If you’re anything like me you’re probably tired of hearing about mindfulness. It’s been such a buzzword the past few years. But given how 2020 is shaking out I’ve been exploring ways to regain not only physical health but some peace, some calm. It turns out a mindfulness practice fits very well with my physical health and fitness goals.
In April I started taking health and fitness uber seriously. I think the stress of quarantine made me realize that it was one of the few things I could control. And, I think like many of us, my thoughts were kind of like a tornado whirling around my brain those first weeks of lock down. I’m sure most of you can relate.
As I started working out and trying to get my eating habits in some semblance of order, I found myself naturally becoming more mindful. I just didn’t realize that’s what I was doing.
According to Mayo Clinic mindfulness is a meditation practice in which you bring your focus onto what you’re sensing, feeling, thinking in that moment, no judgement or self-censorship.
I kind of like the first definition at dictionary.com:
the state or quality of being mindful or aware of somethinghttps://www.dictionary.com/browse/mindfulness?s=t
The simplicity of that definition speaks to what I experienced and how I approach mindfulness in my life now. Awareness. A way to pay attention.
Life is so busy whether you’re going to a job, working from home, looking for a job, or just trying to figure out your next step. Mindfulness, bringing your awareness to that one moment, to really pinpoint what’s going through your mind, what’s around you, what you’re feeling, what can that do?
For me it gives me an awareness that there really are some things I can control in my life. There are some things that I can affect the outcome.
This week, take one minute and just sit with your thoughts. Just let them come, but be aware of what you’re thinking. Don’t worry about why you’re thinking or that you should change what you’re thinking. Just be aware of your thoughts. Then take one minute and look at the area where you’re sitting. Really look at it. What’s in the space. What does the it smell like? What’s the temperature? What are the colors? What do you hear?
Next week let’s look at some of the health benefits of mindfulness.
Downsizing our entire lives is coming down to the wire. In some ways right now may be more overwhelming than when we first started a year and a half ago. But we’re getting there.
We decided to go with Bix Wireless for our internet solution. We received our modem yesterday. Set up took less than five minutes. They had already programmed the device and inserted the SIM card before they shipped it. The only tiny glitch was I didn’t know the network name so that took a couple of minutes to figure out. The thing I like about Bix is there’s no contract. So if we get out on the road and this solution doesn’t work as well as we need it to, we can cancel our service. Another thing that’s cool is they are based in Jamestown, Tennessee so we are supporting Tennessee business. Yay!!
We also received our Thetford Porta Potti from Amazon. We decided to go with this for our RV bathroom and remove the typical RV toilet. We will be able to utilize the black tank as overflow for our gray tank enabling us to stay out longer once we start bookdocking next year. Also, Daniel won’t have to deal with the black tank, just the cassette from the Porta Potti. Still probably not fun, but not quite as yucky. Hopefully.
We still have a lot to do. But RV life is getting so close and we probably couldn’t be more excited.
Y’all…seriously. It should not be this much of a challenge to find a solution for internet while RVing full time. So much info out there.
We joined the Mobile Internet Resource Center to help research this and get advice. Such a great website run by helpful and super knowledgeable people. But, holy cow, it’s overwhelming! I’m not a network or connectivity expert, but I can hold my own for most everyday applications.
At this point I may have to take up drinking. A lot.
Back to the research. At this point we’re strongly leaning toward Bix Wireless. But who knows where we’ll ultimately end up.
After spending the last year downsizing in our preparation for full time RV life I’ve learned 5 tips that can make the process easier. These tips will work whether you are downsizing your entire life, as we are, or decluttering an overstuffed room
There are also many helpful blog articles and YouTube videos out there if you want to dig deeper into downsizing and purging belongings.
Number One: Start Small
When we first started talking about getting rid of most of our stuff and hitting the road in an RV I looked around the living room and panicked. Overwhelm doesn’t even start to cover the emotion. But what’s that saying? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
That’s how you start downsizing as well. Start with one drawer. Just one. Don’t look beyond that drawer. Once you complete that drawer stop for the day. Celebrate that success. Then choose the next drawer. After a couple of drawers then tackle a whole cabinet. Move from there to a closet, then a room. Maybe tackle a season. For example, can you go through all your fall décor? Do you really need three fall wreaths? Four Christmas trees?
