What does social distancing mean for a full-time RVer? For me, it is an opportunity to Boondock on public lands (BLM). There are some challenges involved- I have to leave my spot every 7 to 10 days and dump my 2 wastewater tanks. I am learning to conserve my water, electricity, and food (and toilet paper-What’s up with that?) And, I had to give up my wonderful Yoga teacher, Liz, in Pahrump. I still do Yoga online, but it’s really not the same. The online teacher doesn’t push me like Liz 🙂
I’m not going to talk about the fear and anxiety that I feel (like everyone else). If you are like me and listen to the news too much every day, there is no good that can come from rehashing the same concerns over and over.
Instead, I’d like to share some of the ways that I help myself tamp down my overwrought mind and deal with a situation that I have no control over. There are several things that I have had as lifelong habits and a few new things that I have added more recently.
One lifelong habit that I have maintained over the years is exercise. As I have gotten older, I’ve changed the activities depending on my age and abilities- meaning that my mind is willing, but the body is definitely not on the same page! Walking and hiking, especially in nature, has always been restorative for me. Sometimes, I break in to a jog for 30 seconds, and my body remembers the rhythm of training from years ago for half marathons. That longing to run soon regresses into gasping for breath and a pain in my knee that was so familiar back then. So, walking is good!
Listening to music is also a great stress reliever. On occasion I have been known to break in to a “Dance Party” in my kitchen. I’ve even been known to “Dance Party” in my car- Windows up, Base up, Volume up-singing as loud as I can to The Supremes, Creedence Clearwater Revival, or even to a home-grown Indiana boy singing about “Little Pink Houses”.
When I was in high school, I worked for my Dad one summer in his real estate office. We rode together to the office; him driving and me scrunched down in the passenger seat until we were well out of the neighborhood. It just wasn’t cool to be seen riding in the car with your parents. Anyway, my Dad was a very quiet, contemplative man, not at all forthcoming with his feelings. But, when the AM radio was playing Big Band music from the 1940’s, I could see his body language change. It was if he was transported back to a simpler time when life was about dancing with pretty girls, hanging out with friends and riding motorcycles. It was a time before the wife and kids and the mortgage.
Music has a way for us to transcend the complexities and difficulties of the present time and bring back the naivete of the past, if only for 2 minutes and 33 seconds of a great song.
Napping, meditation or just lying down to rest for 30 minutes or more is healing for both mind and body. I use an eye pillow to block the light, and to put slight pressure on the eyeballs which actually lowers the blood pressure and heart rate. Adding some deep abdominal breathing completes the picture (Until a cat jumps on my chest and wants to smell my breath to see if I have been eating tuna). Remove the cat, continue breathing.
A new pleasure that I have discovered, is cooking for myself. After my husband died several years ago, I was not only grieving the loss, but I was at a loss for how to feed myself. He was the one responsible for meal preparations and grocery shopping. Now what?
Over the next few years, I started to experiment with food and became a Vegan. (That only lasted 3 months, because, I’m sorry, half and half tastes better in coffee than any kind of nut milk!) I settled in to a plant based diet that includes dairy (YES!) and occasionally fish. I love spicy food and haven’t met a vegetable that I don’t like, so it was pretty easy to eliminate meat. I use nuts to top off most dishes and salads, and add beans to about everything.
I’ve recently been experimenting with cole slaw as a source of fiber and raw vegetables. I use the packaged cole slaw mix (or you can shred your own cabbage and carrots), then I add green onions, cilantro, chopped broccoli, garlic powder, and a new kind of salad dressing every time I make it-Poppy Seed, Ranch, jalapeno Ranch, balsamic vinegar based dressing, or oriental ginger. Topped with sunflower seeds-delightful!
I have found that the act of taking the time and energy to prepare food for oneself goes beyond nourishment for the body. It is an act of love for oneself, and others that you may invite into your home.
And now a comedy break……..
Finally, having animals is a great source of love and laughter. All of the responsibilities and expense aside, interacting with animals teaches me to slow down and experience life in the most simple way- a good stretch, an exciting new squeaky toy, or a blissful nap in the sun.
My particular furry friends also provide me with a unique opportunity at storytelling, as in my last writing, when I posted a picture of my cat, Tumeni escaping out of the RV through the opening in the screen door on her way to freedom and adventure!
More recently, I was concerned about one of the 3 cats having a urinary tract infection. I observed several spots of bloody urine on the large dashboard of the rig. My dilemma, which one was sick? Using deductive reasoning, I chose Indie as the likely candidate because she spends the most time on the dashboard lying in the warm sunshine in complete kitty cat bliss.
I found a local vet in Pahrump and drove the RV way out of town. I put her in the carrier, and dragged a loudly meowing cat into the office (She is not the suffer-in-silence type of cat). After a full examination, urine collection, and testing of said urine, the doctor came into the room and reviewed the results of the urinalysis-PERFECT! No infection! In fact, for being 15 years old, she is in really good shape.
I said, “So, she is OK? Did I get the wrong cat?”
He said, “Yes, I think you got the wrong Cat!”
Never a dull moment with pets! As it turned out, Anna was the one with the problem and had apparently been enjoying herself on the dashboard way more than I knew, probably when Gemini and I were out of the rig on our walks.
I hope that everyone reading this blog is safely sheltering in place and finding ways to adapt to this stressful time- “Dance Party”
And don’t forget to Go with the Flo!!!