Look out, Arnold!
Our TV does this thing where it shows album art from our iTunes collection. I don’t know how, but it does. I think my technologically savvy spouse may have something to do with that.
Today, while sprawled on the squishy-ness that is my sofa, and trying to will myself to get the frack up and do something other than stare at an embarrassing display of Ashley Tisdale and Ashlee Simpson artwork (uh oh, I even know the proper way to spell the corresponding Ashley / Ashlee’s names, really must get the frack up), I saw a picture that disturbed me.
The name on the picture said, ‘Don Henley,’ but my guts knew that couldn’t be so. He was an impostor. A horrible man with something to hide.Who was he, really?
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The secret of happiness is to have low expectations. Wait. That’s not how the saying goes, is it?
All I know is that my dream started with wanting to live in an RV. The RV that was perfect for me (small, live-in, hubby could get up and walk and stretch his back while I drove) turned out to be one of the most expensive on the market — like, the same price as our house that will take us 33 years to pay off.
So what was next? I looked at used ones. Still way out there. Okay, maybe a different class? Buy a used van and MacGyver an RV with the hubby? He’s great at MacGyver-ing stuff! Then a trailer seemed the best way to go. Used. Used trailer…then pop-up (used, of course). Finally, through a series of events and discussions that I won’t bore you with, I made a decision.
Screw it. I’m buying a tent.
And so my adventures begin. Me, my tiny car, any time off of work that I can get, and the open road. (Hubby will wait until we move into the camper phase with heat and air conditioning before he joins me, though I may be able to convince him to join me for a long weekend if the mosquito population is low and the temp is between 68-72.)
I guess success came when I stopped worrying about everything and just focused on what I could do. I could afford a tent. I could take a week off of work. I could ask my dad to teach me how to camp on a trip during that week. I could take time off on my own instead of waiting for hubby’s weird work vacation schedule. I could do something I love that hubby hates. (Whole weird emotional issues of being a people-pleaser here. Hubby often reminds me that he loves me and wants me to be happy and that I should do what I want to do. For some reason, I tend to choose my actions based on what I think people around me want, however not-accurate that may be.)
And so, though I still dream of living on the road and though that dream seems far off, for now, I am doing what I can do.
What I did this week to work toward my RV dream:
This is no time for decision making or purchases. There is so much out there. There are so many possible paths.
I went RV shopping this morning and saw so many wonderful things. All were, of course, completely out of my price range – but everything will be because my price range right now is *free*. But looking is oh so helpful, stepping in, touching the material on the benches that will be beds, standing up and hitting or not hitting my head, checking out the length in person rather than in pictures.
What seems most likely to happen is that hubby and I will start with a camper trailer. Although, hubby is very handy and I am playing around with the idea of getting a van and converting it ourselves. Who knows. We are still in the earliest of stages.
The most amazing find of the week was this:
I found the story of someone who is basically living my dream, and so I will go to this website like it is an online mentor.
It feels like this dream could become a reality. I could make it happen. Maybe. I hate to say someday because of that song ‘Someday Never Comes.’ I guess that means I need to follow a serious and practical path of action to make this dream happen. My action right now – research. I am enjoying this stage of possibilities, shopping, pictures, and dreams.
(Below: Some fun, funky trailers I saw this morning.)
Have you ever seen ‘When Harry Met Sally’? Remember that part when Harry says something to the effect (affect?) of ‘when you finally realize how you want to spend the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.’? Well, I have had that moment.
Okay, more than a moment.
Pretty much a lifetime of knowing that this is what I want to do with my life but just figuring it could never be possible.
Then… a trip to the RV show last weekend and the realization that I must spend my life living in an RV, that it is a need, not a want. That need to wake up in a camper surrounded by open space… it gurgled, then bubbled, then boiled inside of me.
It’s like when I knit that six foot long scarf after I first learned how to knit. I am obsessed. I can’t think about anything else. I spend my nights shopping for RVs online until it is way pass my bed time, then regret it while working through my internet-shopping-hangover at work the next day.
What kind will I get? Pop-up? Trailer? Class B? Class C?
We could start selling everything we own now, then the house in a couple of years, get a used pop-up, and hit the road!!
Wait – what if hubby’s heart does that thing again and he needs an ICU stay? And what if we get stuck in mud in horrible weather and one of us has diarrhea and we went with the pop up instead of the class B or C because of affordability issues so bathrooms = no?
Who am I kidding? This dream could never happen!
