The Journey

We just put a video up to talk about our journey.  We are looking at establishing direction with the YouTube Channel and as we study and learn what it takes to produce content for the channel we also are trying to refine our audience.  We don’t know what that looks like yet.  While one of our goals is to share our journey with everyone, we also want to maintain focus on the RV community and helping new RVers discover the joy that it brings.  It is our Happy Place!
So if you have not checked it out yet.. please consider it.  Subscriptions are totally Free!
Thanks for coming along the journey with us!

Two Months and all is well

retiredIt’s been two months since my last day of employment.  My retirement day and “ceremony” was nothing special other than the drive home when I realized that waking up every morning was going to be different.  I would have to find a new purpose for getting out of bed.  Life was no longer about waking up and providing for the family, the retirement plan would now take care of that.  For the first week I spent time realizing how life would be different.  I created task lists and to do’s.  I spent time thinking about future direction and the projects that I would be taking on, we established our goals for 2019 and beyond.  And low and behold I became busier that I ever have been.  A good kind of busy though, a busy that is driven by me and what I want to do, when I want to do it.
I have mentioned before that I am very active in Scouting.  Scouting has taken a large amount of my time.  It is time that I love giving as I know and have seen the benefits of the program in building up youth and leading them to be good people that will one day assume leadership in our communities.  That is a subject for another time, but I share this to say that being retired has allowed me more time to give to Scouting.
I was asked a few months before my retirement if I would entertain the idea of leading a major project for the local Scout Council.  Taking on the Committee Chairman position to lead the Contingent to the 2021 National Jamboree.  I accepted this position with the understanding that it would essentially become a full time job (not paid).  And so far it has lived up to that expectation.  There is almost something every day that I have to dedicate to this effort.  Don’t get me wrong.. I love it and it has been a ton of fun…. so far.
But today marks the two month mark since my retirement.  Teresa and I had discussed as we were planning for the retirement what the first few months would look like.  How the money would be budgeted, what to do with my time, and of course, how much time we could spend in the RV.  So with the holidays right on the heals of the retirement, the kids house burning, and the birth of our grandson, it has been a real busy two months.  We did manage to get our in the RV once in November, but it soon became a temporary home while the insurance found a place for the kids to stay.  That is all working out just fine now for the kids and it looks like their house will be ready to move in around April or May.
So in the first two months all things considered all is well.  We are not worried about the money, we are keeping busy, going to gym every morning, and then there is the blog and the Youtube Channel.  Which we have taken on as a project to share our happy life.
The blog is… well you tell me… doing well?  I am not sure what that means or how to measure it.  I see the number of views and subscriptions have gone up, but in the two months since we started it we are not certain that our goal of establishing community has moved the needle.  We have not received feedback and our comments sections are extremely quiet.  So I assume that just takes time and time is something that we have for sure.
The Youtube channel relaunch also has been real quiet.  While our effort thus far has been in getting our plan together as to what our channel is going to look like and we are creating content and plans for future content, the growth of the channel is pretty non existent… but that too takes time and with more and more content we hope hope that it will grow.  For us it is about sharing the story.  We understand that there are millions of options on Youtube, but as we watch other channels we get the idea that there is something for everyone and a place for everyone’s story to be told.  So we will be hanging in there and will continue to create content for both the blog and the Youtube Channel.  It’s only been two months, the reality world that I live in knows that all good things need to grow and that simply takes time.  Time that we have.
It’s been two months to the day… and All is well.
Thanks for coming along with us on our journey.
Can I ask that you if you like what we are doing.. share it with a friend.  Check out our Youtube channel… and again, if you like what you see, share it.  If you don’t like it today.. check back.. the future looks fun for us and what we are trying to do.
Have a Happy Day!

