Big News About Where We Are Headed Next

This week has had lots of excitement. My new group coaching program, Crafting Your Life Adventure, is launching soon, so I’ve been sharing lots of tips and information on Instagram and in my Facebook group.

We also got word that as of April 5th, Florida residents can get the vaccine, so we are seriously considering a trip to Florida in the coming weeks (perhaps to spend a month or so there, depending on which vaccine we get).

But our biggest news, which I am THRILLED to finally be able to announce, is that we are moving to Canada this fall!

Ross has been teaching music for more than fifteen years, and he has an associate’s degree in audio production that he frequently draws upon as a composer and as an audio/podcast and video editor. But what most people don’t realize is that he has never completed a bachelor’s degree or a degree in music.

As we debated where we wanted to go next, we were reminded of how much we LOVED our honeymoon on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. In fact, after spending time in Charlottetown, we had multiple conversations where we kept saying “how do we live here? How do we get back here?”.

Moving to Canada isn’t easy, but it was a dream that we kept in the back of our minds all of this time. With the uncertainty of health care in the US, our desire for better options kept resurfacing.

Last fall, we decided our next step should be to attempt to go to Canada. Since Ross hasn’t had the opportunity to get a bachelor’s degree yet, that seemed like our best course of action. I’m thrilled to report that Ross got into his top choice school, the University of Prince Edward Island, and he even received a $3,000 merit scholarship from the music department!

He’ll be studying music education, composition, and classical guitar, and he’ll be getting his bachelor of music degree. I am SO proud of him – keep in mind, he just bought a classical guitar for this audition, and he’s only been playing it since December!

If you’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, it’s astonishingly gorgeous. Like, take your breath away. Though we are going to miss New Mexican cuisine, warm winters, and being able to visit our favorite spots in the U.S. via RV (gosh we will miss our RV!), we are looking forward to unlimited hot showers in an apartment in an awesome city (Charlottetown) and plan to purchase a van large enough to camp out of when the weather is nice.

School begins in September, so we will head to Canada in August, provided visas and all of the other details come together as planned.

Can you believe it? We are thrilled!

If you’d like to support our adventures, consider purchasing a Harvest Hosts membership or one of these other products using our link. You can also share our blogs and social media posts with your friends and family.

And two other incredible ways to support us would be these:

1 – Buy Ross’ play the ukulele course – perfect for beginner and early intermediate students

2 – Buy Jamie’s Crafting Your Life Adventure course – perfect for aspiring adventurers, whether you dream of starting a business, traveling the country, or creating a schedule full of joy and freedom (or all of the above!)

Thank you so, so much for supporting us and this amazing life adventure. It’s been almost five years of RV life, and we are so blessed. We can’t wait for what’s next!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

An Almost-Fire And A Major Nuisance

Well, it’s been one of those weeks here, but first of all, I hope you are well and staying warm! Much of the United States is dealing with unusual cold (with Texas particularly struggling), and we’ve had some of those cold temps in our RV here in New Mexico too.

The biggest bummer was that our space heater gave out – and killed most of our outlets in the RV in the process. That means most of the places we plug in aren’t working anymore – and we are very lucky we didn’t have a fire in the RV!

We’ve also had the nuisance of the campground turning off our water for several days in a row.

We are still sorting out next steps and whether insurance will cover the damage. In the meantime, the key for me to getting through this week has been gratitude.

Here are ten things I’m grateful for this week:

  • Propane heat (and a nearly full tank)
  • The extra income to order a new space heater without saving up for it
  • Lots of delicious food we’d made over the weekend
  • Bottled water
  • Hot Hands hand warmers (I sleep with them on my toes, between two layers of socks)
  • Tea
  • A working microwave and television
  • Cell phone and internet
  • Warm clothes
  • My incredible family

So, I challenge you! What are a few things you’re grateful for this week?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

How To Make The Holidays Work For You

Jamie and Ross snuggle on the couch

It may be cliche at this point, but it’s that time of year when it’s common to take time to be grateful. I know I’m not alone in having a dedicated gratitude practice, and if you haven’t yet tried it, whether for November or any time of year, I definitely recommend it.

A lot of people are struggling with the holidays and how to celebrate this year. Although many people have already been celebrating holidays during COVID virtually (Jewish people in particular have had several holidays come and go at this point), Thanksgiving is such an “American” holiday in a lot of ways that it affects the majority of us in some way, rather than certain religions or parts of the country.

