Thursday, November 09, 2006

Integrating Life on the Road into Home Life

During the home stretch of our trip, Becca and I both talked about how we felt we were making fundamental changes in who we were as people by having done this trip. To step off the career treadmill is no easy task but we were proud that by doing so, we were able to take time, gain a little better perspective as to what was important to us in life and how we wanted to live it going forward.

Part of this were little things we did during the trip that made us feel better physically; eating better (and less), spending more time outdoors and using our feet (as well as public transport) as most of our transportation. For every part physical though there was an equal part mental. Our lives before we left revolved around work and the stresses inherent in not having the time to improve ourselves, our relationship or the world around us. For us this trip enabled us to lower our stress levels, regain control of our time, wipe the proverbial slate clean and have the chance to discuss how we wanted to change our work situations, daily life and any number of other factors that go into leading an improved life.

So two plus months upon our return, the question is an obvious one: is it working?

It’s a difficult question to answer; in some ways we’ve been very successful. We’re eating better, cooking a lot more, doing our best to exercise frequently, etc. As a result, we still feel good physically, even if the rapidly advancing Minnesota winter has made our daily walks become a lot less frequent. We’ve also done our best to continue to have fun and do different things. We’ve told each other that before we leave the Twin Cities, we need to go do all the touristy things that we’d do if we were visiting it on the trip. So far the list hasn’t gotten much of a workout but the thought is there.

Therein lies the trap for the two of us. Because so many things are up in the air right now, what with the stress of the house (not) selling, the impending hold put on the Oregon job search and the quasi-limbo our lives has been put in as a result we are having a difficult time making sure we take time for ourselves. Instead we just fret a lot, use our days inefficiently and don’t do a good job of compartmentalizing the various things going on in our lives. We’re getting better as we settle into the idea that we’ll be in Minnesota for a while but the fact that we at least realize the issue at hand (and what needs to be done to improve it) is a significant improvement from before the trip. A small victory I suppose.

So for now we’re doing our best to integrate the lessons learned living on the road into our home life. (For instance, now that she's working full time again, Becca is making a point to take a break during each day and go for at least a 30 minute walk over lunch.) It’s a struggle but we feel like we're making inroads. We know that the real challenge will be once we have our real jobs; it will be then that the decisions we’ve made about our lives going forward will get a real workout. I’m confident that we’ll be able to tackle whatever is ahead and help make our life on the road part of our life at home.


[ed note: the picture integrates road life into home life too. We're walking around Lake of the Isles (in the cold) in Minneapolis wearing the stocking caps we bought in New Zealand (Becca - the silver fern is a NZ symbol and also a symbol for the All-Blacks, the famous NZ national rugby team) and Denmark (Brian - it's a team hat from the Brondby football club located in the Copenhagen suburb our Danish family lives in)]

1 comment:

Steven said...

Well said. And good luck to the both of you for making that stay true...