My wife, dog Bailey, and I should be on the road right now on a two month RV trip. Planned almost 10 months ago, July 6th was to be the day we left the summer heat of Phoenix behind and spent two weeks making our way to Portland, Oregon. After a month's stay in one of our favorite cities, another few weeks would be spent coming down the coast before heading back to the desert on Labor Day weekend.
Two weeks ago, Betty and I had a conversation about our plans...and within short order decided to cancel the trip. Both of us were feeling that recent changes in our lives had made the idea of the trip something neither of us was actually looking forward to.
My left leg had been acting up. Pain and cramping were a daily occurrence. The thought of having a leg that didn't function properly on a 2,500 mile driving trip was unsettling. Betty can't drive the RV, so we might find ourselves stuck far from home for an extended period. Not good. The leg has improved over the last few weeks with more exercise and potassium supplements, but the risk was still there.
Readers of Satisfying Retirement know we moved to a new home in mid-May. After 30 years in the same area of Phoenix, we decided it was time for a change. We absolutely love our new home and being just 3 minutes from the grandkids.
We are having a blast exploring the area. With so many parks to visit, restaurants to try, events, concerts, and activities to sample, the thought of leaving for two months just didn't have the same appeal it did before the move. Even the reality of 100+ degree weather for the next three months wasn't enough of an incentive to load up the RV and go.
So, I cancelled all the reservations I had spent months putting together. We made new plans for the stuff we wanted to do to our new home. We poured over maps and directories and listed all the local places we wanted to see and things we wanted to do. We began attending the same church as our daughter and grand kids. We set up regular pool parties at their house, followed by dinners or game nights. Our other daughter drops by on a regular basis with her new puppy for playtime and meals together.
Because we do love Portland and have some dear friends there, we will fly up for a week in August. And, a two night stay at a local resort, for pampering at the spa and restaurants, is a highlight on the calendar in a few weeks.
I am a planner. I have a weekend to-do list that extends into October. My Google calendar is my daily anchor. Everything, and I mean everything, goes there and is dutifully deleted as I accomplish the task.
As I age and understand what makes me happy, I realize that plans and to-do lists are not only open to change but somethings should be thrown out the window. Plans are a method to achieve a particular end, they are not the end in themselves.
The RV will probably hit the road for trip to Arizona's White Mountains this fall. Betty and I do love the experience of being on the go. But, for now, it sits in a storage yard a few miles from our home...while we embrace the new experiences in front of us with excitement and joy.
A satisfying retirement has become a Satisfying Journey that reveals new aspects of itself just when I least expect it. Being open to those changes seems to be the key.
note: while writing this post the temperature in Portland was close to 100 degrees! For that, I can stay home.