As a coach, I’m noting two simultaneous threads or thoughts popping up:
a) An extra awareness of gratitude – if I’m healthy, if I don’t have COVID-19, if my family is safe, if I’m employed etc. I know I have a LOT to be grateful for right now
b) It’s so frustrating/I’m so angry/I’m so sad because I want to be spending the holidays with my family/without masks and social distancing but I’ve gone virtual and/or made major modifications and changes due to COVID-19

It’s okay to have mixed feelings.

It’s okay to have moments when you feel wrapped up in the love of your family/friends, whether it’s a partner or child or parent in your bubble or a virtual meal full of love and conversation and good memories.

It’s okay to in the next moment feel anxiety that your parents are going to do x, or feel resentment that you can’t do your usual holiday celebration, or feel jealous of y, who lives with their family while you are living and celebrating alone.

I hope that during this challenging time, you will give yourself forgiveness. We are all carrying so much right now.

If someone else’s life looks glamorous on social media, remember that that is just the tip of the iceberg that you’re seeing. The glamorous surface life may be only a passing moment in a chaotic day or week or month.

Here are a few things I recommend making time for this week, whatever your plans are. (Perhaps you’ll have some extra time since you won’t have your usual holiday commute to the in-laws?)

  1. Make a gratitude list. This can take many forms, and all are valid. Start or end each day by acknowledging five things you’re grateful for. Start a gratitude journal, whether it’s a big beautiful book or a note on your phone. Begin your Thanksgiving meal/Zoom call/family walk by having everyone share something they are thankful for this year.
  2. Make time for exercise. Personally, I think stuffing myself is kind of part of the fun of Thanksgiving – even if I don’t leave the main meal feeling overstuffed, I love indulging in rich fall foods in the meals and days that follow. Most of us, at least in the corporate sector or education, are also lucky enough to get time off this week. It can be tempting to use that time to relax on the couch, but making time to take a walk or stretch or lift some weights will give you more energy for the festivities and encourage you to enjoy your indulgences more, without guilt.
  3. Carve out time for yourself. I love my family, but as an introvert who isn’t always her best self at large family gatherings, I’ve worked hard over the years to set boundaries for myself. For me, part of a successful holiday season is making time for my morning routine and making sure I have time to relax on my own. If you’re having trouble seeing blank space on your calendar, even if it’s virtual gatherings, take a moment to block out a morning or an hour for you each week. It will help you to be at your best when you are with your family too.

Whatever your plans are this year, I hope you’ll take this advice to heart. No one has your best interests at heart in the same way you do, so go create the holiday schedule that will light you up and invigorate you.

Take care, and Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Thank you so much for your support of this blog throughout the year! If you appreciate it, we’d love for you to share it with a friend or support us with one of the methods below. Thanks, and have a great day!

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Returning to Quiet

“True happiness is found in seemingly unremarkable things. But to be aware of little, quiet things, you need to be quiet inside. A high degree of alertness is required. Be still. Look. Listen. Be present.”

Eckhart Tolle

I’ve been returning to quiet lately.

About a month back, after several weeks of feeling anxious and unsettled, I decided my morning routine was due for an upgrade. The timing coincided perfectly with Sarah Jenks’ announcement of her #sacredstart program, so I went for it.

I’d built up a morning routine I loved over a few years, and it looked something like this:

Journaling; educational reading; taking a walk for at least a half hour outside, usually with an educational or inspirational podcast; having a healthy breakfast

With Sarah Jenks’ inspiration, my new morning routine looks something like this:

Journaling; educational reading, taking a walk for at least a half hour outside, usually with an educational or inspirational podcast; setting up a beautiful altar with elements from nature; aromatherapy (roll-ons due to cat and a small RV); pulling an inspirational card from my Sacred Garden deck; meditation; a cup of tea with oat milk; sacred reading

The extra elements only add 15-20 minutes to my morning (and yes, some days I wish I had that extra time back, at least a little bit), but they have TRULY made a world of difference in my mood. Anxiety is practically gone. I’m feeling so much more grounded and empowered.

What we experience is our desperate search for happiness where it cannot be found…[the key] was not lost outside ourselves. It was lost inside ourselves. This is where we need to look for it.

Father Thomas Keating

We live in such a busy and demanding world. When we add into it extra stresses, whether it’s facing racism or sexism or homophobia or ableism, whether it’s COVID-19 or bullying co-workers or toxic family or food insecurity, it can feel impossible, or nearly so, to stay grounded or find happiness.

I love this quote, because it reminds me that we can run around the world chasing happiness and still never find it. You won’t find lasting happiness in a bottle of wine or a pint of ice cream. You won’t find it in a night at the movies or a night with a lover. You won’t find it playing with your kid or visiting your parents.

