Well, it seems this is becoming real, this year of freedom, this “Year of Jubilee.” When Jason learned his department at work had been eliminated way back when in January, after the shock wore off, we prayed and talked quite a bit about what God was showing us, what this “open door” meant. The four of us sat around our kitchen table and grieved and dreamed all at once, what was “supposed to be” and all the possibilities or options ahead of us.
Some scoffed, “We would ALL like to travel, but we need to work and pay the bills…”
Some wondered, “What about school for your kids?”
Some questioned, “Where will you live once you sell your house? Will you have a home base?”
Some thought we were crazy, “I hate traveling! I can’t imagine NOT having my bed to come home to every night!”
All of these are valid sentiments. Jason will be working as we travel. The income from his job will pay the bills. Our bills just won’t include a mortgage for a while, that’s all. We’ve been homeschooling this year so will continue with this no matter where we are. Because his job is one he does from home, “home” will be where we are. Man, I love my bed. A lot. And that one, along with our creature comforts of home like a kitchen, will be the tough one. But this is really happening. We are selling about half our stuff and then storing some things for our return, whenever that is.
Sure, traveling is fun! I love it with a passion…always have. But part of traveling that makes traveling doable is the return home. Like when you ski all day and take the boots off, returning home after a trip, even if the trip was epic, is nostalgic and comfortable and familiar. I LOVE cleaning my house before a trip so that when we return it says, “Welcome Home!”
I’m a girl who does well with routine and structure. So, with this year ahead of unknown and adventure, I’m praying about what my personal “routine and structure” will look like. You see, in life there will always be things, distractions, stuff that comes up, and even if it’s all good, it can throw us for a loop and get us off our wagons. Some wagons we should have bailed years ago. Others are getting us where we need to go. So, with this in mind, Jesus, food, rest, and exercise are my wagon, the “routine and structure” I’ll take with me, no matter where I go. Thing is, the food will change from place to place and for a girl with Crohn’s and major food sensitivities, I’ll need to seek out healthy choices and not let myself think, “Oh, I’m on vacation, so it’s all good…” I won’t be on vacation. I’ll just be living away from home for a year-ish. There is a difference. And the rest, well, if you’ve ever slept in a bed other than your own, or wrestle with a first night’s sleep away, this will be something I have to be intentional about, getting to bed early in our shared hotel room, or maybe even sneaking naps with the kids. As far as exercise goes, we practiced this lifestyle last month when we traveled to California and Arizona for 3 weeks for work and my Mom’s celebration of life. The first week at the hotel was awesome for working out because there was a gym and Em and Ry could swim while I lifted. The second week we were at a friend’s house and I got in one hour of yoga. The third week I drank wine every night…so, you can see where I’ll need to get my exercise routine into a routine.
The thing that remained steady throughout our travels was Jesus. I figured He would, but I don’t want to take that for granted, either.
Something I learned from those 3 weeks is that even though we traveled with Jason, he was working and busy. He did take some time off here and there, but he will need to schedule in family time, and we’ll need to find babysitters once a week wherever we are so we can go on a date. Jason also realizes that I need some alone time throughout the week and when he works straight through, I get a little cranky…I’ll need to work on my crankiness and he’ll need to work with me for an hour here and there.
I realize these are first world problems. I’m not complaining. The routine part was what I wanted to share mostly, because even if you don’t travel, things will always come up, there will always be SOMETHING to justify either slacking in your healthy routine or lifestyle choices, and I just wanted to encourage you that as you “love your neighbor as your love yourself” to remember that loving yourself means building healthy habits. I know I’ll need all the encouragement I can get!