On Tuesday, my writing group friends reminded me that our monthly dinner would be happening Wednesday night. Unfortunately, I was at a campground about ninety minutes away. Lynda offered me her driveway — a nice long driveway, with plenty of room — but my instinctive response was “No, I can’t, I’m at this campground for another two days.”
It took me a while to question myself. Why was I staying at that campground when I could be going out to dinner with friends? Why did I feel locked in to a commitment that I had made to absolutely no one? The campground didn’t care if I left early, and it was a Thousand Trails campground so it wasn’t costing me much money. And even if it had been, even if it had been a $50/night campground (which I have stayed at only once), the money was spent, one way or another, and it wouldn’t cost me anything to go spend the night in Lynda’s driveway instead.
So Wednesday morning, I packed up and headed north. What a great decision. I had a lovely day of writing with L, a really fun dinner with a terrific group of people and good conversations about writing, and although I didn’t sleep well, at 4AM, my characters got chatty again. Yay!
Today turned out to be another totally unexpected day: my plan was to find a quiet place to sit and work, but a friend needed some help and so I wound up venturing forth to unexpected places. I didn’t get much writing done — witness the blog post that I am finally getting to at almost 10PM — but if life were a game, I would have racked up some excellent karma points.
Last night at dinner my friend Angela (hi, Angela!) asked me what had surprised me about life in the camper. I don’t think I said this then, although I might have, but one of the things that has surprised me is how uncomfortable I am with uncertainty. I like knowing where I’m going to be spending the night. I like having my calendar mapped out. And while I want adventures and new places, I am much more prone to deciding where I’ll be camping two weeks out and then sticking to that decision than I am just going where the wind takes me.
But I think I want to work on that. I think I need more days of going where the wind takes me. Some of the nights that really stick out in my memory are the ones that were unexpected: the Harvest Hosts stay at a farm in campground, the parking lot in West Virginia. I’m pretty sure today will be a day I remember for a long time, too, even though I’m parked in a familiar driveway this evening. But being flexible, being willing to be spontaneous, being able to live with uncertainty… it’s all part of living in the now, being present for my life as it is and as it can be. I want to be able to embrace the uncertainty, because the surprises that come with uncertainty are worth the effort.