Happiness

Happiness1Lets talk about happiness.  I am sure that happiness is on a huge sliding scale and means something different to everyone.  We call our site the Happy Place Diaries, a reference to our RV by and large and the happiness that it has brought to us.  But the sub text of our site is a “Journey to Happiness” and that is where we need to define or shed some insight as to what Happiness means to us and what being on a journey to “find” it means.
First of all our journey to happiness should not imply that we are not happy and we are in search of being happy.  On the contrary, we are very happy with our lives, what we know however by observation is that happiness can be fleeting and change by life circumstances.  Our journey to happiness essentially is an effort to mitigate those circumstances and find happiness and joy in how we live our lives.  I think that we can distill that down to a few ideas or ways that we choose to live our lives.
Number 1.  Money.  Money is the number one stressor in most peoples lives.  We have achieved some financial freedom and have made decisions that allow us to reduce the stress that money could have on us.  We have conceded that we will never be millionaires and that we can live comfortably on what we have.  To us it comes down to an understanding that at the end of the day it is not a bunch of stuff that matters.  Rather it is how we use that stuff to make life better for us and others that make a difference.  Now would I love to be a millionaire?  Sure.. it would open a few more doors, but the trade off is the question.  What is the cost to have all the money and still not be happy.  One of the biggest decisions of our lives was for me to retire.  It came down to can we live comfortably and can we take care of ourselves and our family.  The answer was yes.  It would mean that we would have to make some sacrifices, if you want to call it that, in that, not moving into a new house and getting real good and our budgeting.  But working together we have come to a happy place in our money and that stressor of our lives.
Number 2.  Stuff.  How much stuff do you need.  We have our hobbies and interests, but when a serious inventory is taken of stuff… how much do you really use and what do you need.  Over the past six months or so we have really been taking a look at our stuff and what we need and use.  Many trips to the Salvation Army, Good Will, and the dump has reduced the amount of stuff we have.  Combined with selling off some good used stuff we really have a better understanding of our stuff.  Society dictates that we need more and more and encourages clutter, the by products of to much stuff.  We still have more work to do to reduce our stuff and declutter, but what we know for sure that less has become more.  I think that is one of the wonderful things about the RV.  Everything has a place, everything is in its place, and everything has a function or we don’t need it.
On the journey to happiness reduction of stuff has actually made us happier.  We have learned to use what we have and not get bogged down by what the “Jones’s” have.  It really does not matter in the grand scheme of things.  What I discovered after I retired is that when it comes to clothing for example, I have more than I need and use.  When I was working I was always in uniforms or casual clothes.  Now that I have quit wearing uniforms I am only wearing cloths that fit my life style.. casual.  Yeah, I’m holding on to a suit or two and keeping some nicer clothes in the closet, but really it’s all about comfort and practical use clothing.  The rest can go.  Kind of like going to a restaurant that has too much on the menu.  To many choices apply a little more stress and less happiness.  I know what I like and that is what I do.  That makes me more happy than wading through the clutter of stuff.
10900246_10204119814730465_1618872015724708408_oAnd Finally, number 3.. Family.  While it is last on this list, it certainly is first in what makes us happy.  Keeping our family first has made us very happy.  We have three kids that are all grown and almost gone.  They are the joy of our lives, not without frustration and concern at times, but that’s called parenting, our kids have grown to become good adults.  They all have good jobs, staying focused on their goals, and are good citizens.  They are responsible and loving.  They are caring and kind.  Our oldest son just gave us the gift of a grandchild.  The best of our family is that they value the family.  They understand that the family is most important.  It is the foundation of who and what we are.  Our whole family from our parents to now our Grandson is the most important thing in our lives.  It brings us great joy and happiness.
Family, Reducing Stress, and taking inventory of stuff.  A simply formula for happiness and three things that through focus and work have made us happy and contribute to our happiness.  We have a Happy Life, we want to keep it that way.. and this is our journey. Always staying focused on the reduction of anything that does not make us happy.  I was listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast one day and he summed it up pretty well.  “If it doesn’t make you money and it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it.”  It doesn’t do us much good to do things that move us away from happiness.  So we don’t.
We are happy to share… how about you?
What are some things that you do in your life to make you or keep you happy?
Leave us a comment and share happiness with us.

