Many have wondered how we can go “on the road” in a tiny camper for weeks on end. The answer is that my wife and I share a good marriage. She is a good person (however, I will not self-proclaim my own character). A good marriage is not dependent upon whether or not the partners are good people, but rather upon the people being good partners. In this I am doubly blessed to have married a good person who is a good partner. Each year on our anniversary (June 19th) we take our marriage off of the shelf, admire and polish it for the next year. It really doesn’t tarnish since we continually work on keeping it polished throughout the year.
We do not cast responsibility upon each other for our individual happiness, but we do find our relationship is a source of happiness. It is also a safe place where we find support in the other’s strengths and talents, refuge from our own weaknesses and shortcomings. Like I said, ours is a good marriage. Many people find that that they need solitude in order to examine their thoughts without distraction. With a good partner one can also better know one’s thoughts by dialogue, but only when there is absolute trust that the exchanges are free from criticism and judgment.
In our marital life, the depth of sharing can be challenged by the daily distractions of work, finances, current events, and all of those things that comprise the background noise of “real” life. I find that most days we are able to shrug off the burdens of such distractions.
After over 40 years we still find strength and support in our partnership. We love our life at home, and we love our life on the road. The commonality is that we love our life together. Have I said that I have a good Marriage?
Peace Everyone. Pete
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Everyone should have a “Next Thing”. That is not to say that one should not fully enjoy the “Current Thing”, but while the “Current Thing” engages the person, the “Next Thing” engages the imagination.
As Christine and I approached retirement I became aware of the insecurity of not knowing what we would do, what our purposes would be. We began an active dialogue about what our lives would look like. It struck me that the discussions felt a lot like other times when we engaged our imaginations to visualize an upcoming event, plan, or possibility… a “Next Thing”. “Next Things” are not the “Ordinary Things” of job, bills, household. They are the larger things that excite the mind and engage the spirit. They are the things that one feels compelled to think about, talk about, even doodle about. In order to have a “Next Thing”, one must have the mindset of “how can I make that happen!”. Folks who reflexively address a new possibility with all of the reasons why it cannot or will not be, rarely have a “Next Thing”. That mindset serves only to extinguish the spark of imagination.
Individuals may have “Next Things”, but like fine dining they are best shared with someone else. Dining alone is rarely more than feeding the body while a fine meal savored with someone special nourishes the spirit. I am blessed to be married to a very good woman who is open to the possibilities of “Next Things”. At times Christine has tempered my enthusiasm for a “Next Thing”, but never smothered it. She is one who listens and brings her own perspective into play which usually adds extra dimension to mine. At times, she has opened the process with her own “What if we…”.
In 2012 we went to see a movie, “The Way”, which is about a man’s 500 mile walking journey across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. As we left the theater Christine suddenly stopped and turning to me declared, “I am going to do that!”. My reply of the moment was “Can I go too?”. Thus was born one of the larger “Next Things” in our relationship. Scarcely a day went by that we did not share our thoughts and engage our energies in planning to walk the Camino. Neither of us ever cast doubt upon the sanity of our musings and thus in 2013 the improbable became the actual. Such can be the way with “Next Things”. (Originally Posted May 24, 2015)
This coming March, 2018 we embark upon our “Next Thing”. For those of you who enjoy following our travels, this “Next Thing” is truly exceptional. More on that in the future.
Peace Everyone! Pete
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