Without the usual overhead of a traditional S&B house, I was able to fulfill a dream to wear the green apron and work at Starbucks. And I just finished an ebook about it.
We’ve been hanging out at the quiet, remote, lakeside Thousand Trails in Arley, Alabama. FYI – it’s inside the dry county of Winston. Dount Showdown was on Monday evening. We watched it in the campground clubhouse. Earlier in the day we went to a seafood/sushi restaurant attached to a gas station. We watched a couple movies.
It occurred to me that we don’t have to move up the coast when we leave Florida. We can use less expensive campgrounds inland, or use whatever Thousand Trails campgrounds are on the way. I’m not sure why that was any kind of revelation, but it was. Although there are places on the coast we want to visit – Savannah, Charleston, DC. OK, the campgrounds on the way don’t have to be on the beach. Maybe that’s what I realized.
I love getting new ideas. I love when unexpected thoughts are kind of whispered in my head. Most of the time they’re simple, straightforward solutions to the little worries I entertain. I’m a little concerned about money lasting through the summer months. I set a budget of $700 per week for expenses when I started using an app called Pennies. I set a weekly budget and then I enter every amount we spend. This morning the app says we have $11.40 to last the rest of this week. We’re kinda catching up after overspending in New Orleans.
And we’ve had chunks of money go toward items that we hadn’t planned on – the Square IPO and paying off one of my student loans. Both of those are good things, right? The bottom line is the only debt we have right now is the RV loan and our student loans. We’re in a pretty good position, I think. The mix of credit card and mortgage payments, plus maintenance of two vehicles and a boat, were much heavier than our current expenses.
I like that what we own and need to care for is within our reach in the RV or back in a small storage unit.
John is a positive person most of the time. I’m realizing that I am not. I am easily excited by small things, but can’t overlook the negative. I want to change that. I want to see only the best wherever I am. Right now I’m in a campground clubhouse overlooking a lake. Without green leaves to get in the way, I have a nice view. The sun in shining. The kids are playing nicely unsupervised.
But this campground could use some work. The bathrooms are clean and warm, but not that great with little flies buzzing around. The laundry room is dark and cold with only one working washer. I could continue.
So with money on my mind this week, two quiet suggestions popped up, and I heard them! The first was the idea to write an ebook. I’ve begun constructing a website. Well, I paid for webhosting and updated the nameservers on my domain provider. I’m kinda stuck now.
As I was reading someone’s blogging tips, I read her instructions for writing an ebook. At first I thought John should write an ebook, and still do. Then I realized, I could write one, too. I am going to write about starting the donut business and doing Donut Showdown. I’m thinking about including a spiritual aspect to it. I may discuss how faith and intuition assisted me. I put myself in the right position, I set my intentions to create a business, I paid attention to the voice inside, and I figured out how to make it happen.
Similar to the inspired idea that prompted the transition we’re in now. We left the typical family life in Moscow to explore the kind of home and business that’s right for us. Somewhere along the way, I hope I can hear that little voice speak up again when the time is right.
Hello from Starbucks, alone today. And, yes, Starbucks, I will be the next Starbucks for Life Winner. It’s coming. I win big and I win often.
It’s raining. Penn State plays in a half hour in the Gator Bowl, but I won’t make it back to the campground by then. I have to exchange a PS4 controller first. Just started my period on the drive here.
As I was falling asleep last night, I thought of something to write about. Of course I can’t think of it now. We watched the movie Finders Keepers last night. It was interesting. Kinda funny, weird, sad. A pretty awful story about becoming famous for something stupid, it followed the 15 minutes of fame for two guys fighting over an amputated leg. It seems to have served them both in a crazy cosmic way.
We’re hanging out at the campground activity center for wifi and TV now. The activity director is trying to give away candy, playing a candy game. I had to push my kids into playing. Seriously. Oh, John just won something. Max already bought me a Snickers, so I’m set.
Penn State is losing to Georgia.
John won again. Ooh, Payday. Max automatically did the Palouse Prairie silent applause. It cracked me up. Anne got a Snickers. Nice. Now there’s a takeaway round. Max stole a Snickers from a kid with two things. We’ll see how this ends. Ha, his sister took his other piece. She ended up with three things. Jeez, now they’re putting out pink cake. And there’s coffee.
