Present

I flipped out yesterday when I realised we’d been here for three months already.  I was so naive to think we’d possibly be done by then. Very obviously I’ve never built anything much before.

Today I found I’d missed a month and it has only been two months and really, to give myself more wiggle room, you can’t really count three or four of those weeks as we’ve been to Canberra and back over a couple of those weeks – to get money and stuff.

So I feel slightly better about it all, but still: It’s July in four days! We were never meant to be here in July, we are supposed to be sunning ourselves on Byron Bay’s beaches.

Well, I don’t mind to be honest.  To me life has changed already. I am where I am supposed to be right now, I’ve put some new lenses on and that is the main thing.  I’ve got on some glasses that say I don’t have to be held back by circumstance or lack of funds or lifestyle choices (i.e. choosing to drop an income to stay home with the babies). We were heading into a serious rut of hubby working 12 hour days, stress levels hitting the stratosphere daily and always reaching for what was not there. Instead of enjoying the right here right now we reached, desperately, toward the next weekend or holiday. We were crushed by the fact that we could not afford to buy a house, at least none less than 60 minutes drive from work-central.

So we canvassed our options and it began with a push back into school.

This was not always going to be the next step in a linear career. It was a breather.  A time to realign our orbit.  Cutting the chain from the foot to ‘the man’ drew a bit of blood and sweat, but it was done and space from a high-pressure job with no time to think was filled by books and brain work.

We found we could live on a measly income and that was a real freedom.

With the next brainwave then of living on a bus and traveling Australia all my latent travel bugs had a party.  Knowing we were leaving I began slowly de-cluttering our rental and when we moved we were able to fit most of our wordly possessions into two over-sized utes.

The mental release came then as we turned our backs on strugglesville (it was that for us) and toward a creative life, one where we create our life.  And for us it starts with building our own home on wheels.  We choose our way within our limits, but at least we have choice.  Our own hands do the banging and sawing and gluing and sanding.  Every time I take note of what I am doing I think that this is something I will be immensely proud of in the future.  I think sometimes that it would probably be simpler or easier to earn the money to buy a ready-made mobile home or even a house and land package but it would not nearly be as fun and it would not nearly be as personally satisfying as putting our own hands to the task. This bus is both a creative endeavour and also a very practical and useful asset, my favourite kind of  ‘art’ project.  So I am actually immensely grateful for having a very clever husband who is very skillful in many, many areas who I can do things like this with.

When it all comes down to it I would rather be doing this with him than have him working for 12 hours a day in a very separate environment and having to reconnect our relationship after a day of disconnect. Every day.

Today the kids and I watched Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out.  I think when we began this project I expected to whip our bus together the way W&G whipped their rocket together. In a day. Yes, I got my building cues from a British animation. At least it was a good one.  I have found that at least we are resembling one aspect of that show. I am definitely like Wallace. I go at it with loads of enthusiasm and very little ability. I get into messes and Henry, like the intellectual Gromit, rescues me from my mistakes and is the one who actually makes it work.  Together we are a good team!  Or at least I think so.

Our rocket to the moon may not go up in a day or be so spectacular or defy physics so much, but one day it will really be real. Hopefully very soon.

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