In Transition

I’ll be back In November. Be kind to each other! Sunday Quick Questions will be back in November as well! We are transitioning into our RV. I want to focus on this exciting time. I will have many stories to share with you! ~Kim

A Destination Starts at the Beginning

On January 1st, after a year of driving Uber and Lyft while finishing his trading courses, my husband became a full-time day trader. He (Jeff) had been a maintenance technician for almost 20 years, this was a significant career risk! He was hanging up his tool belt for an unknown future. Let me put the emphasis on trader, this means getting in and out of stock options as quickly as possible, making some money, and repeating this process all day long. He is not an investor. An investor puts money into a stock and waits for a long term financial gain. Nope. The hubby just looks for the quick buck. Jeff does not give anyone financial advise, other than to say, do your homework, and there’s a lot of it!

Why the change? Maintenance is a stable gig. After 20 years of hands-on experience, a boiler license, a pool license, including his technician’s license… why in the world would you want to change? Freedom. Freedom from a 24 hour a day emergency cell phone. Freedom from working day in and day out with a messed up back since high school football. Freedom to spend more quality time with an ailing wife who can’t guarantee her health will be at a maintainable level on any given day. Freedom to work in an arena that he only dreamt possible… (that’s the most important one I think.)

Has trading gone well for us? Hell no!!! But my husband is a survivor. He will fight for every nickel, dime, and dollar. He has and does! Day trading is a damn rollercoaster ride. You better be strapped in and ready for the drop, or you will not make it. You will literally be thrown from your seat off that ride! We have experienced the drop, several drops to be truthful, but we were both buckled in! We will continue on this ride.

So, my husband now needs only an internet connection to work. He is completely mobile. I am a blogger. All I need is an internet connection.

We have been going to home building shows for years, one day wanting to retire from the city to a log cabin possibly by one of the Great Lakes. Which one? When? How do we go about deciding where to live? Jeff is the outdoors type. Not the hunting/fishing guy but the camping/hiking kind of guy. He can fix anything, drive anything, and make a damn good breakfast over a open fire! Remember, I have some skills, I was a camp counselor and drove a big school bus. Why not continue ‘camping’ until we decide?

What in THE hell…?

It made sense. The RV lifestyle. We began our research even before Jeff decided to make a career change. The hubby and I are not impulsive people. Heck, he knew me since birth … it only took him 37 years to propose! To be fair, it took me 37 years to accept.

RV trade shows replaced our home shows. YouTube became an invaluable source of connecting with this lifestyle. Real pros and cons were listed, discussed, and re-categorized. We told no one. They’d believe we were daft. Would we be able to achieve what had now become this feverish goal? There would be many discussions, eventually revealing to extended family our plans. Some were good with it, others not so much.

We began to make the changes to get us mobile and into this elusive RV lifestyle destination! We just had to start at the beginning.

Now, this Fibro Warrior begins to find freedom by learning to become a rolling stone!

~Kim

Dear Future Me …

May 2018

Dear Future Me,

You will be reading this when you turn 70, in 2037. You will have had fibromyalgia for 40 years. Maybe you will be cured, perhaps not. Either way, I am writing so you remember your time in 2018. How you searched and fought to live your best life with this chronic disease that is fibromyalgia.

As I write this in 2018, I am 50 years old. I have accomplished many things… I thought my life would be very different but then a chronic illness and its dastardly friends showed up and took my home and my livelihood in a matter of a few short years. But I am handling it. I learned to live with daily pain. I managed to get married. I started a support group and a blog. I published my first book, never thought I could ever do that.

We had some hard times too. We lost brother Kory in 2003. Although my marriage was celebrated in 2004, we went through a breakdown in family communication. There were misunderstandings right around 2011. Then there was the pancreatitis scare. So many surgeries and so many lost memories. We beat it, but that is a time I still grieve over. I can’t make what happened any better because I can’t recall the majority of two whole years. I hope you have figured out a way to repair those relationships. I have lost my way at this point. Letters and apologies did not work. I must have done something awful… did you figure out what it was?

I suppose we have lost more family members by the time you read this letter in 2037. Mom and Dad will be gone. Aunties and uncles, even some cousins will be gone. And the next generation should be well on their way towards taking over our family lake home; StoweAway. I wonder if they and their children will realize all that it took for us to make it what it is? A safe place for family and friends to gather and enjoy the company of one another. I hope you have made sure they know how special StoweAway is. How much work it takes to maintain this property. How many meetings, we five original board members held, to ensure the property would remain safely in the family. I believe you will ensure they are well versed in what it takes.

I am hoping this letter finds you and Jeff living the RV life full-time. We are working so hard right now in 2018 to make this happen. Remember all the classes we took about financial markets and trading platforms? Jeff quit his job in 2017 and started driving fulltime for Uber and Lyft. It was a jump into the unknown! We were so scared. It is working though. It was frightening in the beginning, but we knew this was the only way we would become mobile, making our dream of travel come true! All the planning, research, trade shows, classes, and textbooks! I hope you smile now as you are reading this. I hope you are smiling because you ARE living the RV life, Jeff and I are trying so desperately to get to.

I hope your pain has subsided. I hope you still look at our hubby and tell him you love him, every single day. I hope you still find laughter in each and every day and that you finally feel like you deserve to be happy. Because you do. You never gave up! You fought very hard from the beginning, then you found acceptance and did the best you could for you, your husband, and all those who came and went in our lives. You fought a good fight! Yes, sometimes it was just minute by minute, but you did it. If you are reading this letter, you made it! I hope you are wise and witty! I want you to lead a life of love, peace, and joy in your heart.

Happy 70th birthday, Kim!

From me, 2018.

 

The Beginning of the Faraway End.

As I blogged earlier we are beginning to downsize! First and foremost this will be great for my fibromyalgia. To have less is less to clean! But our ultimate goal remains the same, to sell this big house and travel in an RV for a few years before settling down to a small home in an area we want to retire to.

Today, the boxes are lined up with a name on each, what item is going to who? We decided to do my husband’s side, half of our 15 nieces and nephews this Christmas as they will be all gathered at the Christmas festivities. My side is not so into family heirlooms and are scattered this holiday so we will hold off on my side for now.

Olivia, Eli, Emerson, Chloe, Zach, Hailey and Linsey.  Seven boxes. Seven boxes filled with memories of ours that we hope will add to their memories of us. Memory boxes. Items of value for no other reason than the ability to create good memories! It is with good intent and joyful excitement I place carefully chosen items into each of these boxes.

I thought this would be extremely difficult for me to handle. Giving away heirlooms that meant so much to me, packed and ready to be passed down to my children one day. This feels the same, though these children are not mine by birth, they are part mine. I was a presence in their childhood. They were mine to love their whole lives and I do! 

This time of year brings my focus to family events but Jeff, my husband and I, are beginning to establish our own ideas of how we spend this time of the year. We are talking it through and having a great time discussing fun ideas that we want to do. Just us, and some things with our dogs in tow … after all,

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…”

IMG_0206~Kim