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.