Steve here bringing you an update while I feel moved to share my morning with you.  I spent the past week in South Dakota with a group of guys and had to make it back to the Denver area where Amy and Adelaide have spent 8 days without me for the first time.  Turns out the cheapest way to get from Pierre, SD to Denver, CO is to help your buddy drive 19 hours to Houston so you can fly big airport to big airport.  I figured while I was in Houston for a flight, it’d be a good time to check in at the Houston office since I’ve been off work since July 29th.

As I ran into a number of great colleagues this morning, I wish I’d have been wearing a wire.  No, no, no….not undercover catching the gossip.  I wish I’d have captured the way people reacted to me or described me.

“Wow Steve, you look like you’ve got zero stress man!”

“Something is different, like, you look….well, happy.”

“Maybe it’s just me but you lost some wrinkles around your eyes.  Does that sound weird?”

“You kinda seem like you’re floating, Steve, just floating on cloud nine.”

“I think you’ll get it when I say this.  When I saw you coming toward me, with the big smile, I thought to myself ‘look at that beautiful man’.”  (This was my personal favorite)

I get asked all the time what it’s like doing full-time (FT) RV travel.  38,000 pounds of RV and Jeep hurling down the road at 70mph with cars bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic around me.  Never knowing quite where we’ll stay in a few days when we leave {insert location name here}.  “Man, isn’t it stressful having to plan out reservations?  I’d be freaked out all the time!”  I figured it out today in just a few short hours.

This is the best decision I’ve ever made in terms of our life together as a family.  How stressed was I before?  I didn’t feel stressed.  Was I grumpy and didn’t realize it?  I kinda thought I was always the happy-go-lucky guy in the office, the optimist, the don’t worry guy.  And how bad were the wrinkles in my face for someone to notice they looked BETTER with this big, new smile on my face?  (Ok, so to be fair I think Joyome had a hand to play there.  Love that stuff!)  The beautiful man part?  Well, you’d have to know this man…yep, another man told me that.  A man that has been through it all and in an instant recognized internal happiness being exuded in posture, facial expression, and perhaps even some sort of halo / aura glowing around me.

What is it?  What drove these reactions?  What changed so profoundly in ME?

I think it’s 2 things.

1) I’m unplugged.  I don’t watch “live” TV anymore.  We stream a bit of Netflix here and there.  Miss Pearl (our RV for those new to the blog) has an in-motion satellite dish but we decided not to have a receiver.  Seemed like a good recipe to spend too much time inside the RV and not enough time outside.  We’re not riveted by 24 hour news, the latest media-driven catastrophe, or even pending natural disasters.  I’m not checking email 3,473 times a day to keep up with work, friends, bills, and family news.  I check the weather, that’s about it.  And the simplicity of that is being expressed in ways I hadn’t noticed since they creep up on you.

2) As people asked me over and over this morning, “what’s the one thing you’re enjoying most about this whole crazy trip?  What’s the one thing? The place?”  I’m a “yes dad”.  It’s the thing that came to me instantly.  I’m a “yes dad” now.  Not a “wait a minute dad”.  Not a “maybe tonight dad”.  Not a “we’ll try to next weekend dad”.  My priorities now are quite simple.  Keep my family safe.  Spend time together.  Expose our daughter to new things.  That’s about it.

So what good does that do you?  Maybe you aren’t blessed like Amy and I have been with this amazing opportunity to travel FT (remember…that’s “full-time”) around the country in a luxury RV.  But you know what?  You CAN simplify your lifeYou CAN unplug a bit more.  Maybe not like we’ve done, but you can make small changes in your life to be less distracted.  Trust me, there’s no medal for multi-tasking.  Maybe a metal stint for a blockage but no medals on the podium for always being the first one to respond to that team email, that group chat, or that {insert distraction here}.  And you CAN prioritize your family when you do this.  It doesn’t have to be a profound change to have a profound impact.  You’ll never remember 10 years from now not picking up that phone for a call from the office but your kid will remember sitting on the trampoline waiting because you said “It’ll just take a second buddy, promise”.


And with that, my flight is boarding to take me back to my family in our (not so) little rolling home.  Thanks for sharing in our journey folks!  See y’all on the road…