This is a blog about our journey to simplify our lives.
That journey started while driving in a van packed full of stuff, our mutt, our 3 kids and Tim and myself. We were on our annual summer vacation which consists of dividing our time between both sets of Grandparents who live 200 miles apart. We had spent the first part of our vacation with my parents and were making the trek to Tim’s parents. The kids were complaining about being hungry even though they just had a snack. Someone was touching someone else and that made one of them mad. The youngest was singing a song that she was making up off the top of her head that was not only void of any musicality but also featured lyrics about nothing more than the farm land we were driving past. The dog was leaning forward from her spot on the seat behind me and panting in my ear so heavily that the windows were starting to fog up.
We were on vacation but it didn’t feel like vacation. We waited for months for Tim to be able to take this chunk of time off work and the anticipation and excitement leading up to the vacation was palpable. But now that we were on vacation we were more exhausted than we had been while living our daily grind back home. We were doing something wrong. Vacation shouldn’t make you weary. Vacation should energize you.
Don’t get me wrong. We love visiting our family and we vowed to ourselves and to our parents that when Tim took a job that required moving the kids (let’s be honest, it is the Grandkids that matter) 10 hours away from Grandparents, that we would always set aside time to travel and visit them. It is part of the deal. We want our kids to grow up with our extended family very much a part of their lives. We want them to know their Grandparents, we want them to have a treasure trove of memories to cherish.
All of that said, we couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more that we were missing. Our family unit of 5 was not experiencing adventures or discovering new things together. Tim and I blinked and we had gone from a family with three kids ages 4 and under to having school age boys and a daughter who was soon to start her last year of preschool. Time was flying by too quickly. Surviving was all we could do when we had 3 kids ages 4 and under but now we wanted more. There had to be more.
We decided that we needed to simplify our lives, live more intentionally and purposefully. We wanted to spend less time juggling activities and cleaning up stuff and more time going on adventures and discovering new places.
It is ironic that the first step to living the life we dreamed, this sweet and simple life, was to buy a 31 foot tin can complete with a magnitude of mouse droppings and rotted sub-floors. It is ridiculous that our journey went from a van sardined with kids and stuff, and Tim and I wishing we were at home and not on the road, to our solution of buying an Airstream and travelling more. It is ludicrous that when all we wanted to be doing was going on adventures with our kids, we then committed all our free time and money to said Airstream which would take hours and hours and loads of cash to repair, restore and renovate.
It is crazy, but we are loving the process. We are loving that this dream won’t come easy and that we have to work for it. We named our Airstream Alice and now she is part of the family. She has become a 31 foot reminder parked next to our garage that someday, when all the work and preparations are done, we will go adventuring. We will always spend chunks of time with our extended family, but we are also realizing that we need to commit to us too. We will travel, explore and discover. We will make memories as a nuclear family unit.
But first we need to renovate and balance the time spent demoing rotten subfloors and cleaning mouse poop with the type of life we want to be living. We are purging our house of excess so we don’t spend our time cleaning up crap we don’t actually want and instead spend our time playing as a family or working as a family toward our goal. We have never renovated an Airstream. This blog is proof of that. We are learning as we go and I am sure we will make mistakes along the way but that is part of the process.
This blog is about our failures and our successes, it is about how we are transitioning from the way we thought life was supposed to be lived, to the way we want to live it. This blog is a DIY Airstream renovation blog just as much as it is a blog about a family overhauling their way of life.