Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lies My Red Cup Told Me...

I'm in green...obviously thrilled to have my picture taken.
Japan circa 1972
Living on the road has certainly brought some much needed perspective to my life. I grew up in what I felt was a middle class dad was in the Air Force and my mom often worked as a florist where ever we happened to be stationed at the time. At some point during my childhood my dad went to Officer Training School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant which seemed to bring in a little extra money (we got a second car shortly after). But there were always money struggles...and arguments between my parents and fights that ended up with credit cards being cut into tiny pieces. Of course, I also remember standing next to my mom a few days later at the register at JC Penney while she rattled off the credit card number {from memory} to the sales clerk.

We didn't have fancy things...not like my friend Heidi whose mom didn't have to work. They had a formal living room and granola cereal in those skinny little boxes (aka expensive). Obviously I loved to go to Heidi's to spend the night so I could get a taste of the good life. In retrospect I don't think they were much better off than we were...they just had different priorities.

And that's what I'm finding out in this RV on a retirees income, it's about priorities. I've always worked, often times being the bread-winner or having no other income to supplement my own. So this is a new (and uncomfortable) situation for me. I feel guilty about the expensive of some of my necessities {good God, my contact lens solution is how much?!} even though the hubs has no issue with it.

We spent several weeks living/camping in places that were fairly remote with only a small local general store or gas station in which to stock the fridge. I've had to suffer through instant coffee (and struggled with my french press for a week) since these stores tend to not carry K-cups which was, quite possibly, worse than being without Internet and cell phone service for 2 weeks straight! Now, when we are back in 'civilization' we hardly have any restraint when it comes to stocking up in the good stuff {K-cups, goat cheese rolled in exotic spices we've never heard of, handmade crackers, fancy fruits I've never eaten and probably won't like, etc.}.

And Starbucks.

The Holy Grail!
I got a Starbucks Gingerbread Soy Latte yesterday because I had to have it...and I deserved it...and it's delicousness is only available for a limited time only! It's in a red cup for criminy sake and I haven't had a Starbucks in weeks (come on, some people get one every day...or twice a day...don't judge). That first sip was like heaven...the 7th sip was okay...and by the time we got done grocery shopping my lukewarm nectar from the gods was just something else I had to carry (I couldn't throw it away after the big production I made about getting to have a Starbucks, finally).

I did eventually throw it away later that day, dumping the remaining 3/4 of it down the drain and tossing that damned red cup into the trash. Such a waste...a waste of money, time, non-recyclables. But still, a lesson learned. I don't need Starbucks. And I don't need handmade fancy crackers. It's all really a mind and marketing game. Going without for so long we feel like we deserve that stuff. But so far, none of it has really done anything for us that has been so spectacular that we could never live without it again. Of all of the beauty and peace and comfort and happiness that life can bring, especially when out in nature (at least for me), paying for over-priced coffee has proven to be something I can live without {I think}.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to enjoy this day...sans Starbucks. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Trying to find balance...

Some how I feel like I am more busy now than when I was working. Well, maybe not exactly but I am finding out how much work it is to be a full-time traveler (while taking care of an RV, husband, dog and 2 cats~there's a lot of mapping and cleaning and research involved!). Not that I'm complaining...but I suppose I am giving myself an excuse as to my lack of writing...and working out.

A cairn at Golden Canyon Death Valley National Park
I sure thought it would be easy to start running know, with being in all of these beautiful National Parks and County campgrounds. But it's not. There are a lot of unknowns out there. We are often in places for just a night or two and not all of them appear 'safe' as far as getting out there alone to run a few miles. I've also 'allowed' myself the following excuses:
  • It's too windy. (Las Vegas and Bullhead City)
  • It's too hilly. (Sequoia, California Hot Springs, Panamint Springs)
  • I don't know the area.
  • I have to do laundry. (this is a half a day task in the RV)
  • It's too hot. (Death Valley)
  • It's too cold. (the desert)
  • I'll look stupid in front of the other RV park guests. (yes, I used that one once and ended up walking about 3 miles instead of running)
And while sometimes there are legitimate reasons to skip a run (after all, you have to feel safe and not get lost and running in 45 mph winds with gusts up to 65 mph isn't my idea of a fun run) I've certainly had many opportunities to just get out there and just run. Instead I opted for some hiking and biking, which wasn't all that easy. One of our hikes was over 7 miles and uphill for half of it and another was 3 miles but had a 1000 foot elevation gain within 1.5 miles.

In Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks.
Still, I am starting to get the ache to run...especially when I read some of the blogs I follow, or tweets from runner friends. At this point (2 months since my last run, which was a trail half marathon) I am sure it will feel like starting over...low mileage and struggling with breathing. But I also remember the feeling of accomplishment and the freedom I would feel of just being outside running.

Admittedly, there is still that part of me that feels almost guilted into working out, and perhaps that's why I am resisting. I don't want my body image to dictate whether or not I work out or run. There's a fine line between loving yourself as you are and letting it all go to pot. So I am trying to let the desire return on it's own in some respect. I don't want to become that obsessive compulsive exerciser again...working out because I am less than if I don't.

In the meantime, I'll continue with the hiking and biking with some kettle bell workouts and yoga mixed in for good measure. As far as writing, well I have filled up half a composition book over the course of 30 days since we are so often without Internet that it's the only way to keep up with my thoughts. Hopefully, as we travel to more civilized areas I can turn some of those words into future blog posts. I think there's some good stuff in there!

As I was writing this I came across a couple of interesting articles I felt described what I meant in regard to taking my exercise too far. Here are the links, I highly recommend them!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...