Saturday, August 24, 2013

Carving the Sharp Corners Off The Way...

As you move along in this journey you'll find that there are, here and there, some sharp points on the "furniture" of this life. They jab you in the butt when you're not looking close. The painful pokes will catch you as you try to slip by. So on occasion, like the tips of the horns of a bull on the ranch... you need to cut off a few of those sharp corners that poke out at you.

Probably the biggest worry for folks wanting to chuck it all and hit the road, after they've churned through all the concerns of; can they live in a small space, motor house or drag along trailer, bears, two legged vermin and getting stuck on a too narrow road...

... is how could I produce my living?

For those in the early years that have no savings or retirement setup and are simply looking for a better way to live; and for those late in the game like me, that for one reason or another any effort to set anything by met with the unmerciful WHUMP! of hitting the ground hard with ZEE ROH success... it seems like an insurmountable obstacle.

This is the biggie. THIS is the one that shut's 'em down cold because MONEY, the root of all evil, has been so ingrained into their thinking as the Master of their future.

I've ranted and railed for years to not let it be so... but all that ranting and railing hasn't changed reality... not for you... not for me.

Reality #1 - You have to take care of "business". Reality #2 - "Where there's a will, there's a way. It IS an obstacle, but there are no Insurmountable Obstacles.

While I believe it's a mistake to allow MONEY to rule your day and your life, the unavoidable reality in this world is that MONEY is here to stay as a huge part of it. IF you ignore it... that Grizzly isn't going to just eat the pic nic lunch off your table... he's gonna rip your doors off the hinges and eat your liver.

I talked of this on my bike site the other day... in stark terms, a line from the movie Gettysburg came to me as a shining light that illuminated the importance of all this and how it applies. How it is, in a way... a LIFE and DEATH sort of issue.

... because if we DON'T address it... our lives can easily become a grey and dreary walking death.

On the bike site I wrote;

 "General Lee was speaking to General Longstreet before the worst of the battle;

"Soldiering has one great trap; To be a good soldier you must love the army. But to be a good officer you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love.

My comment that grew out of that is; "To wander... you must love the road. To sustain your wandering life, you must often push away from and leave behind the thing you love."

I know lots of people watch me. Many have written telling me that they stepped off with me as their inspiration. That if busted, broke, hard up against penniless Me could do it... they could too.

That's been a frightening thing at times. That if they crash and burn am I responsible?

This past summer has been a good one. We've eased through some wonderful country and made many new road friends. It's been a great gypsy summer. It's also been a gut wrenching eye opener at the same time. We remain, on the road after all the breakdowns and failures of the past three years and more...  yet the writing, for me, is on the wall.

I would be a fool to not see it. The truck and rig are aging rapidly. The repairs are coming with higher tabs and greater frequency... Our ability to absorb them into the "budget" is exhausted while a couple more are swelling up and will require action in the very near future. Income due to many reasons is down significantly... while our greatest ongoing expense, fuel, remains high and seemingly climbing.

a rope, a rubber band... a man's temper... a budget; all can only be stretched so far.  At some point, if you don't deal with what's stretching it... that rubber band is gonna snap!

It would seem to many that there are but two choices; 1. Keep on till the bumper slams into the immovable wall... or ... 2. Leave the road.

I am hoping and planning based on a third option... repeating what I wrote above; "To wander... you must love the road. To sustain your wandering life, you must often push away from and leave behind the thing you love."

"Plans" to me are just rough outs to give me a reference point to measure against and keep me from spinning my wheels in circles.

I read once where a man traveled a road and came to a fork. To the left was a narrow two lane. To the right a four lane highway. He chose the highway. In a time the road narrowed from four lanes to two. Further along it turned into a dirt road, and then was reduced to a two track. Eventually it became a rough and narrow path that fought him every step.

The lesson was; Don't be afraid to turn back to the last fork in the road and try the other way...

The plan that's taking shape in my head is to go back to the fork... and try the "Other" way.

For these years I've pretty much put all my eggs in the single basket. That being my writing.

While that writing has contributed a critical part of the load, it has not grown as I'd hoped. In concentrating on it, to the degree that I did, I abandoned skills and crafts that had carried me before. It is my intention to go back and rekindle those skills and crafts, and shape them into a living part of wherever my future path shall take me.

While I have no intention of Leaving the Road as in waving good bye never to be seen again... I expect my future to be very different than my past. However, "those steps cannot be seen. If they were there to be seen and followed, that is a path someone else made. It is not my own. My steps have not yet been made." (most of a quote from somewhere... picked up along the way)

What I can see is a fuzzy cloud of many miles, homes and friends and an always restless curiosity.

Living and Learning


Anonymous said...

A very eye opening and informative post. I am only at that stage of buying my trailer and hitting the road, but with 3, four legged friends. I can retire anytime with monthly funds that will continue no matter what life brings. Back and forth on the decision to sell it all.

On the online biz side I can relate too. I had a booming online fulltime biz until 2008 killed most of it off....shut it off two years later.

Teri said...

I have found that working for a National Park Concedsionaire is a good deal. I was paid $10 an hour. My site was $25 a week. Free laundry. Large kitchen and game room for employees. And its temporary. Maybe 6 months. On my days off. Usually 2 days in a row- I eould take my rig up to the mountains for a mini vacation from "work". Good way to replenish the funds. I found the job at "".

klbexplores said...

The future remains unwritten, the only path is from where we just traveled. Yet the world leaves a blueprint that rarely fits the hearts desires of those who wonder. Reality is an ugly beast dousing the dreams of the nonconforming. Sometimes the fork in the road is yet ahead, just unseen.

Are we fools for wanting more?

Teri said...

Typing on iPhone makes lots of typos, sorry.

acheapguy said...

Yikes, I love following this ol cowboy, but some times his words are anything but easy to understand.In 15 words or less, I think he said "if I don't get more cash soon, this could end bad." Brian, if extra $ would make your world easier to live in, how about recharging your bank account with workcamping for a few months a year. Could make the difference between a new truck or no truck, or a fat wallet, or a flat wallet. I could see the two of you "ranch sitting" or on a dude ranch, watching out for the city folk :) Wishing for all the best for you !

Brian said...

hmmm... reply in the "comments" or another post? or both? hmmm...

Started to reply here and then realized... yup... it's worthy of another post to try and put clear what I obviously didn't make clear in today's post.

Sometimes, in trying to tickle the imagination, I get a little too ambiguous and vague I guess...

so... I'll give it another try.

acheapguy said...

Ha! It's not you Brian. I had trouble with Ernest Hemingway too !

Unknown said...

Hi Brian, sometimes I agree with acheapguy on the understanding what you're driving at part...but not this time.
I have seen, over the years you've posted many 'revisions' of your struggles on the road stuff, and your world views. I've not worried that you will 'evolve' into a place that even YOU will be pleased with.. :)
Can't wait to see what 3rd option you have been thinkin' on. Life is tricky, but the Cowboy is trickier... LOL :)

Brian said...

bhounds; thanks! Follow your heart and you'll find the way.

Teri; We've looked at that... just wonder if it's a good "Fit"

klbexplores; uh huh, 'zactly! :)

Cheap Guy; No Worries! No offense taken... People tellin' me they don't "Get" what I say is not a bad thing... It keeps me "honest" :)

Cindy; Many Thanks... "Revisions" and "evolution"... The Boss don't tolerate a closed mind very well. That in my view is what it's all keep on trying until you get it right... and then if you do... see if you can do it better...