Thursday, November 12, 2015

Meeting needs -- Day 15

We've been on the road for two weeks now, and I think that we're getting it down pretty well.

Or so I thought.

This is an amazing, life-changing, epic adventure! So many new experiences and learning opportunities! We're having the time of our lives! Unless you ask each of us individually, and then you start to see the disconnect.

We have five creatures on this rig, two adult humans, one junior human, one dog and one cat. (Any other creatures are stowaways and have no voting rights.) The dog and the cat are pretty easy to satisfy, as long as they have access to food, water, love and waste elimination opportunities. The humans each have different basic needs ranging from disc golf to watching YouTube. The challenge is trying to get all of the needs of all of the beings met in a timely fashion.

Being the patriarch and course planner, it is mostly up to me to decide where we are going, and what needs are going to be met. Fortunately, my helpmate is really flexible (heh, heh) and really just needs to be around some trees. This is the easiest requirement of our nomadic, camping lifestyle! Of course, I get more points the more scenic and prolific the trees are, so I try to find really nice state parks when I can. The animals are mostly happy when Momma is happy, so there's three sets of needs taken care of with very little effort. The final two are more complicated, and require a lot more creativity and compromise.

My darling 10-year-old is a YouTube fanatic. I honestly didn't know such a thing existed, until she became one. I've spend my share of hours sitting in front of YouTube (usually trying to learn something at first and then devolving into mindless entertainment -- or worse.) But my many (many, many) hours pale in comparison to the hardened, seasoned viewing time that my lovely daughter has put in. Honestly, if there were a college degree in watching YouTube, she would have a Ph.D. She can talk for hours about Jack Septic-eye, Markiplier, SkydoesMinecraft, and others. YouTube is her source of life force energy, and without it she gets cranky, almost depressed. So, what's a girl to do when she's on the road, with no internet to speak of?

The other major entity in need of satisfaction is me. I like to think that I'm a simple guy with simple needs, but this trip has proven that to be understatement. Mostly, I don't mind sacrificing my personal happiness for the happiness of my family. I have proven that for years. The only major thing that I can't generate in any random location is my one sporting outlet: disc golf. Really just a fun hobby, it fills with me with great joy. Also a fun family activity, when I can get the girls to come with me.

So how do we reconcile all the needs of all the people? Hico, Tx. Seriously, you would think that I have a longer answer than that, but it's been pretty simple. This little town has been the answer to all of our issues, and we plan to come through here as often as possible. They have a wonderful RV park located on the Bosque River, with kickass WiFi and a disc golf course. The camping rates are reasonable, too!

Granted, this doesn't address the deeper issues that we all have, and we realize that we can't stay here forever. The bigger solution is to compromise, and rotate getting our needs met in a revolving sequence. In Hico we golf, watch YouTube, and enjoy the park. When we leave, we try to find a place that meets the needs of at least two people, and then on the next stop we meet the needs of the one that was left out. This is the compromise that we're going to try. I'll let you know how it works out.

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