Me: “Maybe this is one you should write…?”
Trevor: “You don’t want me to write this one.”
Alright, I drew the short straw. We’re sitting here in Owen Sound amidst a pile of clothes, camping gear, dry foods and everything else we’d prepared for our six-week trip to British Columbia. Over this past week, Trevor had winterized The Beast. We ran back and forth from the storage unit sorting and packing and resorting and repacking, trying to make sure what we didn’t need from our Nicaragua trip wasn’t taking up room in the truck as we packed for our BC trip.
We bought Chi-Cheemaun tickets and booked campsites in Sault Ste Marie, Wawa and Kenora. Friends in Winnipeg were hosting us and even taking us to a concert. I was to fly back home mid-September to spend much-needed facetime with our kids, then join Trevor again in the Okanagan Valley, where we were to spend a month dog and housesitting.
The idea with housesits is that it’s a mutually beneficial exchange between two parties. A homeowner can leave their pets, property and plants in the care of someone who, in exchange for accommodations, will care for them as though they were their own. No funds are exchanged, but we’d interviewed for this housesit back in June. It takes quite a bit of planning to organize a housesit in another province or country, and there’s a whole community of people who do this internationally because it can be hard for homeowners to find people locally who are willing to do them long-term.
This is something Trevor and I had decided to do as part of this whole journey of trying to figure out where we want to be and what we want to do with ourselves. I’ve done the whole scaled up, outsourcing bit with my online work, and found that the stress just wasn’t worth it. I don’t want to work 60 hours a week anymore. And as much as Trevor loves being a chef, he doesn’t want to work every night and weekend or pull 12-hour shifts anymore, either. (Even if he wanted to, his hips and knees have a lot more to say about it than they used to!)
We can’t afford to fly around staying in hotels to explore the places we’d love to see, so we see housesitting as an alternative lifestyle that fits our wants and goals really well for now. We can see different places and, rather than living the rat race of constantly trying to earn more and more and more, live a more balanced life by reducing our expenses, instead.
It sounds great in theory, and it is — when it works. This time, it didn’t work. Less than a day before our departure, the housesit was cancelled for reasons beyond our control.
Trevor’s pretty devastated. He’s really taken a shit-kicking over the last couple of years, hasn’t he? At some point, you just throw your hands up and go, “REALLY?!”
And as for me… well, is it a sign of something unhealthy that I can now go through the complete freak-out cycle in about 5 minutes flat? Shock. Confusion. Anger. Fear. Bargaining. Yelling at inanimate objects. Resignation, if not acceptance.
I’m tempted to say nothing surprises me anymore, but that just seems to invite more chaos into our lives. (In fact, we’re getting pretty superstitious about even sharing our plans, since it seems to trigger their implosion.)
So… in the spirit of finding that silver lining, we’re packed for one hell of a camping trip in Northern Ontario.
A wise person once posted on the Internet for people like me to read:
Find the alternative.
Delete the thing that’s causing you trouble.
A couple of great friends sent us the Georgian Bay Circle Tour site and said cheer up, you can work from the road. And we can, which I’m eternally thankful for. I’m still Skyping in to do the Grey Bruce Writing Marathon to raise funds for our local Adult Learning Centres (I’ve raised $730 so far!! You can pledge here), but I guess it’ll be from somewhere up north and not nearly as rushed now.
Trevor’s got his Fitbit and plenty of mental energy he needs to walk off.
Who knows, maybe we’ll even get to disappear for just a few days for a short digital detox… that’s never a bad thing when the angry orange howler monkey down south is hogging the airwaves.
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