As many of you know, we are almost 14 months into our journey with another 14 days to go before we re-enter our home base of Georgia. Before we left Atlanta, one of my closest clients gave me a very thoughtful book - Half Time by Bob Buford.
It is a must read for anyone contemplating what their second (or even third) act should look like. In short, the premise of the book focuses on moving from a life of success to a life of significance. I finished the book earlier this year and have had an opportunity to reflect on its ideas as I review my own Halftime Report.
This trip has been quite eye opening and therapeutic on so many levels for me. More than I ever imagined. I am learning things about my family - each one of them - while also gaining clarity for myself on what makes me tick. As I stare down the reality of a milestone birthday this summer, I can’t help but wonder and plan what my second half will look like and determine if I am taking the necessary steps to truly live a life of significance.
During this trip, I’ve witnessed all kinds of things from each of my clan from Nate (Race Car Brain with Bicycle Brakes) to Will (Justice Seeker / Village Elder ) to Beth (My Dreamer and my Reality Checker). Some very important truths have been revealed as we traveled together as a family and as we each gained new perspectives from our destinations and the people whom we met along the way.
Truth #1 - This is a unique season for us that will never be replicated in the same way.
We had our share of ups and downs along the way with several unplanned detours that ultimately rerouted much of our original itinerary. That said, I am still convinced that this will always be a special year in our family as we remember how we lived in 300 square feet for a year.
One of the games we play in our house is “would you rather..” where one of us presents two scenarios (of relatively equal value) and the person who gets the question has to choose a position or preference. Sometimes, these are serious questions and sometimes, we have more lighthearted or even silly choices. I love getting to see these sides of my family (especially in this season of life) and this game sure gets some thought provoking and often funny conversations going at our house. I know we will play this game for many years, and I am excited to see how the answers change from Will and Nate’s perspectives over time. Maybe Beth and I will change a little too...😀
My prayer here is that the memories and experiences we went through together on this adventure will be ones we reminisce about for decades to come.
Truth #2 - Low and Slow is the Way to go ….most of the time.
Having a spirited kindergartener and now a rising high schooler has taught me the importance of stepping back, doing my best to understand my boys and slowing down the pace of non-life threatening decisions and choices. I’m a huge fan of crock pot cooking and Big Green Egg experimentation - two methods that require “low and slow” preparation with the promise and delivery of outstanding results. Same holds true with my crew if I can just remember to dial it down with them and let time and love take care of the rest.
Truth #3 - Relationships (new and old) matter more than anything else.
We’ve met some amazing people along the journey from RV park owners to fellow wanderers to kids of locals and RV families on the community playgrounds. Many of these people, essentially strangers, extended great hospitality and kindness to us during our various stops. We especially had the blessing of spending one week with each set of our parents during the course of our trip (they flew out to visit us) and were also able to connect with several family members and friends we know along the way. We had our closest friends from Atlanta fly out to Monterey CA to visit with us as well. Very special.
My desire is that this experience helps us take the spirit of kindness and hospitality further and “pay it forward” at home as we meet new people and as we strengthen our existing relationships.
Truth #4- Comfort Zones are Safe, Growth Zones are Life Changing.
Before leaving on this trip, our life was quite safe and comfortable. We were blessed with solid finances, a reliable home and steady income to maintain a very comfortable life. Our friends and family were fairly close by which made our relationships also quite secure and comfortable. Our life was rather predictable and routine. Perhaps too comfortable...
After embracing this wonderful, crazy and nomadic lifestyle for a year, I’ve realized that life transformation happens outside of comfort zones and most often, in growth zones. Learning new skills , trying new foods, meeting new people and experiencing new places all created opportunities for learning and personal growth. I never thought that I would ever quit a great job, drive a large pickup, and tow a 40 foot house behind it every week across the country.
When I look back at my life and review the highlight films of where I took risks and played outside of my comfort zone, that’s when I experienced the greatest personal growth. My prayer here is that I will always have a healthy appetite for risk taking and a fearless spirit to spend more time in my growth zone - especially in my faith, my family, my work and my charitable giving
Truth #5 - America is truly a magnificent country full of extraordinary beauty in various forms - oceans, rivers, lakes, mountains, hills, cliffs, canyons and much much more.
There’s no way this beauty is coincidental or even formed by accident. I am humbled by God’s handiwork in ALL of it, right down to the tiniest of animals and their unique features to the massive rock formations and canyons of the West. We have been simply astounded by the variation, intricacy and range of His work. Having traveled to many countries in the world in my earlier life, I now have a much deeper appreciation for America and its endless beauty. We’ve kept some of our original bucket list destinations on the list to visit again in the future....too much to see (maybe we’ll finish the list during Nate’s gap year!).
Truth #6- Work will always be there when I am ready to re-engage in my next chapter.
The marketplace is a wonderful place with plenty of opportunities of all shapes and sizes. Stepping away for a year+ from an exciting and fast-paced corporate career helped me to think clearly with great discernment about my next move professionally. I am honored and pleased to have a wonderful network of colleagues, clients and friends who have been nothing short of encouraging and supportive during this year of reflection. While I do look forward to accelerating my contributions in the marketplace (still undecided on what and how), I am confident that my perspective will be different and my career will forever be shaped by the value of this year long adventure.
Truth #7 - Quality AND quantity time with family matters.
This adventure has allowed me to have both in large portions. People joked with me before we left on our journey by saying things like “I hope you don’t mind being around your family that much” or “Hopefully you all won’t drive each other crazy being in such close quarters.” The truth is - I loved being around my family that much and there were plenty of days where we all drove each other crazy being in such close range. That’s life on the road...I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I’ve always enjoyed road travel days (before and during this trip) when I can catch up on life with Beth while the boys are listening to their audio books (while we also enjoyed 70s and 80s tunes alongside The Message on our satellite radio). This is valuable time for the two of us- always.
Having breakfast almost exclusively with Nate every day of this journey (we’re the early risers), playing games or telling jokes with Will at night or just making time for family fun have been huge blessings and ones that I will always cherish even more than the places and sites we visited.
So why all of this rambling on about our adventure? Simple...I want to make sure that my Half Time journey reflects what I’ve learned in these Seven Truths. I am committed to moving from Success to Significance in my second half and look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for me and my family.
Will is 15, and enjoys running track, writing,