Experiments in Family Lifestyle Design
Recently, my family and I have been doing nothing.
In fact, I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to write about our status, because there just wasn’t much to write.
No new and exciting scenery. No new thrills and chills. No 1,000 mile jaunts to yet another unique corner of North America.
Doin Nuthin’ is Doin’ Sumthin’
Yet today I realized that we were doing something. Something different. This past month we have been experimenting at living a more normal family lifestyle “on the road.”
If traveling North America is your family lifestyle, then you are going to quickly find your family lifestyle comes to an end. Because North America, just like any other place on Earth, is finite.
Have we seen everything in North America yet? No. I’m not sure that is even possible. But, to be honest, as an ignorant visitor, I have a hard time telling the corn in Kansas apart from the corn in Nebraska. After a while, stuff starts to look alike to me.
So, what do we do? Just declare our journey over and go back to our old family lifestyle? Or something else?
Well, there is more of North America to experience. There’s still Mexico, which I suspect will be so culturally distinct from Anglo North America that the experience will be quite interesting.
And if we’re feeling really adventurous, there are an intrepid few who have driven the Pan-American highway as far as Panama. Yup, it’s been done. There’s even a book about how to do it.
So, is that what we did for the last month?
We didn’t do nuthin.
Why? Are we lazy?
Actually, we took a different journey. A different kind of journey.
We took a journey within.
Experimenting With Nuthin’
For the last month we have experimented with just living in one spot in our RV. That means we have stayed in one location (Burleson, Texas) and just lived. We went to the grocery store. We ran our business. We watched movies. We even (God forbid) connected to the campground cable TV signal so my wife and I could watch “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC, and our oldest could watch his favorite show, “Castle.”
In other words, we stopped being wandering nomads for a bit and lived just like anyone else.
Our kids experimented with weird sleeping schedules. They don’t really have schedules anymore so what’s the harm? At some point there was somebody awake 24 hours a day.
Thankfully, all of us drifted back to a common nighttime sleeping schedule, but this was not pushed. It happened naturally, and so I suspect that experiment is over.
We discovered how to live together in a small space without needing constant outside stimulation to keep us distracted.
We just lived.
At times it was boring. There were tense moments on occasion – but surprisingly few. The kids don’t fight much at all. Even though they still have disagreements, they rarely rise to the point of being physical, or even of raised voices!
Could we live in one place for a very long time? A few months ago I would have said, “No.” But now, I think we could.
Can Your Family Just Be?
Have you ever tried this? I’d love to hear about your family’s experiences with just being.
How well can you all just be, like a family is apparently supposed to? Or are we all just fellow travelers, sharing traveling space in life but not really focused on each other?
What do you think?
Thanks so much for your thoughts!
All the best,