The Winter of My Contentment
Life changes you so much. What you are in one year can be completely different in the next. That is a good thing. With time we grow, and our views change. We understand things we hadn’t in the past and often learn to be more accepting of others. Reflecting on the decades leading to my 51 years, I wouldn’t change anything, as then I wouldn’t be where I am today.
When I was young, playing in the backyard, learning to climb the buckeye tree, and playing house in the garage was all that was needed. I met friends who will be with me for a lifetime, but not knowing at that time how important that would become.
The years of rebellion against parents and authority probably lasted longer with me than most. I still have a problem with authority. No one is going to tell me what to do. My stubbornness often leads to not listening or following a good idea, simply because someone else told me I had to. It also isn’t the best attitude at jobs, and recently when I was pulled over for speeding I had to bite my tongue. I don’t like to be lectured.
Single motherhood is a struggle, and having two with a ten year spread between them was challenging. I was tired, and angry too much of the time. My son was the first, and raised more with an iron hand. I didn’t want him to turn out like me, or some of the people I had brought into his life. By the time my daughter was a teenager, I had learned some things, and realized happiness is what is most important. She saw a more relaxed mother who wasn’t pushing as hard for her to reach goals, but more to find what she wanted in life, and to live it.
The year my youngest turned 18, I was the one who ran away from home. With a truck and a camper, and a dog and a cat, I set off to find adventure. I have explored parts of the country and lived in areas people only dream of vacationing at. I have become stronger and more independent, learning how to live in a camper in high heat, and in snow.
I have been on the road for almost 4 years now. The jobs have their ups and downs, as all do, but when you know you can pull out at any moment, it makes things more bearable. I’ve been back and forth across the country a few times, and have 13 more states to achieve a bucket list of all 50. My parents are both gone, which is harder when it happens than you can understand when people tell you how it will be. My kids have their own lives and are supportive of my vagabond lifestyle.
Usually, at each new place I work, I take off in different directions every chance I get. I have seen more of the United States in the past few years than I had in my lifetime. But, this winter is different. I spend my days off walking the dog in the woods and crocheting in the living room, while the dog and cat nap. Researching new patterns, and making plans to crochet more. Cooking meals that are better for me than the frozen entrees I have existed on the past few years. At first it bothered me that I wasn’t out exploring. Then I began realizing I didn’t want to be. It is the winter of my contentment.
by Diane Moore
photos by Diane Moore