Well, you have none.
In large part, this journey called out to us because in many ways, we knew that we needed to reconnect as a family. We had taken some hits emotionally and combined with starting a business out of our garage, life had taken a toll. I don’t quite remember how the idea of full-time RVing really developed, but it did. Immediately, one of my concerns was the issue of space. Where does one go when you need time to yourself? How do you send your kids to their rooms? How do you have a quiet time with God? Those are all legitimate questions.
Think of an RV like an emotional pressure cooker. If you think you have relational issues, wait until you put all of that in an RV. The small space with nowhere to run magnifies even the smallest of issues. And while you think I may be describing things with a negative tone, not so fast. For us, this has been a blessing.
When things are hard, often times we tend to run or look the other way because actually dealing with the issue head-on in and of itself can be daunting. So, we avoid conflict. And while we are avoiding said conflict, things only continue to fester and get worse. You’ve learned to cope with mediocrity and a relationship that perhaps you no longer even want. But all that’s really happened is that you’ve simply ignored all of the problems. You’ve beat back your emotions as a coping mechanism and you’ve created your own pseudo-reality. Oh sorry, wait a minute. We’re not talking about you. I’m talking about me.
Enter life in the RV. A pastor friend of mine used to always say, “wherever you go, there you are.” Well, there’s never been a truer statement in an RV. No matter where you drive that thing and pick up and move, you and all of your problems are still right there. The positive here is that you don’t get to run away. You really have no other choice but to make peace with the fact that there are problems and begin to deal with them one by one. And I can tell you from personal experience that dealing with issues head on is WAY better than simply pretending that they don’t exist.
Our marriage and our relationship has never been stronger than it is today. I’m able to father my kids every day – I mean really father them, present and fully there. I’m not going to attribute that 100% to our journey in an RV. But it’s certainly been a catalyst. Now you might be saying, wait a minute. Don’t you think selling everything you own and moving your family into an RV is a little drastic just to address some relationship problems and spending more time with your family? Well, that’s for you to decide. I do remember in the book of Matthew, Jesus saying that if your right hand causes you to sin, it’s better to just lop the thing off. I’d say that’s pretty radical. But then again, I guess it’s really just a matter of how much you really consider sin a problem.
Wow. That was heavy. Now, let’s address some of the practical questions that I posed earlier.
I need to be alone, where can I go? Go outside! Get some fresh air. One of the great things about RVing is that the outdoors is also your living space. Often times, we are traveling to absolutely beautiful places. Just outside of the RV can be an oasis. And since you’re moving around a lot, it’s always something new which can be adventurous. It’s good for the soul.
I can’t leave the RV and I need some quiet time. Noise. Cancelling. Headphones. I bought a couple pairs of bluetooth noise cancelling headphones from Sony and I love them. The kids are running around the RV, wrestling, having a good ‘ole time and I’m sitting up front with my headphones, journaling. Truth. And it works just fine.
Can I send my kids to their room? Hell yes you can. We have a bedroom in the rear of the RV that can be closed off with a sliding door. That’s the cry it out room. The RV is a small space. So, we don’t deal with crying, whining, yelling or anything of the sort in here. We’re just not going to have it. But, sometimes that’s unavoidable and kids are still learning to deal with their emotions. So, we invite them to go ahead and cry it out in the back room. And they do. Three minutes later, all is well and on we go.