Warning: This Article Contains Truth

family

When I was a kid my mom would always collect our photographs and put them in a scrapbook. We loved to go back and look through them and remember the good times that we had. Almost all of the pictures showed us having fun and getting along. We were on vacation, or eating good food, or opening Christmas presents, and it made it look like our lives were a wonderland filled with joy.

My mom never put pictures in our scrapbook of me trying to run over my brother with a power rake, or my sister falling off of a horse and breaking her tailbone, or the time we had to stay home all Thanksgiving  weekend because of the great chicken pox outbreak. Why isn’t there pictures of that? Who in there right mind is going to take a picture of their oldest son trying to run over another son with a dangerous piece of machinery?

I was thinking today about scrapbooks and social media. Social media is used for a lot of things but a majority of what people post is really like the scrapbooks that my Mom used to put together. It’s the good stuff. It’s the things that we cherish and that we want to remember. That’s also what I put on this blog. It’s a scrapbook. I don’t want to insinuate that everything is awesome but that’s how it comes across because I want to remember the good things.

I know you all probably assume this already, but it isn’t all sunsets and ice cream cones while we travel. I have a lot of worries and fears. It’s time for me to add some reality to this blog. Here goes.

I Don’t Know How to Parent: I don’t know what I am doing as a parent. I love my children and I want what’s best for them but I probably don’t always do what is best for them. Sometimes it is easier to let them have as many Otter Pops as they want than to say no. Sometimes I just want to buy them what they want and spoil them. It’s hard for me to walk the line between showing love and showing discipline. I’m worried that I am going to screw them up with my parenting. There are nights I can’t sleep because I am so worried about whether or not I am doing more good than bad.

My Kids Don’t Like Everything We Do: Do you remember the angst of being a teenager, or the boredom of being a child? Yeah, my kids have that too. I don’t really blame them but I want them to appreciate and love everything we do, and they don’t, and I need to get over it because I don’t even like everything either.

Marisa and I Get in Fights: When you are with each other almost 24 hours a day in a small space you best learn to communicate. At the beginning of our trip we fought a lot and we learned that we had to communicate a lot better than we did when I worked full time and we hardly saw each other. We couldn’t ignore the crap. We have learned to hash it out and communicate and forgive quickly when we have fights, because we will have them.

I Still Question Our Decision: Marisa and I put a lot of thought and prayer about this trip before we left and we know that this is what God wanted us to do. That doesn’t mean that on a day to day basis I question if we are doing what is best for our family. I worry about my kids and if it is good for them to wake up in a new town and state day after day. I question whether it was a good idea to quit a job I enjoyed. When things break down on our RV I wonder why we decided to live in a house on wheels when we had such a good thing going at home.

I Miss Living in a House: It was very freeing for us to get rid of most of our possessions and move into a small space, and I want to live a more minimalistic lifestyle for the rest of my life. I do miss having a bigger house. I miss not having having hot water always available. I miss having a shower I can fit in. I miss having more than 3 days worth of food in our fridge. I miss lazy Sunday afternoons in our neighborhood visiting dear friends. I miss being nearer to my parents.

I Am Not Perfect: I know that this is not surprise to anyone and I am not trying to imply that you think I am, but I need to admit it. I am quick to anger at times and I am slow to love. I still fight depression and anxiety even though I am on a long trip. I have a hard time eating healthy and I struggle with my weight. I often don’t have enough gratitude for the blessings that I have.

None of these things are earth shattering but I wanted to point out that life is not only what is on the blog or our scrapbook. I’m glad we are on this trip and I know that we are blessed to be able to do it. Just like you however, my life is not always easy and fun and there are days that I don’t want to get up.

I just hope that when our trip is done I can look back at this blog and remember the lessons learned and the wonderful experiences. I want to remember the many people that influenced me and helped me move forward. I hope I can do the same as I look back on my life. There will be good and bad, but I hope with all my heart that I have improved, and grown, and become better.

~Michael~

3 thoughts on “Warning: This Article Contains Truth

  1. Coach Mike, I have never found a perfect person. Have you? And I am a ‘parent’ of 4-leggers (cats) as I am not ‘breeder quality’ like you and Marisa. So far, I think you and your wife are in the *fabulous* camp. FWIW. With all due respect, if you want back at your job, or living in a home: It’s a family choice. Up to you and Marisa and the wonderful children. Take a family poll: “Who wants to do what?” Thereafter, ye shall have guidance.

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  2. Guess what? I’m not perfect either. We sure love you guys and when you are ready to bring your imperfect selves back, our imperfect selves will welcome you with open arms. Enjoy the rest of your trip! ❤️

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  3. Hey Mike! It has been a real pleasure seeing your adventure unfold on the pages of Facebook! I gotta tell you, I am and have been jealous (a little). I think I could handle the trip for about 3 weeks then I would have to get back to “normal.”

    I appreciate your comments too! Wow, I have often thought the same thing about everybody’s “wonderful” life and the struggles that I go through as a parent, husband, friend, and businessman. I realize that we do show our best side; and I think that is okay. We should remember the best things, forgive the mistakes, try to get better each day, love more, smile more, and just enjoy the ride! That’s how I try to look at Facebook now. If we can remember our best activities more often, then I think we have a better chance of having more activities that will qualify as “best.”

    We know you are not perfect (believe me, we definitely know that–haha) but that’s why we that do know you, love you. Big bro-hug here from me to you, man! I do miss seeing you at work everyday!! You are genuine–no really. Today’s post proves it. You have one of the best qualities a great parent can have–you love your kids and your wife. They’ll remember that. What a great adventure they will always cherish! And, besides, after a few years, they will just remember the great stuff and the stories will get better every time they tell them–kind of like your mission!

    Hang in there. Book a nice hotel room sometime soon, then get back at it and let us know when you get back–if you are coming back.

    Scott Thompson

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