I told myself I would keep a journal for this trip and here I am 20 days into it and this is my first journal entry. What a process pulling our family out of our rut and setting out in a new direction.
Five or Six years ago I decided that being ordinary was just fine and rather enjoyable. I could be a domestic stay at home (mostly that is) Homeschool mom in our kid friendly neighborhood working part time at the same job for the rest of my life. This was big for me … to be content with where I was in life and feel like I could do this indefinitely and be happy. As a child, a teenager, and as a young person I was very driven. My parents used to tell me ” you don’t have to do everything at once, slow down you have time.” I was very driven and being ordinary seemed like a punishment of either laziness, lack of vision, or low IQ. I was beginning to get a glimpse of the peace and happiness of the blessings of God’s greatest gifts: a good marriage, children, a home to call your own, and a church (and work) family that you love to do life with. Things that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles knew. They weren’t lazy or hadn’t given up on their dreams, they hadn’t settled down because they lost their dreams or weren’t smart enough to do anything else. This gave me a new appreciation for those around me doing life in the same day by day manner. And in that same sense I felt like God was giving me that peace about where I was at because I was there for the long haul. But, just as it goes all too often when we decide God really does know what he is doing and that we can chill because he’s in control, It’s OK I can be normal I don’t need to be great in anyone else’s eyes but his. Then he changes the plans or probably more accurately he lets us see a little bit more of it.
Just over two years ago at the beginning of 2012 a dream started taking shape. Small in scope to what it looks like today. Could we see the whole country in one month? no it would take three. What would our route look like? We could spend a night in each state. Would my job allow a leave of that kind? I think so. How can we work it out with the business? I don’t think we can see everything that we want to see in a three month period, but we probably could in a year. Ok let’s punch in some numbers…Whoaah! Ok, no problem, we just need to save $20,000/year for the next 8 years and we can still do it. Hmmm how is this going to work out? This is where Chad says, “what do you think about travel nursing?” Well at three months for each assignment we could maybe get four assignments in, in one year. If we are going to travel the whole country we are going to need to be doing this assignment for longer than one year.
What started as a small idea grew and started burning in us. What steps do we need to take? How do we get ready and get going? This is the part where Chad was very helpful, figuring out how much we needed to have in savings, booking us for the travel nurse conference in Las Vegas so we could rub shoulders with other travel nurses, meet some recruiters and attend the seminars and discussion groups on current travel nurse issues. Knowing that there were other travel nurses traveling with their families gave us even more resolve. Next on the list was making me marketable as a travel nurse by getting additional licenses and certifications. Lastly, there was what to do with the house.
If we just focused on the tasks at hand we wouldn’t have to think about how it would feel to leave all our loved ones, work, and our support system and set off alone.
Now that it is done and we have left, I am glad that we listened, all those times when we wondered if we really were crazy and what were we thinking, we don’t have to go, do we. We were scared of change, scared of coming out of our comfort zone and feeling uncomfortable, and scared of risking failure. It isn’t as hard as we imagined, and I actually find myself wanting to be in situations where I have to do hard and uncomfortable things because I do want to be a stronger, better person.