Can you hear the tune in your head? I sure can! It’s the final count down they sing.
As for me, I am down to days. Not months or even weeks, DAYS! Here I sit, in my house, my life in boxes, my floors bare, the rooms echo. Not much else here, less packing tape and a sharpie. I have one chair left to sell and one TV to put into storage. I am hanging on to these things until the last minute. I am excited to go and cannot wait to get out, but I am hanging on to these last few things like Steve Martin from the JERK. “I don’t need anything! Not you, not anything! Except this ashtray. I need this ashtray. But nothing else! Well, except for this paddle. The ashtray and the paddle, that is all I need!” On it goes as he collects a range of items that he “needs” and drags along with him, out the door and down the street. A chair, a lamp, a stapler. Steve and those things he does not need, but really does. I promise not to take this recliner or TV with me. Hell, at this point, they would not even fit in my storage unit.
My closets are empty, my cupboards bare. I have either sold, given away, or put into storage that which is not going with me. I am living with the items I will be taking on the road. Getting used to what I have chosen, working to memorize which items are in which color stuff sack or tote or bin. Memorize where I have stashed my back-up items, and the back-up to the back-up. Funny how I knew where everything was in my 2200 square foot house and garage, and yet I cannot remember where I packed that spoon or extra deck of cards. Perhaps out of sight really is out of mind. Perhaps, once the dust settles, I will realize that my world is so small the details will easily come. In time. Perhaps.
I have been off work for just over a month and have a daily routine, of sorts. I try to stay on a loose schedule so that I do not go completely stir crazy or get too lazy. However loose, even that is now boring and stagnant and I want to get on with it! The weather continues to warm, and I continue to search for that first place to land, that first camp, the first leg of this journey. I found some good options to explore and check out once I am in the area. But, I did have to stop looking, as it was stressing me out. The constant question of where will I go, what the weather will be, did I need a reservation, what was there to do in the area. I was checking daily where I thought I would go, and then stressing the temperatures as it was staying pretty cold in that neck of the woods. Check the reservation system, check the map, check the weather, do it again, worry about all of it.
It took me hitting a wall of sorts to realize that I needed to change my plan, adjust my approach, and look for an alternative. Of course, it came. The moment I stopped trying so hard, the answer came. Well, several answers came and several options revealed themselves. I should know better by now. I should have remembered that when I stop trying to control everything, plan it all out, I am taken care of. I know this in my head, but I have a hard time remembering it in my heart. I was gently reminded.
I will spend the first night at a friends house, which gives me an easy 3.5 or so hour drive to the area I want to land, which in turn gives me an entire day to scope it out, to change my plan, gather information, evaluate and assess, settle in somewhere. I want to set up camp for at least a week at my first location, possibly longer depending. I hope to stay at places 1-2 weeks, then move on. Well, I really do not have a choice as most campgrounds have a limit to how long you can stay. I get that and understand why such a thing would exist. However, I am suspicious that some places will be more lenient depending on the time of year and how well I get to know the camp host or forest service person on duty. Again, I have to keep my plans loose, my mind open, and my agenda flexible. The plan of not really having a plan. That is the plan. To not always plan. That plan.
Full circle, here I sit still in my recliner, drinking my morning tea, catching up on the news, both from the world and from friends. Thinking about my day, checking my calendar for any commitments, then making my plan. My plan for this day, for the next few hours. A rough outline of what needs to happen to move me forward. More of an outline than a plan.
Welcome to the new normal.