Ooops! I’m doing it again…
One of my resolutions this year is to do less trip planning and go with the flow. With nearly 3 months at my disposal for my Northwest adventure (March – May), you’d think it wouldn’t be difficult to play the whole thing “by ear.”
So, why then, do I end up planning nearly the entire first month of the journey? I found a poker tournament in Seattle. It quickly became a destination, as I’m determined to participate in it either as a player or a dealer. The festivities begin March 12th — giving me little more than a week to get there.
Add two job inquiries to the mix (special events at a couple casinos in May), the realization Seattle has 20 poker rooms I need to explore, and a couple other “just wanna’s”, and I find myself with a detailed itinerary for 1/3 of the trip already!
- Ely, Nevada (casino boondocking)
- Jackpot, Nevada (casino boondocking and job inquiry)
- Marsing, Idaho (my first real Boise visit)
- Pendleton, Oregon (casino boondocking and job inquiry)
- Leavenworth, Washington (just because)
- Monroe, Washington (2-week poker stop near Seattle)
I suppose that as long as I continue to seek out special events to supplement my income in poker, this kind of thing is just going to happen — planning. And, as much as I’d like to believe I’ll be spontaneous after I pick up a work gig, I know full well if I go to back to Pendleton in May, I’ll probably shoot up to the Spokane area afterwards. If I work Jackpot, I’ll probably make my way 6 hours north to Yellowstone National Park.
Life Without Jeepers, Part II
It still hasn’t really sunk in, yet. Life without my beloved special needs pet is going to drastically change my full-time RV lifestyle. So far, I haven’t exactly been more productive. Instead, I’ve rather enjoyed catching up on SLEEP. This, in itself is a lifestyle change. I feel like I’m catching up on years of sleep, as staying in bed until nearly 9 am some days is absolutely unheard of for this RiverCat. Am I really that drained? I think I’m going to allow myself to do this a few more days before I start setting my alarm.
It’s not that I haven’t thought about the advantages of not being a caregiver any longer. I’ve thought quite a bit about it! It’s simply going to take awhile to reprogram, I think. (Is it crazy that I still feel like I’m supposed to be taking care of my baby boy)? I’m going to be easing into a new lifestyle:
- No more worrying about rushing home. This is huge. Longer poker sessions when I’m winning. More double-shifts when I’m dealing at special events. (During the World Series of Poker in the summer there are several major events throughout Vegas that I can literally “drop in” on and be put to work).
- Longer day trips and hiking adventures.
- Hotel stays. As a player I receive a lot of promotional offers to stay in resorts for free. Now I get to take advantage of them!
- Air travel. This will also add to my income substantially! My inability to fly to other venues to work has cost me a vast fortune over the years. This was not only an obstacle as a poker dealer, but it was a major roadblock with most of my potential business ventures (a business I’ll really launch once my debt is paid off this year).
- Cruises. Yet another potential income! There are actually about a dozen poker cruises every year. Work, play…I will be on a cruise ship before the end of next year.
- More time for productivity at home. Exercise. Developing my business. With a special needs pet I was switching gears constantly. I loved caring for Jeepers, but with 3 feedings, 2-3 medications, and social needs — I was constantly distracted from the things that could better my own health and prosperity.
- Less stress during long drives. While Jeepers loved visiting new places, he had a terrible time with the actual drives, particularly up and down hills. He had to be sedated. This was always quite stressful for both of us and a race against time to get to my destination as his medication wore off. Now I will have more flexibility to make pit stops when and where I want!
- Odors and the luxury of leaving doors and windows open. Of course, as cats do, Jeepers destroyed pretty much every screen door or window I ever had. Now I can open the windows again!
- Less worry during the heat of the summer. My constant concern during my summer jobs has been a power failure leaving my cat helpless against the murderous Vegas heat. It’s a terrible situation and I’m very grateful this was not his ultimate demise.
- More sleep.
I’ll always cherish the years I spent with my best buddy ever. I think about him every day. So my new reality doesn’t feel quite “real” yet. I can’t wait til it hits me…