It's nearly upon us. IT is the new year, 2013. I don't know what happened to the last 12 months, but they surely have passed rapidly. The reality is that time passes at precisely the same rate it did when I was born. It just seems like it's passing more rapidly. I've read some scientific explanations for why time feels like it flies, but I'll let you research that for yourself if you have a mind to.
The fact is that in just 7 more days 2013 will commence. It's later than it's ever been and tomorrow and each succeeding day will be the first day of the rest of my, oh yeah, and your life. I had to throw in a few clichés. I couldn't resist.
So, The Plan is the topic of this post. I began planning for 2013 a couple months ago. As of January 1, 2013 I will have been living my nomadic, living free lifestyle for 50 months. I still have no regrets. It has been an educational and enlightening time. A few important changes have occurred during this period. One is that I realized that I didn't really need a 38' to 40' diesel pusher motor coach. In fact, I realized that I need far less space than I originally thought I'd need. This is good for the planet because I have and will continue to have a much smaller footprint than I've ever had except for a short period of time while I was in the Air Force.
I've also learned, after spending about three years staying in the northern Virginia/Washington, DC area during weekdays, that I don't want to live in any large or medium sized city again. I also learned that after 26 years (longer than the 22 years I lived in my native hometown of Clifton, NJ) that I could leave and not miss Winchester, Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley. I learned the same lesson when I moved to Winchester from Annapolis, Maryland, but my Annapolis residency was only a ten year period.
I've also learned that it is very easy for me to adapt to most any situation and fall into a comfort zone. Yes! I've had some road time during these past 50 months, but only a small percentage of the time I had planned to traverse the country. This is a personal disappointment. My biggest challenge is "inertia," i.e. an object at rest remains at rest until acted upon by an outside force (motivation). This is another of the many personal challenges I have to overcome. Everyone has their own set of personal challenges and as I've stated here before, this living free lifestyle is a never ending learning process that includes plenty of trials and errors.
So, 2013 is upon me (us). It is time. I have been doing the soul searching I need to determine why this "body" has remained mostly "at rest" and what the "external force" and "action" is that will propel this "body" into motion. Okay, so I won't try to delude myself, it's excuses. Yep! I have a million of them. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I have lots of them, pretty much all without basis.
Thus, I started contemplating a plan for 2013 a couple months ago. It's almost like the plan when I decided to make the change to the living free lifestyle and leave the ranch at the end of October 2008. I don't believe in New Years resolutions. Many people seems to make one or more resolutions, but few follow through on them. Accordingly, I'm making no resolutions. My 2013 plan is more like a life map of where I'll be going and what I'll be doing for the year. And, of course, I'm allowing for a few diversions and detours. Plans have to have a certain amount of flexibility to allow for unforeseen circumstances, opportunities and serendipities.
Currently, there are certain things already on the plan. They include some annual doctor appointments in the spring. Then there is a planning committee meeting for the Veteran Speakers Retreat I have coordinated for a dozen years in the spring and the annual Veteran Speakers Retreat in August at Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. This is my last year as the retreat coordinator as I'll pass the baton to a new team in August. Then I'll be in San Antonio, Texas in October for the annual CFDD conference that I help my former partner with each year. There is also the possibility of at least one conference project with my long-time friend and client in Fairfax, Virginia, whose office I use when I'm in the Fairfax area. I don't have dates or locations yet for any of his 2012 programs. These various events will move me around the country a reasonable amount, but only represent a small amount of the available time in 2013.
The first priority for 2013 is to liquidate any remaining assets in the form of professional audio & video gear, some antique amateur radio equipment, various technical books (audio and book publishing) and anything else still in storage in Winchester (some in West Virginia) that I will never need or use again. This will allow me to close and eliminate the storage unit in Winchester and hopefully downsize the already small storage unit in Keyser, West Virginia.
Concurrent with the final downsizing project I will be completing the build in of My McVansion (my van) and get it road ready. Any known serious issues are repaired and it appears to be in excellent condition for nomadic vandwelling around the U.S. Both projects will be complete by Spring.
The e-book project also begins during the first quarter of 2013. My New Zealand buddy, Brian Morris, has been after me to get started with publishing several e-books. Brian already has 22 books published, so I have some catching up to do. Most of the writing for several books is already done. The major work is editing and formatting now. I have been dragging my feet for several years in making the transition from book publisher to book author. It's time to launch this new part of my career.
I'm planning my shakedown cruise through West Virginia in the spring. While I've had the opportunity to travel through parts of West Virginia over the years, there is so much to see in this beautiful state. I have friends in various parts of the state that I'm planning to visit. The trip will give "Mickey V" (short for My McVansion) a chance to see a lot of Blue Highways, country roads, small, rural towns and plenty of hills and small mountains to traverse. It will also allow Mickey V to show what she's made of.
These past four years have afforded me a lot of time to contemplate what I want to do and what I want the third half of my life to stand for. This is a country of fantastic diversity in people, ideas, businesses, music and art. I've come to the conclusion that my mission over the next decade, or possibly longer, is to meet as many of these people, listen to their music, view their art and learn about their businesses. Then I'll write about what I learn in a variety of blogs and share recordings and interviews with you and others interested in how folks are living their dreams and living free.
I'm also creating some ideas to help some folks who are can benefit in some positive way and then help others by paying it forward. I haven't determined the details. Later in the year I'm hoping to make it down south and up north to visit a number of friends. After the shakedown cruise I'll begin planning specific time slots for the trips.