Lisa and I never know where we will be next. And that is good and bad. Traveling with her work has been the greatest adventure of our lives and we would not trade the experiences for anything. Certainly it has come with some sacrifice – namely being away from family for long stretches – but what an adventure it has been. As we are once again in between jobs, we both have experienced the anxiety of not knowing where we will be next.
Yesterday Lisa accepted a four-week assignment south of Atlanta and will begin that assignment on January 6th. We had been hoping for something east of the Mississippi River for a change since our last two placements were in California and Arizona. Being just six hours from home is a Christmas gift we really did not expect and we are both excited that our travel time will be considerably shorter than our recent trips west. From Georgia there is a good possibility that we will go back to Arizona in February. We do not look forward to that long drive – but do look forward to meeting up with our friends there and Lisa loves the seven days on – seven days off rotation. But, in reality, we really don’t know – and we just never do.
We have learned to not allow ourselves to get too excited or too stressed about that “next” location. Lisa has been recommended for jobs in places like Montana, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, Virginia, Washington DC, and Texas – just to name a few. Always we would begin thinking that might be our next destination and start the planning in our minds. How far away is that? Where will we stay? Can we take the RV? What is the weather like? All those questions had to be answered and it would not take long for us to begin getting excited about those different locations only to be placed somewhere completely different. So, we are learning how to not get too excited about a placement – at least not until the contract is signed.
But we never expected six hours from home and we will get that after Christmas – even if for a rather short time. Now we can begin planning for real and are looking at taking our RV south and have already found a really nice RV park twenty miles from the hospital where she will work. For now the waiting is over and plans can be finalized.
I have written before that I am not a very good “waiter”. That does not mean I tend to spill drinks on people. By “waiting” I mean I don’t do sitting still anticipating the next thing to happen. I don’t wait well. But I am learning how. Of all the characters in the Christmas story – I find myself most impressed with those shepherds watching their flocks. Night after night they would take their positions on the side of that hill and just watch – and (I believe) wait. Here I am reading into the scripture white spaces – but it is my belief that they were waiting for something to happen. Maybe they were waiting and watching for a wolf – maybe they were waiting and watching for something in the stars and sky. Who knows? But they appear to be really good “waiters”. I seriously doubt what they actually saw and heard on that famous night was what they were waiting for or anticipating. And is that not they way of our lives? Lisa and I very seldom experience what we expect. We have very rarely gone to the place we had first planned to go.
Most of the time what we are waiting for is not what we get. Life is a surprise and try as we might to plan for the next big event – those plans are often a waste of time. I long to be one who can symbolically sit on the hill with those shepherds and just be content to wait. I may be waiting on the wolves – but who knows? An angel may show up.
Peace! Steve and Lisa