Day 17: Halfway

We’re now halfway into our 34-day trip.

New Routines

At 2 1/2 weeks this is already longer than most vacations. But instead of thinking about how we’re obliged to return soon and settle back into the usual hometown routines, we’re adopting new ones.

About every fourth day brings an ascension. This has meant we look around for the highest thing we can see and then hike, bike, or (never again) drive it.

About every fourth day we map a route to explore potential home sites for Haven, driving an all-day loop and putting feet on the ground to get the vibe of as many locales as possible. (Most places don’t make the cut.)

About every fourth day we seek out something specifically local, like the roadside strawberries after our Cathedral Ledge bike ride or the best barbecue in the state or a community theater production tonight of The 39 Steps.

About every fourth day we chill and play.

And every night we write.

Then, at least once a week we relocate to a new state.

Creatures of Habit

And yet we continue certain behaviors we’ve adopted together that bring us joy and comfort, that make us comfortable. We share large pots of half-caf in the morning. We do crossword puzzles at meals. We seek out our evening Jeopardy on the telly. We say “I love you” before falling asleep.

Some things, once discovered, become new bedrock. 

Comfortable and Uncomfortable

Everything new is fractionally uncomfortable. Even if it’s merely not knowing where to buy a ticket or to park, or which shoes might be best for the unknown terrain, or how much exertion to expect, or veering off course on what should have been a well-marked trail, or putting into words the wealth of newfound experiences – there is unease facing the unfamiliar. 

Many of those experiences don’t need to be repeated, but others do – both despite and because of the anxiety or adventure or thrill that comes from not knowing what’s next. From not becoming too comfortable, too routine. From not lapsing into complacency.

So as we explore what’s next together, the challenge is to find the right mix. When you have the luxury of creating a life by design, what’s the perfect ratio of comfortable to uncomfortable? 

We’ll be spending the rest of Second Summer (and our lives) finding out.

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