Once upon a time a coworker told me one of the reasons he liked talking to me and in this case sharing a secret with me is because I am so “open-minded”. He followed that up with “You take everyone at face value and don’t judge them.” I thought that was a pretty profound statement since this co-worker and I did not always see eye to eye on many subjects. But I like to think his statement is true, and my unofficial rule for life is: “First do no harm, the go live life like you want.”
All of that is great and wonderful and if you came to tell me you were quitting your job to become a cat farmer I would buy you a drink toast to your success, wonder a little why cat farming, ask you why cat farming and them walk out of the room thinking maybe you are little crazy, but go you for following your dream and doing it your way. The biggest flaw in my unofficial rule for life is that I don’t allow myself to follow it. I place way higher standards on myself than others (as I am sure many other do as well). In many cases that is a good thing, but in so many more it means I judge myself so harshly and beat myself down so much that I don’t do anything or I don’t really enjoy what I am doing.
I will admit a big secret, ok not really a secret I have admitted it before on this blog even, but sometimes I feel like we are not doing #vanlife the “right way”. What is the “right way” you ask, well just scope out all the other van lifers out there and they are doing it the right way (in my mind warped mind). The Old Man bless his heart has to be the bully to my judgey voice and remind me and her that we are doing it our way. We aren’t other people, we yes choosen to live in a van but we have also chosen to work full time which involves air travel for the Old Man.
I look around on Instagram, read blogs, see other vanners (is that a word?) and I think wow we are so not doing it like them, we must be doing it wrong. And while there are things both the Old Man and I would like to change or work on, life in our van is just that life in our van. Are needs are different our wants are different. The other day with the dogs in a hotel room we toured Hoover Dam, hit up the Las Vegas Ikea, and I made the Old Man drive down the strip because I couldn’t wait until later in the week to see it. While sitting in traffic we ate leftover pizza and chicken quesadilla that was probably getting past its prime. A few days before all of this Vegas fun we were in Red Canyon dealing with blowing winds and dust realizing that while the desert amazes us we are not desert people. We need water and we like humidity in our air (sorry desert people). And I have to remind myself that if everyone wanted to live in the same place and do the same things life would be very boring and very crowded.
So each day I think we are cheating or not doing #vanlife the right way I have to remind myself that we are doing it our way and while most of the time our life is not Instagram worthy (who’s is?) it is our life and we have to do what we have to do to keep this family eating, drinking, and being merry.
For the record I couldn’t imagine not living this way, it has become my new drug we may not hike all the great hikes, or see all the great sees, but when I wake up in a different place and bust out my laptop to work, I feel truly blessed and thankful that we chose to live the gypsy life.