Wait – it’s okay. Horrible things have happened with cement under our feet and we’ve handled it. I hope we can handle horrible things with wheels underneath.
Here is my goal: EVERY WEEK DO ONE THING TO HELP MAKE THIS DREAM POSSIBLE.
Okay. That’s a start.
Baby steps. Oh! Micro-movements! Yay! Those always make anything seem possible. I can’t remember who taught me those, Sark, or Julia Cameron (their awesome stuff overlaps a lot and I wonder if they took the same art class?).
What will I do this week?
Thoughts. I will think about positive examples, people who have done things like this with little money. Like that guy who traded a red paperclip for a house.
Photo credit: CricketTrailer.com
Do you ever get panic attacks? It is hard to tell people that you can’t do something because you know it will give you a panic attack. The older I get, the better I get at handling my panic attacks, mostly because I have so much practice and have learned how to better avoid things that I know will be triggers. I have only recently started just telling certain family members when I want to avoid something because I need to take good care of myself mental-health-wise rather than just finding some other excuse. Sometimes it has worked and they have been understanding. Other times, well, they just don’t get it.
For anyone who has ever traveled to Paris and misses it. For anyone who dreams of going to Paris in the future. It is the world’s city. A living, breathing museum.
I was just perusing Etsy, and looking at the above link sometimes moves me to tears. Will I ever get back to Paris and do my dreamed-about photo sessions with doors? Maybe, maybe not. But oh dear Lord, do I feel so amazingly happy that I was ever able to be there in the first place.
Are you going through a recession recovery? Maybe times are still very hard for you and every day feels like a struggle? (If that is the case I wish you the best in surviving through your hard times.)
Hubby and I are in recession recovery mode and it feels amazing. I have learned that – sometimes – yes, money can buy happiness.
But there were so many times when that just wasn’t an option.
As I reminisce of twelve years ago today, when hubby and I first met, I think of the best present I ever gave him. It was for our tenth wedding anniversary, which was just about two years ago in January (if this math seems weird, yes, we got married after knowing each other for only two months). It was right after hubby had landed a job (yay!) after years of working for companies that shut down, and after a few scary stints in the ICU because of a freakish genetic heart condition. We were in major financial recovery mode, super happy to no longer have to accept charity from family members to do things like buy groceries, and didn’t yet have anything extra stashed up for things like presents.
So, What was this best present ever?
Well, it took me four months to prepare.
I practiced for hours and hours on my commute to and from work.
It didn’t cost a thing. (Oh, wait. At some point, it did cost 99 cents on iTunes.)
I learned every single word to the Barenaked Ladies song, “One Week.” You know the one? The super duper fast words one?
One night, I simply turned on the song and busted out the lyrics for hubby while he cooked dinner.
He was shocked, happy, and full of laughter. It was the most fun I ever had giving someone a present.
So, thank you, Barenaked Ladies, for creating such an awesome opportunity for me to hold a precious and loving memory for the rest of my life!
My about page for Etsy:
This is how LivingRoomWall started:
My husband and I looked forever at stores to find something unique and beautiful to hang on our living room wall. We kept on seeing the same kinds of things at the discount stores that were in our budget, and nothing caught our attention as something we wanted to look at and be inspired by every day.
I secretly wished I could paint murals, then we would really have something unique and special in that room. Then I thought, hey, I can’t paint, but I can do photography, why not use some of my own art to hang? So hubby and I picked out some favorites, printed them at home, and purchased some frames at the dollar store. For less than ten dollars, we got a beautiful, mural-like display of themed photography on our own LivingRoomWall.
I want to share this idea with others who would like something unique to look at every day in their home and have it be affordable.
Thanks for stopping in!
PS. One suggesting for a pleasing way to use these photos is themes. For example, you could do 5×7 framed prints of the different Paris Door photos and have a beautiful pattern display on your own living room wall.
(The end of my ‘About’ page doesn’t say ‘Sacre-Coeur,’ that is just a link for you!)
I opened an Etsy shop.
I may need to call my mom and ask her to buy something so I can have that first sale. But it is there! Do you ever think about doing things but then never do them? I am trying to do more of those things that I think of, and this is a start.
A start. I am letting myself be a beginner. Yay! Thank you to Julia Cameron and The Artist’s Way for that one, and then to Janice MacLeod and Paris Letters for the Etsy idea as a way to have fun with my photography playing.
The name of my shop is LivingRoomWall and it sells digital downloads of photography that one can print at home and display / frame as one likes.
Here is how some of them look on my living room wall:
LivingRoomWall Photography on Etsy!