I just came across this picture of myself walking along the Keystone Trail, which I could access just a couple blocks away from my house when I lived in Omaha, NE.
The photo was taken 2 winters ago, and you can see here how I would have to dress most days to enjoy a walk in Nebraska during this time of year! Yikes! Brrr...!!! NO THANKS!!! LOL!
I'm not sure how I was even smiling! Hee, hee! Keep reading below....
It was during one of these miserably cold walks in Nebraska nearly a year ago when I started thinking....
"Hmmmm.....Chad (my hubby) and I keep talking about how great it's gonna be when we're walking somewhere warm ...and beautiful (instead of by this...drainage ditch, essentially!). Buuuut....we never do anything about it or take any steps to get us to where we keep saying we want to be. We're in our late 30s, and our life isn't just gonna magically change. And we're gonna run outta time...eventually. Every year that we don't make changes in our life is gonna be one year less that we'll be living the life of our dreams."
I finally realized that it was as if we had just been sitting around complaining, dreaming, and waiting for something to just magically happen that would overhaul our life so we'd be living the way we wanted - somewhere warm and beautiful! Uh...not a good plan! (Not that we consciously had decided to depend on "magic," it was just kind of our default mode, I guess...because we didn't know how we'd ever end up where we'd rather be...and we had no idea exactly where that was, either!)
It can feel so overwhelming to dream sometimes because when your dream is so incredibly different than your current reality, it can seem impossible to figure out how on Earth you're ever gonna get to your destination. And, often, it's so hard to even believe that you can!
One great piece of advice I've heard is to... "Picture your life 10 years ago. Things were probably pretty different, huh? Maybe you have kids now, or grandkids now, or you live in a different house, or have a different job, or you look completely different, or you have a new hobby...or whatever. Now, what makes you think that your life must be the same as it is now in 10 years from now?! "
That really got me thinking! Ya, it's hard (actually, it feels impossible at times) to picture how on Earth you're gonna get there. But just like everything else, it's often just a bunch of small changes and decisions that add up over time! You just have to focus on "what you can do today to bring you one step closer to your dreams" (even if it's a super, itty bitty step).
Two years ago, I had no idea how to make a plan to change my future, but I knew I wanted to live differently than I was. Whenever I'm feeling lost, I've learned that I need to go within and spend a good chunk of time "cut off from the world" so I can listen to my heart.
But ya can't hear your heart through all of that "chatter."
If you feel like you're too busy to take a break from the "rat race," then you're gonna end up stuck in the rat race forever.
If you wanna break free from that, then you've GOT to have the courage to shut off your phone (yes, I said it!), stay away from your computer, shut off the TV, and even get rid of the kids for the weekend if you can!
I'm the type of person who likes to stay busy, busy...busy! Unfortunately, that's not a good way to hear your inner voice...at all!
Slow down, and do nothing for a weekend!
I call it "going on my island" because I literally tell my family and friends that they need to pretend I'm on an island somewhere and I'm totally unreachable for a couple days...or a week....or until further notice...or whatever.
And guess what?! The world somehow gets by without you for a while!!! Wow! Who knew?! :)
So I was on a walk (in the freezing cold...oh, I already mentioned that, huh? Sorry...) nearly two years ago....without headphones or my phone or any distractions...just soaking in the present moment and spending time alone, when I was overcome with this feeling that Chad and I should buy an RV, sell our house and most of our stuff, and hit the road full-time...so we can spend time in all sorts of warm and beautiful places!
What?! I was sure I must've been hearing someone else's inner voice on accident! LOL! Maybe the lines got crossed or something? Neither of us has ever RVed before or even camped, except for a few times when we were kids! And we didn't have a clue about any of it!
Objectively and logistically, it sounded sooooooooooo not like something I should want to do.
But for some reason it felt so incredibly right! And I'd learned enough by this point to know that it's the feeling that matters, so I hurried home, shared the idea with Chad...and the rest is history :)
And now I look at my life, as I'm typing this from a campground near the California/Arizona border with a 70-degree forecast for the day (in the middle of winter!), and I'm in awe of how much my life has changed in these past couple years!
It took us nearly a year to find an RV, get rid of our stuff, sell our house, and get on the road. And, now, we've been traveling full-time for over a year! Wow! We've traveled to some amazing places - see one of my favorites in the photo below (that's our RV parked at Point Lobos State Park in Carmel, CA)! I'm so incredibly grateful that we took this leap of faith!
So...I beg you to... start chasing YOUR dreams!!!
In hindsight, you won't believe how quickly things really do come together! Although, I'm not gonna lie, it can feel like forever while you're striving to get there! LOL!