Friday I met Kat, and I was fascinated. Kat is riding her bike across the United States. She is also pulling her two dogs along behind her in their own carrier. She is not biking distance, instead she is biking campground to campground. Some days she bikes 17 miles and other days 30. And she is pulling around 100 pounds of weight. Wow!
I was so interested in what she was doing that I called her and made arrangements to visit with her at her campsite on Friday night, in east county San Diego. I know that most of you have had the experience of meeting someone for an instance in time that impresses you and maybe by the chance meeting, your life may change.
After meeting Dory and Bodi (the dogs), Kat and I sat and over ceviche, wine and birthday cake, we talked. We talked about our personal histories, we talked about her trip and many of the logistics, we talked about Jim, we talked about Buddhism, we talked about our shared love of nature and the National Parks and we talked about things that matter to each of us.
I left that night inspired. Kat had a brain tumor 12 years ago. She has some residual damage but none that I could detect until she told me her story. Despite the challenge Kat sold her home and loaded up her gear and started biking from Santa Barbara. Sunday she began heading east. Her and the girls. What inspired me was her willingness to sell or give everything away, put her house on the market and go into the unknown with trepidation and vigor.
This inspired me because I feel like this is where I am in my life right now. I am walking into the unknown. I have done this before, that was by my choice. This time it was not a conscious choice, it was handed to me, like it or not. Since Jim died I have been trying to figure out “what next?” Honestly, I don’t know. When I think outside the box, the possibilities become open ended. I could ride my bike across the United States too.
Meeting Kat has inspired me to move ahead. Maybe it is time to start going room to room in my house and figure out what to keep and what to sell or give away. What is it that I need to make my life complete at the moment? This morning, Sunday, I was asking someone I work with how to get past feeling overwhelmed when you stare at your belongings and figure out how to dismantle a home. She said, first of all you have to know where you are moving to. For many knowing where you are going is utterly important. For me it may not be so important. I have a small RV and maybe I will just put things I want to keep in storage and say farewell to the rest.
Miss Elsie (the cat) is getting more and more used to the RV and it might be time to include her in the fun. I have had a realization with this as well. I have been hesitant with the idea of taking Elsie with me in the RV. When I ask myself what does she do during the hours I am gone from my home, the answer is sleep and eat. So what is so different about being in the RV. This is when I realized that this is not her issue, it is mine. One more challenge to push myself through. Sigh. Life can be hard work.
Lastly I wanted to share with you a story about my neighbors. Kelly and Jeff are fairly new to the neighborhood. 8 months ago they had twin boys, Aiden and Nathan. I have been fortunate to follow this young family’s growth. Friday afternoon Kelly called and asked if I could come over for a few minutes. When I went into their house here was everyone in the dining room and a birthday cake, complete with candles for me. Man did I feel special. I have never had anyone, who is on the periphery of my life do something like this. I was touched and moved. It meant so much right down into the little sections of my heart. It reminds me to go out there and do for others. Even the most little tiny gesture may mean so much.
Well I am feeling more and more ready for the adventure. Moving forward one step at a time.
Fabulous! Both of you! The freedom of riding off….
You inspire me. I am also contemplating “what’s next”. My current life just doesn’t fit anymore. I followed your travels in the roadtrek, and it has become one of my options. Sell, donate, give away all of my stuff and hit the road. I’m going to take a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey in November. Maybe that will give me the courage. Thanks for sharing your adventures.
Wow, Claire, That sounds like a cool trip. Where do you live in Colorado? Where are you going in NJ? I used to live in both places. How long do you think your trip will be? Can I come? lol.
You inspire me. I think there is a mutual admiration club forming here.
I was lying in my bed this morning thinking of what I would want to keep. Of course all the biggest furniture in the house came to mind. Then I began to ask myself, why? I know they are memories of my life with Jim and some of it is beautiful but, come on, it is just stuff, no matter how pretty. What I am thinking this morning is that I will open my house to my friends and ask them what they want. There is some excitement about starting over. It is all in the mind set.
So Claire whatever you decide…well…you just go girl. Our life is too short to get caught up in safety.
Keep me posted.
Janet, maybe writing about your life would help someone else with their journey and possible help you(?). You are more inspiring than you know…keep writing you journal. Love to hear what is going on with you, Hugs from Ruby in Indiana
PS: that was “love Hearing What is going on with you”