Set Backs & Life Lessons

As we count down the mere days left until we begin another milestone transition into our desired lifestyle, one we’ve been planning for over two years, we are experiencing mixed emotions and anxiety instead of sheer excitement. In just a few weeks, Justin will be leaving his college teaching job of eight years and in a few more weeks we would be leaving for our trip West. We should be planning to celebrate. We should be mapping routes and packing backpacks. But as life would have it, as it often does, something else is brewing in our pot. I say we “would be” leaving for our trip because last week we got some news that threw a big-ass-wrench in those plans.

Rewind our story back to August 2015 when we bought our rig and took it to a Ford truck dealer to have the mechanics inspected to get a list of repairs that to be done before she was road ready; then fast forward to last spring when we took it to another Ford dealer to have those and a few additional repairs completed. Then to the three of four times we’ve had to take it back in to have little things fixed or readjusted at the fault of the garage. First a missing nut on our shocks, then an exhaust leak that turned into a brand-new manifold that was apparently warped, which then turned into a crack in our cylinder head. That was the news over three weeks ago. Last week, the garage called to tell us after they’d already scheduled us to come in, after taking three weeks to find the replacement part that they couldn’t get the part after all. After thousands of dollars, too many hours to count and a lot of piece of mind wasted on that garage we were left feeling not at all taken care of and a little bit swindled.

In the midst of this, my dad suggested looking into putting a new motor in the camper. It wasn’t a bad idea. It would solve many of the problems and possible problems and the investment was less than double what the original repair was going to be. We jumped at the idea to soon have our rig running like new, at first. Then I began to second guess the entire situation. If only we had the time and freedom to get a second opinion or make a thorough and informed decision, since it seemed the mechanics weren’t doing us any favors. Or even being considerate of our situation. If we had a place for the cats, a place to set up our office, a place to sleep without completely disrupting life during these busy few weeks leading up to the holidays and before our trip. Then we could hop the camper around where ever to get it looked at by other, hopefully more competent mechanics. But, we don’t have that.

We took a few days to let it sink in. We talked about all the options and decided that this is a set back and that letting it idle (pun intended) for a little while would give us a little bit of space to wrap our minds around the bigger picture. Not to mention the fact that we are in a very busy season with our jobs right now that require a lot of our focus + the holidays coming up which we really want to be immersed in with family. Last week, in a moment of weakness through tears I said to my mom “why doesn’t anything come easy for us”. To which I immediately responded to myself. I know that one day we’ll look back and say how glad we are to have learned from these experiences rather than looking back and saying how lucky we were and how easy everything was.

The life lessons we’re learning are many; that set backs are inevitable and don’t have to be detrimental to the plan, they just set you back; We haven’t failed, we’re learning; We aren’t giving up; There is no roadmap or how-to guide for this lifestyle; Our priorities change; We can do whatever we want; Our options are endless even though our pride or our hearts might hurt a little during the decision making process.

So, we’re in the thick of a tough spot. We’re hashing out options and making new plans. We hope to share something fun and exciting one day soon. Maybe from someplace new. Maybe not. Either way…it is what it is and that’s life.