You find it in yourself.

We have to set aside time each day and each week for quiet, for stillness, for going inside and listening to what there is to hear. That’s where you’ll find the inner knowing that tells you the next step in your business, the next step for your family, and the next step for you. If we never get quiet, we’ll never hear it.

Growing up, my favorite book was The Secret Garden. My parents started reading it to me when I was only six, and I connected so much with the young orphan child, feeling out of her element, transported from being the center of attention (at least from servants) to being abandoned and out of her element, to exploring outside and discovering a world of nature and life she’d never known.

I certainly didn’t grow up as a rich, neglected kid in India, but there was something about the journey Mary makes, from selfish and self-centered to an integrated, full and beautiful life with nature and friends and her new and chosen family, that I felt so comforting.

Mary discovers a secret garden that’s been neglected, and it’s not until she does a lot of inner work that she’s able to find the key to it. It’s in doing further work on herself that she eventually finds the door and is able to enter into it.

We all have a secret garden waiting for us. To find the happiness in that garden, we need to make time for quiet and reflection. Grab a journal, spend five minutes in solitude, do a walking meditation. Get quiet, and see what the whispers offer you.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Twenty Years of Yoga: It’s Time To Celebrate!

Today I’m celebrating a huge milestone – I’ve been a yogini (a female practitioner of yoga) for twenty years!!!

I realize this post is going to age me a bit, but I am so stinkin’ proud that twenty years later, I have a consistent yoga practice and continue to feel the effects that yoga has brought to my life.

I first tried yoga at age sixteen. I went to a private day school in middle and high school (founded by hippies, very pricey, super privileged for sure) and we were required to play sports to fulfill the state’s gym requirement. In the fall of my junior year, the nurse offered yoga as a sports elective, and I was thrilled to do that instead of field hockey (which I loved, but which took up far too much of my otherwise available for theater and music time).

I quickly learned that I already had a great deal of flexibility, which would suit me well, and I also found it tough but enjoyable to sit in silence and close my eyes, particularly around my classmates and friends.

When the nurse decided not to offer it the following year, I was pretty devastated. But I was able to design my own sport by taking yoga and aerobics classes at my local gym instead. I was exposed to several different teachers, realizing that there are lots of styles and approaches to yoga, and some of it is much more strenuous than others.

So began my yoga journey! I’d stretch a bit and try poses on my own, but my class consumption varied widely during college. After college, I picked up a yoga video and then found myself gravitating toward other forms of exercise that incorporated some yoga into the mix. (Yes, Yoga Booty Ballet, I’m looking at you!!! My one and only informercial purchase!)

Over the years, I took advantage of free or affordable yoga whenever possible. A class at a retreat I was working. A series of classes at the same church I accompanied services for. And during my one and only corporate-like stint working at a co-op, I took advantage of the once per week, $5 yoga classes.

When we hit the road in late 2016 in our RV, I was armed with my favorite workout series to date (ChaLean Extreme will date me again) which included some yoga in the mix. I also began experimenting with yoga videos on Amazon Prime and Netflix – I’d download them to my phone when we had good wifi.

In 2018, my husband Ross (with my booking assistance) began improvising music live for yoga classes. This was an incredible gift, because in addition to making money from each of the attendees (shared with the instructor and studio), I got to attend the classes for free! That meant that for a long stretch, I got to take about one yoga class per month, each with a new instructor. The project even inspired Ross to record an ambient music album perfect for relaxation, meditation and yoga. (Link here)

With COVID-19, we have had to put our in-person yoga efforts aside, but the incredible gift of the pandemic for me (if I can say that) has been developing a more consistent yoga practice. My instructor, Tracy, was one of my favorite instructors from almost ten years back at that church job. Nowadays she teaches lessons remotely, so her Vermont location is no problem for me, and her suggested fees are extremely reasonable (and there’s no charge if it’s a hardship for you). (Link to her)

Being in a tiny RV, I can’t do yoga unless my husband is awake and about, but I’ve nevertheless gotten into a routine of yoga and meditation three nights per week, and it has been essential to my stress management, particularly over the last several months as tensions have heightened, from racial justice issues to politics and more. I’ve also tried a few other instructors when my schedule allows, and I’ve experimented a bit with free meditations too.

Previous to the pandemic, I struggled to make yoga a consistent part of my routine. I had no problem doing some stretches before bed, and I always loved the time I gave it, but since it doesn’t feel like “exercise” in the same way that some other forms of movement do, I always made it an extra, if I have time sort of thing.

