I walked into my local storage center yesterday to take my campervan out for the spring and begin our new adventure! My wife Lisa and I are closing on the sale of our log home and have sold the new owners much of our furnishings; what few pieces remain are going into a storage center in another state. The experience is both exciting and also filled with anxiety on my part and probably pure bliss for my wife.
The manager at the facility said how he wished he could jump in his camper and do the same but has too many fears as well as responsibilities. I think we share the anxiety part because I am leaving home for a second time. I left my current community almost 40 years ago for a career in teaching only to return home twelve years ago to build my dream log cabin as well as be near my parents. Now I find myself about to step foot in the van and drive off without a new home to move into; I should mention for complete honesty that my son has given us an open invitation to live with him in the interim while my wife and I figure out the next chapter. Will we buy, rent or travel?
I know in the conversations I have had with friends as well as with those we meet on the road that I am not alone with both fear and excitement about the life changes we have chosen. But for me that’s the point, rather than let circumstances decide for me I am taking this opportunity to calm my nerves, let go of the past and look forward to the unknown.
Remember when you graduated from college? You had a diploma, but you were unsure how to use it or whether it would pay off. Well, my diploma, in addition to a piece of paper, is all my experience, life-skills and countless advice from others. I am ready for a change, although I’m unsure of the direction I know I am as equipped as I am going to be. Whenever I find myself unsure of what highway to take I know I have the life skills as well as partner to show me the way and so do you. Whether it’s a partner, friend, experience, life skills or just plain will to try, you can start a new chapter as well; isn’t it exciting sometimes not to know how the story ends?
I tend to be a big planner and love my surroundings which I spend most of my time maintaining both with my wife and Duck Toller, Daisy. Lucky for me I am listening to my gut and my gut tells me it’s time for a change. Our covid vaccinations allow us to get in our van, travel months at a time as in the past, do book signings and make presentations anywhere the road leads us and the spirits allow. I must confess however that it is difficult to turn the proverbial page because of a few friends I leave behind, the log home we built in the woods on a lake and the parents buried nearby. But Covid has taught me that time is not a guarantee but rather an opportunity available to me, as well the storage facility owner if only we are willing to turn the page and grab the wheel.
Victor Westgate, a high school educator of 34 years, along with his wife Dr. Lisa Cowley, a holistic chiropractor and nutritional counselor of 25 years, are authors of Pack Lightly: Making Sense of the Second Half of Your Life. You can learn more at: www.joyinaging.com