Hello All! I hope you are doing well in 2021. These are some very strange times we live in and it takes everything we can muster to keep moving forward, even if we are stuck in neutral in our homes. I have some keys to resiliency to share with you that are helping me to find my way. First some good things and bad things that have happened. Then why thinking about resiliency in my personal life is essential to my RV life.
Good things that have happened so far include:
- getting the first vaccination shot and the other scheduled for the end of the month! This has probably been the biggest breakthrough for me since last March when the pandemic began. Just getting the appointment was a huge boost in my mental health. It has given me space to plan for the future.
- I have organized my winter plans for the Texas Gulf Coast in 2021-22. I’m very happy to think about returning to this very pleasant location, although this year reminds me to be prepared for anything. I’m glad I’m not in Texas this winter!
- I finished my second novel and starting on the third. I have come to love this part of my life.
- Staying at home in a conventional apartment has its advantages. I never have to think about propane levels, draining tanks, insulating hoses, or having a concern about onboard systems. Plus I have unlimited internet access and a laundry room 10 steps from my door. Plus I have a new adjustable standing desk to help me not sit so much! It’s Airstream sized.
- Though I haven’t seen them as much as I hoped, my family members are only 30 minutes away. It’s a comfort to have my people so close in these uncertain days.
- Planning to get back to full-time Airstream living this summer!
Not So Good Things that have happened:
- My truck has been hit twice in the apartment building parking lot. The first time was a hit and run that did extensive damage to a tail light and rear fender. The second was a FREAK accident. A guy fleeing the police drove into our parking lot doing 100mph. Our lot has an elevation from the street level and the entryway is inclined. His car went airborne and when it finally came down it plowed into several cars, flipped, and slid a 100 feet. He walked away from the accident (in handcuffs) but seven vehicles were damaged in a chain reaction. I was #6 and the five before me were totaled. Seems that my truck is fixable and won’t be totaled. I’ll be without my truck for about a month. But at least it’s coming back to me.
- Living on a fixed income means living on a financial edge and two accidents and the insurance deductibles mean shifting spending priorities. Moving into this apartment was a financial drain for me. Having two accidents is making things worse. But faerie godmothers and Uncle Sam have softened the blow.
- I’ve gotten terribly out of shape like everyone else who is putting on pandemic pounds. I know I could be exercising at home or driving somewhere to go take a walk. Hasn’t happened too often, since fall. Sigh. Spring is coming they say.
Crises and Resiliency
During this pandemic it seems as if all my usual cues and understandings about how life is supposed to be are short circuited. Emotions get frayed. Depression and sadness can be draining. Zoom calls are wonderful but no substitute for actually being the in the presence of another human being. When my truck got hit I had another in what seems like an unending series of existential crises about the future. That’s when it hit me. I keep going because I am resilient. What does that mean?
I thought about how I daily create a life I love and that allows me to bounce back from crises. A resilient life.
First is – know myself. Second is – have some goals. Third is – have a core of friends/family that are my rock. That’s life. The rest is gravy.
When I am present to those three things, I can roll with whatever I encounter – good and bad. I know people get fixed on the “yeah, but” of health, money, job, kids, house, food. Those things are very important and they cause our lives to rock and roll. My family all had a covid exposure scare. Thankfully they did not get sick. I had two truck accidents that were totally unfair and costly. Many of my friends and family are still waiting to get the vaccine. It sucks. I’m a travel writer who can’t travel. Life happens. Stuff is gonna fly. For me, I endure by having a solid foundation within myself. Tragedies and hardships will come. But I can handle it.
I know who I am. The who is important and I work at improving and growing. The knowing is what leads me to action. Knowing gives me meaning. Then I have space to take actions. Gary Bishop wrote, “If your dreams had actions, they’d be your reality.” Take action. That’s key to who I am.
I have goals. I set a goal to launch my first novel (mark your calendars for March 23, 2021!) and write the second novel (full draft is in the hands of test readers). The pandemic threw my life into a blender and this is what I made out of it. I had to reset goals for the year. I had to rethink how I was going to live day-to-day. Goals keep me going. I even set a writer’s goal: I am a writer who transforms others with my words. I live that goal every day when I write.
I have a rock of friends and family. If I have news, I share it with them. These peeps are part of my life’s small details. Intimacy of this sort is human bonding. They were my lifeline when deciding whether to get off the road last year. Have meaningful connections with those who you trust, are reliable, and who feed your spirit. You need a cheering squad! None of us can do life alone.
How do I get past not knowing if my travel life will continue, if my vehicle will come back to me, if my health will survive a global pandemic and sitting around endlessly? How do I keep my sanity in choppy financial waters, in worrying about the safety and well-being of friends I haven’t seen in a year, in risking going to the grocery store or other places even with a mask? It’s a lot of anxiety and fear. But I have those 3 things that make me resilient.
The political crises of this year and the pandemic nearly sunk me. I thought I lost my nerve and seriously considered selling my Airstream and not going back on the road. But I have those 3 things that make me resilient.
Resiliency is something you can create whether you are in a hospital bed, a homeless shelter, or going crazy from loneliness. It is a creation that gives me my life.
Know yourself, set some goals, have your rocks. That’s your life. The rest is gravy.
Here’s your moment of zen from the 2021 snowpocalypse in Seattle. Happy trails and see you on the road later this year.