Letting Go of the Familiar Things
The nomad life can be both freeing and frustrating. Freeing, because I have less stuff to deal with, and fewer responsibilities since I've left my hometown, job, church, friends, and family. Less appointments on my calendar. Fewer options for date night.
But, the nomad life can be frustrating. I don't have the clothes I need for each season because I didn't count on being homeless for a year and a half. Most of my books, files and all of my photos, craft supplies to keep me busy, and, hardest of all, I have only a tiny percentage of my favorite kitchen tools. As I mentioned in last month's blogpost, I'm making do, but it's not the same. I still stubbornly refuse to purchase a new garlic press, even though I need it for almost every dinner I make!
Embracing Gratitude Helps Me Through My Nomad Days
There’s something about being grateful for what I do have, that helps me get through—and even enjoy—my nomad days. Thankful for the roof over my head, and a washer and dryer IN our cabin, and not down the road. Grateful for new (to me) grocery stores that sell organic products and produce. They may not be the brand I'm used to, but they are still organic.
Goodwill has been good to me. I've been able to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe inexpensively, since I did not choose the proper clothing to pack (or not pack), thinking we’d be in our new townhouse by the fall of 2022. Instead, it would be an entire year later. That's four seasons of clothing! I've also found a few pots and pans along with kitchen tools—and even a set of weights.
I've also found ways of exercising, mostly online, Yoga-Go and Grow Young Fitness, both using chairs, since my osteoarthritis excludes me from performing floor exercises. And honestly, the landscape we've encountered is quite hilly and at times, dangerous, as the main road winds around and up and down, mostly through forests. Not a safe environment in which to walk!
But there again, I'm thankful for the ability to drive my car to the grocery store, local restaurants and shopping malls, and a few parks, where I can get out and walk, even for a short while. But I do miss my bike rides around our former neighborhood, and group exercises at the local community center.
One Sunday, we enjoyed a 4.5-mile walk around the largest natural habitat zoo in the world: The North Carolina Zoo We try to explore at least once a week, visiting the larger towns in the area to see the local sights. It's quite an adventure, and you can't beat the price. Another thing to be grateful for in this nomadic life. It satisfies my longings to travel. As long as I'm discovering something new, no matter how small or insignificant, I'm happy!
Embracing the New, the Ordinary and Even the Frustrating
Even something I took for granted—my hairdresser—ended up in a blessing. I found my interim hair stylist after admiring a senior woman’s hair on a visit to a new church one Sunday. She happens to be in the Winston-Salem area, which is accessible from both camps we've volunteered at. And Dara, after I showed her a pic, beautifully imitated my hairdresser Kathy’s technique!
That's another perspective of the nomad life—visiting a variety of churches who worship the same God, but in different ways: some contemporary, others conservative, Some with rock bands and country music, others with traditional hymns and songs led by a small band. We have Christian brothers and sisters everywhere!
And there's always a place to retreat when I need peace and quiet. This outdoor chapel at Camp Mundo Vista is a short (and steep) walk from our cabin, nestled in the Uwharrie Mountain range. It's not my park down the street, nor a place I can bike to, but a quiet respite nonetheless. Another entry for my gratitude journal.
Letting Go of My Idea of Home
A nomad’s home is any place to lay his or her head. Ours at the moment is this quaint camp cabin turned tiny house (yay!) with an added strip kitchen. Spacious and cozy all in one! It might not have comfortable chairs and a dishwasher like our last double-wide, but it’s quiet, safe and has a crockpot and comfy bed! Another change, but we are learning to be grateful and adapt as necessary.
I do whatever I can to make our home livable. In all three locations, I've made sure to have lamps to add ambiance to our environment. Fluorescent lights don't do it for me. So, off I go to our local Goodwill to find the right lamp for our space. Can you see the one in the picture above left? It blends with the pine walls of our cabin. I found it for the incredible price of $3.99 (shade included). And I will leave it behind as a gift for the next occupant, along with extra paper goods.
In lieu of end tables, I got creative and covered a few of the storage bins we carry from place to place. That way, there's no need to clutter the cabin with randomly placed cargo, since we have no closets here..
To summarize, at times in our lives (whether we are nomads or not) we must let go of things we think we need to survive, but in fact, don't. They might be preventing us from living life fully in our sliver years or any stage of life. Because it's when we let go, we see God work in our lives and provide what He knows we need. Isn't that comforting??
Is there anything you need to let go of to enable you to move forward in life? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Well, those are my insights on the nomad life this month. If you (or anyone you know) are a silver sister and would like help in preparing for the next stage of life, click HERE for 10 tips to Prepare You for Your Silver Years and Beyond.
5/25/2023 05:32:06 pm
This was refreshing to read. Thank you for the reminder to hold stuff with open hands and be willing to have or not have as the seasons of life change. I have to remind myself that playing catch with God is always in my best interests and not something to fear. I need to let go more consistently of clutter build up. And worry. Definitely don’t need to hang onto that. Grateful for your post today. 😊
5/25/2023 06:51:42 pm
I'm so thankful my post encouraged you to trust God with your future, Pearl. It's tough to let go of the controls. He knows what's best! And we also know that all things work together for good, too, so it's a win-win situation
5/29/2023 03:03:18 pm
I love how you are willing and able to adapt to every situation. It inspires me. The closest I've come to living the nomadic style was as a teen when my father was earning his Master's Degree in a different state from our home. My family spent the summers on a large reservoir in Tennessee while he attended summer school. Great memories. We did our laundry once a week at the laundromat and folded everything down into boxes to take them back to the tent. A funny comment was overheard when we set up our camp and carried in our boxes of clothes and belongings. Someone marveled within Mom's earshot, "Wow! They brought enough stuff to stay all summer!" Little did they know.
5/31/2023 10:06:04 pm
What a great memory, Janice!! It sure made you appreciate home, didn't it?
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My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.