What I’ve realized this year is that I am much more prepared to face the world when yoga is a mandatory part of my routine. And I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to set that time aside, and that Tracy has made it so affordable. (I even do yoga on those days when she takes time off! It’s now that much of a habit.)

So today I celebrate twenty years of yoga, but not just that – I celebrate twenty years of continuing to fine-tune my practice and develop consistency in my health habits. Habits are a cornerstone of my life and work, and I’m so thankful to have realized how essential yoga is to that for me.

Have you tried yoga? How did/do you like it?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

The Top 5 Things From Our Cross-Country Trek

It’s an unusual week when we drive across the U.S. in 10 days, but that’s what we just did! Okay, sure we stopped in New Mexico, not California, but that was pretty darn close to coast to coast, so we’re counting it.

It would be easy for me to lament all of the cool places we didn’t stop along the way (due to COVID-19, budget constraints or anything else), but instead, I thought it would be more fun to share the top five things that we did get to do on our trip!

We’ve created an absolutely incredibly lifestyle for ourselves, and we know we’re very privileged to get to live and travel on our own terms. And of course, we’ve made lots of decisions along the way that have allowed us to build this life, and we love helping other people to do the same. Today, I’m celebrating our hard work that led us here, as well as the hard work that got us across the country in ten days! Here are the top five parts of our latest RVing adventure.

5. Cracker Barrel 

Okay, so maybe visiting Cracker Barrel doesn’t sound like your top choice right now, but as full-time RVers we love that Cracker Barrel has RV-sized spaces and allows overnight parking. We don’t eat at a lot of chains, but we do visit a Cracker Barrel a few times a year because it’s affordable, tasty and it gives us a safe place to stay (usually with a convenient location off the highway and near or in cities with fun things to do). In the age of COVID, I really thought we’d be skipping them this time around, but as we were driving we started noticing a lot of highway signs for Cracker Barrel that said “Dine In. Curbside. Delivery.”

So when we needed a spot for a night, we didn’t hesitate to try Cracker Barrel. We used their curbside option (Ross drove the car into a curbside space) so that we didn’t need to go inside. As usual, it was reliably delicious with big portions. And curbside was so easy that when Ross needed more coffee on the way out of town, it was curbside again for the win! (Oh, and if you’re wondering, Ross doesn’t really have a regular order, but I do – I love getting tons of sides so I can get my veggie fix! And some fried apples, of course.)

4. Twin Fountains RV Resort, Oklahoma City, OK

This campground is such a cool one! In the time of COVID-19, many of the perks aren’t as appealing (limo rides to downtown, anyone?), but we enjoyed the spacious grounds (largest campsite we’ve ever stayed at!), catch and release pond and laundry facilities. They’ve also got a restaurant, salon and dog groomer on site. This was a great spot and if we ever want to spend more time in Oklahoma City, we will be happy to pay a bit of a premium to stay here!

3. Tontitown Winery, Springdale, AR plus Fayetteville Fun

This winery was perfect for a Harvest Hosts stay, with delicious wine, a sweet spot with electricity, room to walk in nature nearby and some amazing food too! We did a meat/nut/cheese/fruit tray for 2 for dinner, and it was incredible, with pickled veggies, olives, bread and crackers as well as the aforementioned deliciousness. And thanks to corona, they had made their famous grape ice cream for a local festival and didn’t have an outlet for it (no festival this year), so we were able to grab a pint of homemade ice cream too!

We went with takeout, but outdoor seating with live music was also an option. Such a fun night, and super convenient for exploring nearby Fayetteville! Under normal circumstances, we would have done a lot more, but even so, I (Jamie) had previously tried another location of Bliss Cupcake Cafe when I was passing through, and it was amazing and had stellar gluten-free options. (I also learned that delivery is now an option – so you can get these too!)

I made a trip to Fayetteville for cupcakes and a key lime frosting shot to go, and since I was heading in anyway, I got some homemade ice cream as well (also excellent). Basically a pretty perfect evening!

2. Big Spoon Creamery, Birmingham, AL

Well, if this was just about me (and not Ross), this would be number 1! But since Jamie went solo, it gets the number 2 slot. Big Spoon Creamery’s ice cream was incredible. Life-changing. I went with three flavors, and while they were all absolutely incredible, the vanilla was literally the best I’ve ever had in my life.

No doubt. More like a custard and more like white chocolate, honestly…so outstanding! I would probably just tell everyone to get the chocolate and the vanilla. Perfect together or solo. I can’t wait to go back someday. Such a highlight!! You can look forward to a blog about it here soon.

