Friday, April 13, 2012

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

Today has been another interesting and great day. Let’s see, interesting because I read some interesting posts from some of my regular blog feeds and I had a couple of my old clients request some voice over projects for next week – both of which I’ll do from my remote location, the Google Analytics are providing positive signs of growth, which means you good readers are gaining something of some redeeming value out of my musings. I’m humbled by that.

Great? Great because every single day that I wake up, can swing my legs out of bed and plant my feet firmly on the floor – and KNOW that if I look in the obituaries in the newspaper, I won’t find my name listed there – is a GREAT DAY! Additionally, I get to choose to do whatever I want to. I hope you feel the same way about your life.

Unfortunately, so many people live in a world of “woulda,” “coulda” and “shoulda” and just seem to trudge through another day. Last night I received a few emails from a woman in Florida I’ve known for a number of years. Her name is Barbara Glanz. She is always bubbly, happy and positive. I totally respect and appreciate her friendship and the affection we have for one another as friends. Last night one of the things she wrote to me just before I went to sleep was, “I always love hearing from you, Ed -- you make me smile with your positive attitude.” The feeling is mutual, of course. But, to end one’s day with someone telling you that just tells me I’m a worthy person who can, by very simple acts and words, make someone else feel good – even at a long distance. I slept well last night, Thank you, Barbara.

Actually, I had a lot of interesting email correspondence yesterday, but I won’t go into that. But, one of the blog feeds I received this morning, To Simplify, had an interesting quote in it from a retired psychiatrist – “I love it when your blog returns to the topic of people's nonsensical reactions to your lifestyle like "It's not for everybody" or "I can't move into an RV now because I have a chicken defrosting in my refrigerator" or whatever. These reactions are neurotic rationalizations that stem from some inner need not to be confronted by choices that could be unsettling.” The retired psychiatrist is a friend of my blogging friend (who I haven’t met in person, yet), Glenn Morrissette, another full-time, RVing nomad. It just brought up the old woulda, coulda, shoulda term (that can be used in any order) that I and untold numbers of others use all the time. And actually, it related back to an earlier post of Glenn’s from a couple days ago when Glenn made a statement and received a few strong reactions to it. But, that’s another post and another topic for another time.

How many times during our lives have we said “I woulda done this, but . . .” or “I coulda done this, but . . .” or “I shoulda done this, but . . .”  Woulda, coulda, shoulda -  BUT I or you didn’t. In the case of what the psychiatrist was relating to, it was Glenn’s choice of downsizing to the barest minimum of necessary items in his life, giving up a more spacious living arrangement in an apartment or house in a large and exciting city, giving up a lucrative career in the music/recording industry, moving into a small, very compact living space on wheels that allows him a new neighborhood, view and atmosphere on a whim and the twist of the ignition switch of his rolling home. Like me, Glenn doesn’t have a fixed residence of his own any longer, he and I are both residents of the Great State of South Dakota who welcomed us with open arms, allow us to call their piece of this world our home of record and wander the country and the world at will and whim. How great is all this. Well, I can tell you that Glenn is one happy dude and he displays it all the time. And, like him, well, let’s just go back to what I’ve repeated over and over, I’ve never been freer and happier.

But, Glenn and I and probably most other people that we both know like us are constantly hearing people say. Wow! That’s cool! So free! I envy you. I would love to do that! I wish I could do that, but . . . I can’t! And then you meet some who will say, I shoulda done that, but I didn’t and I regret it.

I think Glenn and I and our road warrior comrades, male and female alike (and yes, there are thousands of living free women enjoying the adventure and odyssey of a nomadic lifestyle they’ve chosen and designed for themselves), have grown weary of hearing the woulda, coulda, shoulda excuses and have no sympathy or pity for those who use the excuse, “because I have a chicken defrosting in the refrigerator.” or any number of other excuses for not choosing to change their lifestyle when they see something that totally appeals to them, their sense of adventure and their desire for personal freedom.

Believe me when I tell you being a nomad is definitely NOT the life for everyone. I believe that we all have some nomadic genes in our DNA coding. They are ancient and go back to when the human species were migratory hunters and gatherers. But, as the species became more civilized it began settling down, creating communities and nested. Over time the agrarian, then the industrial and most currently, the information ages influenced lifestyles more and more. The species became less and less nomadic. Thus, today, we have “nesters” and “nomads,” as I describe it. The nesters are by far the predominant percentage of the population. There is a much smaller percentage that is essentially nesters, but display some nomadic tendencies and may have careers in sales, consulting, entertainment and other similar fields that require travel. The smallest percentage, and I would suggest it’s a very small percentage, most likely in the single digits though I have no documented statistics, is the true nomads.

And, thus, we have the woulda, coulda, shoulda people. The truth is, everyone can. Most people won’t. And, in reality, the vast majority of nesters shouldn’t because they will not understand, be prepared for and enjoy the freedom of a nomadic lifestyle. But, woulda, coulda, shoulda applies to all aspects and facets of life. I woulda married this man/woman. I coulda majored in or been trained in that profession or occupation. I shoulda rented for another couple years because then I wouldn’t be saddled with this mortgage and upkeep on this house and be a wage slave to it. You can fill in any descriptive words and situations you want to. Perhaps, one day you’ll be able to say I followed my dream, I’m doing exactly what I want to and living the life I want to. And, I am living my life free and happy as I define it and AS I SHOULD.

To wrap this up, let me revisit my friend, Barbara. Barbara has paid her dues in life. She has worked hard, made some sacrifices and experienced various kinds and degrees of pain. She’s overcome much. Barbara shares her experiences and unique knowledge and ideas with audiences all over the world. She lives in a beautiful condo overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in the world on the Gulf of Mexico. She is the ONLY professional speaker in the world who has the distinction (among her numerous other honors, awards and designations) of having spoken to audiences on all seven continents. Yes! That includes Antarctica. She is one of those who fall into that small percentage between the nesters and the nomads who has a nest to return to, but enjoys nomadic travels in nominal doses. You could say she has her cake and gets to eat it, too. Barbara has me for her friend, who makes her smile with my positive attitude. But, I am truly the lucky one, because I get to have Barbara for MY friend. No woulda, coulda or shoulda about it. 

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