Number Two: Start With Non-Sentimental Items
When you start downsizing don’t start with your grandmother’s china. Just don’t. Start with something very benign. When we started with our first drawer it was the kitchen junk drawer. Easy-peasy. It took me over a month to tackle anything remotely sentimental. Understand that purging those sentimental things will exhaust you. Not just emotionally. A couple of hours of going through sentimental things is enough to wring you out physically as well. Be gentle with yourself. You’ll be grateful if you don’t start with those things. And don’t save them all for last either. Intersperse those tough decisions in between some pretty easy ones.
Number Three: No Maybes
When you start downsizing you’ll want three piles or bins. Only three. Sell. Donate. Trash. Notice there is no Maybe or Later pile. Don’t do it. Just don’t. Maybe becomes Keep. Then everything goes into Maybe. Don’t fall into that trap. In downsizing there is no maybe.
Number Four: You Aren’t Going to get Rich
You might sell some of your stuff. Understand you are not going to recoup your money. You are not going to finance your lifestyle. You are not going to get rich. You just aren’t. That necklace you paid $50 for might bring you a dollar. Maybe. And don’t think you’re going to have a garage sale and get rid of everything. You won’t recover your time. After selling a few things we decided to either donate or trash stuff. Honestly, the quickest way we found to get rid of stuff is to set it out on the curb with a sign saying “Free.” Goodwill is your friend. Just donate stuff. You’ll provide a job for someone and feel a lot better about yourself. If you are really determined to sell your stuff, try resale apps or Facebook Marketplace.
Number Five: Get It Out of the House ASAP
Once you have stuff boxed up get it out of the house ASAP. Those boxes sitting around start talking to you, whispering that they really aren’t junk, you really want to keep them. You don’t. Just let it all go. Get those boxes out of the house. Rip it like a Band Aid.
Bonus tip: set a due date for the downsizing/declutter to be completed. Schedule the tasks.
What tips would you add to this list? Have you ever downsized your entire home or life? How did it go? How long did it take you?
Our dogs love these cookies. Seriously. They will dance for them. Even Jade the Diva who is (I swear) a cat in a dog suit.
And y’all, they smell so freaking good! I promise they smell like human cookies. My mouth waters when I open the bag. I may or may not have tasted one. Okay, I did. But I had to! They SMELL SO GOOD. But they must have some taste only dogs love. Although they smell like people cookies they absolutely do not taste like people cookies. Definitely dog cookies.
I’m not a patient person.
Seriously, I’m not.
But that NOBO 19.6 spoke to us. Well to me. Daniel liked it a lot. But as soon as we walked through, opened all the doors, looked at the storage, the decor, the floor plan, we both knew. We found THE ONE. Or at least the one we want to start our full time RV life with.
Trying to do the right thing, we took the salesman’s card, asked him to email us a deal sheet, and drove home.
We watched YouTube videos.
We decided we want the NOBO 19.6.
Wednesday afternoon I called the dealership, but our salesman was with another customer. I emailed him that we like the camper, but will need three to four weeks to get our finances settled. I asked him if he would take a deposit and hold the rig for us.
No response Wednesday evening.
No response Thursday morning.
No response Thursday afternoon.
Friday morning I called again.
The NOBO sold to someone else on Wednesday. I almost cried until I heard him say “But we’ve got more on order.”
So not only had they already ordered more of the same RV, one of the new units they ordered is already equipped with solar, which is something we want anyway.
Trying not to sound all trembly and whiny, I asked him if they would possibly take a deposit and hold the solar equipped unit for us.
Yes, it turns out, that is something he is willing to do. And the deposit was about 10% of what I anticipated.
So, while I was fretting for a day and a half, God had a better plan going. You can call it serendipity if you want to, that’s all good. I call it a God Thing.
And I’m grateful, so grateful we’ve found our RV. We should be full time RVers in six to eight weeks.
RV life…it’s so close. SO CLOSE! We’re trying to stay calm and only buy necessities for now. I’ll be honest, though. Sometimes it’s a challenge to differentiate between a want and a need. You get me, right?
But I think we’re doing pretty well over all.
We did buy a mat for the bed of our truck. We also bought a cover and will install it tomorrow.
We also bought a few necessary items like a sewer hose, stabilizer pads, curved levelers, water filters, water hose. You know, exciting things. LOL
But this is exciting to us. And if you’ve read this far, you’re excited for us, so thank you!
Yep, we sure did. A big truck. One step closer to full time RV life.
We bought a 2012 Ford F-250 Lariat Turbo Diesel 4WD. We both love it. It is super fun to drive. But y’all it’s A LOT of truck!!
Now to get a bed liner, bed cover, buy the camper we decided on.
But we’re on our way!! Woo hoo!!