This has been an icky day physically. Cramps, poop, bad mood. Winning combination for life in an RV. And then I remind myself that thousands of people are fighting for their lives today. I shouldn’t complain about some cramps. A lot of people would be thrilled to have a 45-year-old healthy body that is going through a normal period with some discomfort. I’m an ungrateful loser.
I have four healthy happy smart funny adorable kids. I have a healthy smart funny adorable husband. I have a whole body and sound mind. I have a place to sleep, food to eat, water to drink, clothes to wear, places to explore, electronics to screw around on.
I should be thrilled with these gifts from God. I should shut up about every little slight imperfection in my day. We don’t have to take the shortest, prettiest, most perfect way to our next destination. I don’t have to have the sauce ready and waiting for the pasta every time.
I wish that were true. I wish I could smile with each step. Without thinking about it. I wish I could smile and shrug my shoulders with each kids’ spill, stumble, slurp. I wish I could move on gracefully after each little mistake I make. I wish I could carry myself like the Pope, sending loving thoughts to each person I pass.
I’m not the Pope.
We left Albuquerque about an hour ago. We decided to stop for the night on the way back from Denver. Great hotel room last night. We won’t have big clean beds and bathrooms like that for a while.
I’m struggling with how people behave. Watching my kids and Kari’s kids, it was obvious that their environments played a major role in developing their personalities. I could see Kari’s reactions to their actions, and how those played off each other. The little id monsters do what they can to get what they want. Everyone does that, right?
Everyone works everyday to get what he/she wants, while navigating social norms and the desires of others. Sometimes a person’s ability to detect and decipher those norms and desires can be crippled, undeveloped, ineffective. I saw that close up last week.
There’s a spectrum of positions on the scale of balancing one’s own desires against the desires of others, society. From 1 to 100, id to martyr.
And how well do you navigate society and others? Are you happy and easy going the whole time? Do you act happy the whole time, then blow up in private? Or just self-medicate to deal with it? Are you angry that you have to work around others to get what you want? Are others constantly in your way?
Are people who are flexible happier or more successful? Or is it better to be rigid, not letting anyone distract or obstruct you?
After last week, I have no idea where I am on that spectrum. I have no idea where I should be. In order for my family to be happy, how flexible do I need to be? Can we all be happy and get what we each want?
I thought I was being flexible, helping everyone get what he/she wanted while keeping others in mind. I ended up in arguments with my sister and my husband. I didn’t say much during either. I was a bit in shock both times because I thought I had been careful to be easy going, flexible, and accommodating.
After that, I felt completely ungrounded. I didn’t trust myself at all to do or say anything non-offensive. I kept thinking, “I have no idea.” I just acquiesced to everyone else. I felt like I had no compass. I couldn’t tell what anyone wanted, I couldn’t act off anyone else’s ques. I must have misread everyone. I felt like I had made a mistake in taking what everyone said at face value. All I could do was say, “whatever.” “I don’t care. I don’t know.”
Now what do I do?
We’re on our way back to the RV in Las Cruces. We’re heading to San Antonio and Austin next. It’s a long drive across western Texas, and we’re not sure where we’ll spend the night tonight. There’s snow all over New Mexico. Temperatures are too low to go to Carlsbad, so we’re skipping it. We finally joined Thousand Trails, but there are no campgrounds along the way.
I’m in the middle of nowhere in the high desert on a lonely highway to Desert Hot Springs. Today’s drive is taking longer than expected. It’s very warm at our next stop with pools waiting for these kids. Another RV park not knowing what to expect.
Last night’s stop was interesting. It’s small, in a dusty location outside of town. There were a lot of long-term residents, but the place was clean with concrete patio areas. We were in a lot behind the main park because we wanted a pull thru. There were two other overnight RVers. We had a desert view. The bathrooms were clean, better than average. The manager lady sounded nice, though I didn’t talk to her, just heard her talking to John outside the RV.
A friend told me her husband got laid off today. That sucks. And this is not the first time. They went through their savings last time, and when they finally sold their house, they walked away with nothing. I try to get her to think positively about money, but she just keeps talking about being broke. Well, here you go.
We were able to walk away with money from the sale of our house. John got paid accrued vacation time. We paid off credit cards and put $10k down on the RV after selling the donut shop. So if we end up without much at the end of this trip, we’ll be no worse off than some other people. But we will have the experience.
I know we will end up with the perfect campground in the perfect location.