Appreciation… Personally, Johnny here, that’s what comes to mind. Especially as we, assuming most were raised in areas where the advancements in life seem to be more eternal and never ending as our next breath. By this I mean: clean water from a tap, a market with a variety of local and non-indigioues species of vegetables, meat, and foreign foods, fuel for vehicles and gas stoves, the list goes on… 

Wait, wait, wait… Slow down, we’re talking about living in the now. So… to bring it on track, to live with what you have, to not be ashamed of yourself, and to constantly try to make things better and more self-sustained. We have four kids, and four animals that depend on us daily. For those of you who understand the amount of hours one must dedicate to develop great children, good. For those of you who understand daily commitment, just as good. Learning to live around things we had determined as absolute staples, turn out to be modified until we reach an able state. Whether it be with extension cords running on the floors, pooping into a five-gallon bucket with a bag and adding wood shavings, or any of the other vast adaptations that we took as ‘just do it’ instead of whining, becoming discouraged, and abandoning the adventure before it began, and during.

Living with what you have… be that may a no pump for your water system. The electrical system still having problems and popping fuses or not even installed. Maybe trying to figure out what to do for money to buy new/used parts, wood, to help ‘the build’,  while calculating costs for lodging, electric, water, LIFE… Ha-ha! So, instead of losing your mind, lose yourself in the “beautiful mess” Diamond Rio song lyrics that I always feel chilled me out thinking about life with my wife and kids. Amazing roads, sights, and experiences await!

As for feeling ashamed. I feel that’s something that takes exposure to and in the end yields the self-confidence required to confidently maneuver through this adventurous game of life. Whether yours was a childhood one, secondary education, adulthood, or maybe this is it now, you’ll be fine! For me personally, as the patriarch to my own four children, I conquered this when I was a child and went through grocery lines with my 10 brothers and sisters as my mother/father paid with ‘monopoly money’ as it was in the 1990s with government assistance. Therefore, I know my children, whenever they are having their own insecurities, can look to me for the mannerisms, physical stance, thought process, confidence and all other psychological responses to standing up for who they are, what they are doing, no matter the external or internal struggles that exist.

Lastly, have the drive to continue. When the weather isn’t working, if you have a recurring injury, money is tight, then stay true. Tiny living in a partially converted skoolie has taught us all a new patience, a more conscientious eye for trade skills, and a love of our country as you get to see all the beauty, cultural variance, and unknowns .