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  • Writer's pictureMark Whitten

In A Life Rut? A Few of You should Do This:

I wrote this piece for a friend of mine who had requested me to guest post on his site (who by the way is an amazing author and thinker - talk about a guy who has some uncanny, yet super practical wisdom for a life well-lived...He's probably the most righteous man I know...God would have definitely spared Sodom and Gomorrah had he been one of its residents - so go check out his site).

I'm not sure if it was, or ever will be posted, but since our readership is probably quite different, I figured it might benefit one or two of you.

So you want to do life differently? Chart a new course? Be brave again? Drag yourself out of a depressed state?


Sort of…

But not comfortable.

So if you’re bound to a certain level of comfort and ease, this article may not be for you. However, if you’re sick and tired of being...well, you get on.

In 2018, my wife Julie told me we were going to have our 6th child. Surprise is all I have to say. I was 42, our youngest at the time was 7, and we were well on our way to being empty-nesters in about 10 years (we try to nudge our eaglets out of the nest just as soon as they can flap their wings). But as an ancient Proverb says, “Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but…”

Nevertheless, instead of tacking another 7 years onto our 10 year plan to finally be "free", we decided to make it happen regardless of how many children we had in tow.

So we sold out.

22 beautiful acres and a homestead in Tennessee (the perfect TEOTWAKI, backwoods bug-out location, set high on a ridge with a beautiful view overlooking a picturesque valley, 9 miles to the nearest gas station) gobbled up in a hot real-estate market in less than 10 days.

You have 30 days to move out!

2 Barns, vehicles, trailer, ATV, motorcycle, mowers, power tools, hound dog, cat, and on and on…

Where are we going to go?

I dunno…

Mountains or Beach?

Julie is a beach gal. She won.

We sold and gave away as much as we could and left our lives (job, business, church, family, friends, even children - then ones who didn’t want to follow - it’s a long story) in Tennessee to chase The Wild Goose.

No, we didn’t know where we were going to land. We didn’t have jobs or a home waiting on us when we arrived where we were heading; in fact, we didn’t know exactly where we were heading until the Uhaul was packed to the gills and we were well on our way. We did secure an AirB&B for 10 days en route, in case you’re wondering.

Now, before you get bored (or enamored) by our adventure, you must know that I am NOT a spontaneous gypsyesque soul, especially with a wife, an infant and an 8 year old along for the ride. I'm a planner. I like things to be well-thought-out and fairly predictable. But we were in a terrible rut and needed to shock the system.

What’s my point in all of this? If you want to do life differently, chart a new course, be brave again, and/or drag yourself out of a depressed state, then SOMETIMES and I only mean SOMEtimes. You need to shock the system.

You need to uproot and GO.

Get on the bike and start pedaling.

Stagnation occurs when there is no movement.

The Dead Sea is the richest mineral body of water in the world. But it has no life in it, because it has no movement and no outlet.

If you find yourself in a swamp. Try paddling out to find the river.

The remedy for some of the readers here is to RELOCATE. That’s right. Get out of Dodge. GO ye therefore!

Disclaimer: this word is NOT for everyone. But whoever it is for, should be getting tingly sensations about right now.

Relocating is a sure fire way to DO THINGS DIFFERENT. It stirs the pot, gets your motor running, activates eustress (the good kind of stress), engages your body and mind in ways that have lain dormant for years, and forces you to make new decisions that you would normally avoid making.

Be warned. It’s not a honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort. Relocating your life is more like an extended camping trip...tent camping at that, in the rain. Funny how the times that we rough-it or a suffer a little together bring about the most memorable moments in our lives.

Back to our story…

After 10 days at our AirB&B we thought we had found a condo to rent. Just before move-in, the Landlord backed out of the contract because we didn’t have “jobs”. Hint: it’s probably best to have a significant amount of money saved or a way to prove income before you skip town. Thankfully, we had made-out well with the sell of our home and were able to get into a very nice apartment after another AirB&B, two weeks later.

In short, we had the most amazing year of our lives. We met new people; econnected with some old friends; lived in the eternal summer of sunny South Florida; traveled in the Caribbean, ate some delish foods, worked on our marriage, loved-on each other, made some disciples, and learned a lot about forgiveness, hope, faith and love.

It never would have happened if we hadn’t sold out…

If we hadn’t decided to GO.

So if you’re in need of a radical shift. One remedy is to relocate.

If it’s a total failure, you can always move back with some incredible lessons learned and a bit more bravery in your tool belt.


PS. We did it again when our lease was up a year later! Now we’re loving our new place in the Florida panhandle. Julie, still got her beaches. I guess the mountains will have to wait.

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