This winter, I lost my way for a while. These things don’t happen quickly. You cheerfully trot along until the moment you look up and realize, “Aw, damn.”

That happens in the woods. Sometimes, it also happens in the laundry room.

We put 2016 to bed amid a welter of business, financial, and health issues. I’d barely looked up while hopping from rock to rock all year. But after the morass was stabilized, questions came creeping:

  • Now that my children mostly dress themselves, how does my role change?
  • Now that my parents have moved to town, how do I support their active aging?
  • Now that my spouse is commuting 1,000 miles for work, how do I hold the fort at home while remaining engaged with his professional goals?

I found myself writing to a friend, “Is this how I am going to spend my middle years, obsessed with everybody else’s developmental phases?”

After that burst of honesty/self-pity, I began to wonder if my RV obsession might be a harbinger of larger issues. That line of thought led to:

Maybe I’m allowed to have a new developmental phase too.

The thought arrived with such a big “click” that I physically jumped. Accordingly, this blog — and the next chapter of my life — began with mopping up spilled wine from my computer desk.  Figures.

At this point, I could have run out and bought a red sports car.  But, no, I’m still keen on the idea of an RV. I think it’s a better fit with the work I’ve chosen for this time of my life:  raising my girls to find their own way, both in and out of the physical woods.

[S]eek adventure, even in the little things. . . . . Your example will greatly influence your children. If you are caught in your own rut, then so will your children be, but if you break free, then you give your children freedom.

— Tom Brown, Jr.
Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children