A Story to tell

16722865_10210896369138704_8453717804084474142_oWe all have a story.  It may not seem interesting or spectacular, in fact to you it may seem very ordinary.  For most of us we try to have as normal or ordinary life as we can, but still with that there is a story.
The story of your family, your friends, significant events in our lives all shape the story of our lives.  When I was young (as many of you) there was no such thing as an internet. You learned about someones story when they wrote a book or you saw a documentary or TV special about them.  Now we have blogs, Youtube channels, and anyone can Google your name and learn a bit about you and your story.  It seems that more and more people want to share their story with the world.  This is something that takes getting used to, especially for folks of my parents generation.  Us 50 somethings seem to be adjusting to this new found world of story telling.  I follow some blogs and YouTube channels of folks my age that are sharing their stories.  At first it was a bit strange that my generation was into this.  For about 7 years I had a blog that was specific to Scouting.  I have since taken it down for various reasons, namely I found it hard to respond to negative comments and online bashing.  Not to say I have a thin skin, rather, I have a low tolerance of stupid and wasting my time.  And so I shut it down to allow a bit of sanity to come back to my online experience.  So I can see why “Older” folks tend to maybe shy away from putting their stories out there.
With this blog, Teresa and I are willing to share our journey with the hope that a path to happiness will create that in others.  We want to share our experiences and the story that comes along with creating a happy life.
Look around, there is so much negativity and division in our world, telling our stories about the journey to a happier life may just change some of that.
I find great joy in watching other families share their stories.  They tend to keep it positive and it restores some hope that there are communities out there that seek a better life.  It is fun to watch as these amateur story tellers are refining “Movie making” and story telling.  It is great to watch and learn from them and yep.. copy their styles.
I initially got the idea to talk with Teresa about sharing our story from watching Mark and Trish from the Keep Your DayDream blog and YouTube channel.  They took us on some epic journeys in the last couple years and inspire a better style of living for what is most important.  And then there is RVDaydream, just a couple empty nesters that have made a decision to live simple, travel, and share their adventure with us.  I think that I really relate to this couple.  They are our age, common interests, and have an honest, non polished approach to their story telling.
Our story is a simple one.  We are at that age when life is good.  I have recently retired, Teresa has a flexible job, the kids are all grown, and we are now Grandparents.  We are simplifying our lives and focusing on what is most important to us.  Fun, Travel, and Adventure are a part of our lives because we can and want to.  And we want to share that story.  It may not be refined or polished, but it is ours and ours to share.
We hope that you find something in our story that will inspire you to share yours.  We hope that you share it and be apart of this growing community… event those of us on the edge of learning new technology and ways to tell and share our stories.
YouTube Channels that I subscribe to:
Less Junk, More Journey
Keep Your Day Dream
Long Long Honeymoon
You, Me, & The RV
I Love RV Life
Less House More Living
I’m Not Lost, I’m RVing
Most of these Youtube channels also have accompanying blogs and websites.  I encourage you to check them out and give them a like and subscribe to their channels. They put a bunch of work into their videos and sites.  And I get a lot out of their channels, you may also find some value in paying them a visit.
Let me know what you think.  Are you sharing your story?  Leave a comment and if you would..share our story with your friends.
Thanks for coming along!

Levi Adam

ttxpcv7brjyj1rxnee29igWe would like to introduce you to the newest member of our Family.  Levi Adam.
Levi is our First Grandchild…. and we can not be more happy to finally meet him.
We are so proud of our Son and Daughter In Law.  Levi is healthy and has already brought so much Happiness to our lives!!!  A terrific way to Start 2019!
Mom and Dad are doing great and are adjusting to being new parents.
Everyone for the last few months have been talking about how great being a Grand Parent is.  After 24 hours, I can totally see what they mean.  Our lives have changed over time and this is a very welcome change and addition to our Happy lives.
Levi was born on January 5th and weighs in at 7lbs 3 oz.  So far he has been a quiet little guy, but has certainly showed off his ability to let everyone know when he needs attention or wants to be close to his mom.
Did I mention we are so Happy!  Can’t wait to take our little guy camping!
Thanks for letting us share!