So, here it is, January 12, 2011, already, and I’m just getting around to another post and the first for this new year. Before anything else, I want to wish all my readers (two or 2,000 – I have no idea) a very free, happy, healthy and abundant 2011. In my estimation, this is going to be the best year ever, not just for me, but for every one of you. Of course, you have to, first, make the decision that it’s going to be the best year ever for yourself and second, take steps to implement that. Thoughts and words without actions are empty wishes and seldom amount to anything.
I am writing this post from Palm Harbor, FL, a small community on the Gulf coast near Clearwater and Tampa. A small group of my friends have rented a nice little house in a residential community for the month of January (we’re already wishing it could have been February, too). I’m the “couch surfer.” I have a sofa bed in a room off the kitchen that doubles as a dining room and separate sitting area. So, while I don’t have a separate bedroom, I do have a door to close, a TV set in here and the dining room table which is my computer work area including one of my 24” monitors, a pair of decent sounding external speakers, my HP laptop (for some audio work I’m doing) and my little ASUS netbook computer for everything else and my necessary peripherals. There is a lot of glass in here so I get just the right amount of light and I overlook the pool. The sofa bed is, actually, pretty comfortable. Sometimes I open it and sleep on the enclosed mattress, which is one of the more comfortable sofa bed mattresses I’ve ever encountered. Other times, I simply take the back cushions off the couch and sleep on it in the closed condition – and, amazingly, I find it quite comfortable. I haven’t had a bad night’s sleep, yet. I did schlep along one of my air mattresses – just in case. But, It has not been deployed since I arrived, no need. But, having slept on any number of couches and sofa beds in my time, I figure better to be prepared.
The weather has been generally moderate. It’s cold today, the low was in the mid 40’s last night and it’s expected to get up into the high 40’s or low 50’s for the high. Tonight it could slip into the 30’s. Brrrr. However, it beats being up in Virginia and that region where they are experiencing temps in the high teens and 20’s and it’s snowing. Generally, the temperatures have been in the mid 60’s to low 70’s during the day and in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s at night. That should return by this weekend. I think I can survive this.
The only minor downer so far is that my travel companion, a long time friend and one of the “four musketeers” staying here at the house, was in the process of catching some kind of “bug” as we traveled down from Virginia to Florida on December 30 and 31. Hers blossomed into a full cold-like illness right after we got here and about two days later, I began the same trip. I feel like I’m on the coming-out side of this “bug” last night and today.
Unfortunately, this house doesn’t have any Internet connectivity – which, for me is a major negative. That’s not because I want to be on the Internet all the time, but because, my life/livelihood and freedom revolve around connectivity. There is a very new, modern, YMCA about four blocks away, a modern, comfortable public library about ten blocks away (both within easy walking distance – thus, providing opportunities for exercise – the positive from the negative) and there are other places, like my default office
on the road, Paneras Bread Café, about four miles away. So, while the Internet issue is an inconvenience, it’s not a deal breaker. And, I can still check my email on my cell phone from time to time.
This morning, in just a few minutes, I’m going to get
on the road, stop at the library and upload this posting and then head to Tampa and the Florida State Fairgrounds where there is a very large RV show for the next several days. I will meet my friends, Richard and Joan Parker there, they are exhibitors, and I’ll tour some of the (probably hundreds) of motor homes that will be on display. Part of my objective for this trip to Florida is to begin wrapping up my research on the “right” motor home for my particular needs and lifestyle. While these will all be new motor homes at the RV show and I plan purchasing a used, older motor home as a starter unit, I will am much more informed, educated and aware of what I want and what to look for. So, I plan to enjoy the day today and, if I think I need to see and learn more, I’ll head back tomorrow (I believe my ticket is good for at least two days of the show).
So, this is THE year! In a couple months, I’ll turn the double 6’s on my next birthday. I’ve spent the past two years without a home of my own and loving the freedom. I’ve had to make LOT of changes in my life – mostly mental and psychological – to accommodate this new lifestyle that I have accepted by choice. I continue to feel freer and happier all the time. There have been challenges. There have been some negatives. But, there has been nothing insurmountable and I’ve learned from everything I’ve done. I managed to cover 27 states and about 16,000 miles around the U.S. in 2010 – and saw many things I’ve never seen before (at least, not when I haven’t been about 7 miles above it), met many interesting people and enjoyed learning so much about the places I’ve been. I moved my residency to the Rapid City, South Dakota area and formed a new LLC (limited liability company) to operate my business from. That is working out perfectly. I’ve downsized from my big old Cadillac Seville STS – a fantastic car and probably one of the best driving cars I’ve owned – to a 1,500-pound lighter, Ford Focus 5 door hatchback. It sure ain’t a Cadillac, but it’s fun and very much utilitarian and what I’ll need for towing behind a motor home. When I return from Florida, I will go at it with a vengeance to eliminate the stuff in the 300 square foot storage area (a lot is already gone) I still rent and most, if not all, of the 5,000+ books sitting in my little storage locker in a nearby town in VA. And during all this, I’ll be looking for “the Deal” on the right motor home for the next part of my adventure. THIS IS THE YEAR!
I plan to complete the book I’m writing on “Living Free” and get it published (probably I’ll self-publish, since, as a retired, reformed, recovering publisher, I can do this myself very easily). I’m limiting my involvement in the recording industry – the profession and industry I’ve spent the past 47 years making a living from. It has taken a lot for me to finally reach the point of letting go of some of these things in my life, but I’m finally there. I will begin promoting Living Free seminars and workshops, both to show other people how they can change their lives and find more peace, freedom and happiness on their own terms. I don’t require a lot of income, however, I’m planning for the seminars and workshops to generate some of the revenue I need. Life is good.
I have started a new blog just for travel on travelblog.org and I’ll be moving all my actual travel postings there. Meanwhile this site will be more about my experiences, learning, information, etc. on “living free.” I will do a couple more postings here to complete the South Dakota Road Trip, however, then the travel will move – and I’ll provide a link for those who want to follow those experiences. I’ll be starting some new Web sites (I already own the domains) that will all be interconnected and breakaway from my Oakhill Press identification, though I’m still willing to continue some consulting work with various people on book publishing and audio projects for long time client/friends.
So, those are my 2011 plans. What are yours? How is this going to be your best year ever? How will you define more freedom and happiness in your life? Certainly, you don’t need to follow my footsteps. My path is only good for me. Some may follow similar paths, but that’s not the point of being free and happy. Only you can define that for yourself and, if anything, I hope I can be an example and a catalyst for you to discover your path.
So, to wrap up, once again, I want to pass on my very best wishes to you and yours for a Free, Happy, Healthy and Abundant 2011.