to lose 10 pounds” kind of resolution. I know, it’s already three weeks after New Years, but I usually have a lot going on in late December and early January and don’t have time to sit down and think about my goals right at the turn of the year. But really, where is it written down that making life affirming, meaningful goals can only happen on the first of the year? Forget that. You haven’t missed the train, in fact the train is waiting right now for you decide to make this an awesome year.
I have a few other goals in mind for 2014 (a different Amazon facility in the fall for sure, and maybe I’ll finally make it out West?), but this post is just as much about you all as it is about me. I hope you don’t just let 2014 be a year of coasting and settling for alright, what’s one thing you want to do to improve your life this year?