And finally, at #1, Iron Star Urban Barbeque, Oklahoma City, OK

Curbside from Iron Star was so good that we seriously debated going back immediately for more food. Ross went with a brisket sandwich (it comes with amazing pickles!), and believe it or not, I just had a bite and ordered some outstanding deviled eggs that came with a spicy vegetable pickle appetizer! (I was saving room for ice cream, TBH.)

This place is truly special, and we can’t recommend it more highly. Honorable mention to Roxy’s Ice Cream Social for some excellent ice cream with extraordinarily friendly service.

As you can see, we had a TON of fun despite the challenges of COVID. We felt much more comfortable treating ourselves when we got out of Florida and Georgia (the COVID hot spots), and we had some really tasty indulgences as we made our way across the country, taking what felt like reasonable risks for us.

So, I want to know: How are things where you are? How are you making the most of your summer right now?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Our First Blowout – And How We Prepared

Well, we’ve lived in our RV for four years, traveling for almost four, and it finally happened – we had a blowout!

Ross was about forty minutes away from our destination (staying at a winery, where I was already waiting for him) when he felt an immediate change while driving, realizing there was a ton of resistance. He immediately pulled over to the side of the highway. Turns out he’d blown two tires.

It was scary, of course, but thankfully it happened during daylight on a clear day, Good Sam got there before dark and while the cost wasn’t cheap, we had plenty of space on our credit card for it. Not to mention that Ross, Squeak (our cat) and our house/RV were all okay!

It’s been interesting traveling during COVID-19. Where normally we’d be getting coffee or ice cream along the way, instead there’s a much more serious cost/benefit analysis happening before we consider takeout of any kind, and we certainly aren’t dining in anywhere! Getting out of Florida means less virus exposure, but we’re also traveling through areas that don’t have mask mandates or even potentially norms around mask-wearing, so we are treading carefully. We also don’t want to potentially infect the people that we bump into!

I think the big lesson learned for us was that doing the work pays off when you hit a time of crisis. If I hadn’t been so well-read on tires, I wouldn’t have known to tell Ross to get all four of the back tires replaced when two of them went, and financially getting them all replaced turned out to be the best decision (they only added another $100 when they added 2 tires to our order!) by far.

For Ross, all of his prior work learning to drive the RV like a pro with great care meant he knew exactly what to do, and trusted his gut, when the tires blew out.

How are you doing the work now to set yourself up for success later?

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Four Years Of Thanks

It’s been more than four years of being full-time RVers (with vacations along the way, but always returning to our home), and with all of the uncertainty in the world, I’m feeling especially grateful that we followed our dreams and made this adventure happen.

There were so many things that we didn’t know when we started out. If I’d known then that we’d burn through our savings, that we’d have to spend so much money on repairs, that we’d clean toilets or nasty equipment or even experience a few truly horrendous things along the journey, would we have done it?

But, of course, if I knew the bad stuff that would come, then I’d likely know the good stuff, and how could I have passed that up? Getting to meet extraordinary people, visiting gardens and museums and animals and the ocean….eating extraordinary gluten-free food, amazing ice cream, the freshest Mexican and New Mexican cuisine and meeting up with family and friends (some we hadn’t seen in ages) along the way.

(Just a few photos from the past year or so below!)

We’ve worked full-time and part-time jobs, built businesses, checked off bucket list items and built new dreams. We’ve found communities that feel like home and places we look forward to returning to, and we’ve gotten clarity on what is and isn’t important in our lives.

And when I created the tagline for this website (Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living), I didn’t have any idea just how much we’d be leaning into it. I’m so glad we have.

I hope that whatever you’re going through, you’re okay. And if you can, take one small step today to make the life you want. Even if it’s just taking time for a cup of tea or a short walk. You deserve it.

Take care, and be well. Thanks for reading.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

 

Three Places To Focus When The World Is Spinning

Gosh, things are challenging right now! Even with all of my blessings and privilege, I’m feeling like it’s tough to stay in the moment and also to stay focused on my goals when the world seems to be falling apart around me.

So here is an update on the three things I’m focusing on right now to keep me going.

Habits

I’ve spent years developing the habits I’ve always wanted to have. It’s been a slow process, adding them in one by one, and a couple I’ve let go or let be flexible as I’ve figured out what’s worked for me. But developing great habits is SO important when things are stressful.

For me, my daily habits include writing in the morning (brain dump, gratitude, journal from the day prior…anything counts, but I write for about 15-20 minutes typically and make sure to at least write something), reading something for my personal development, walking outside, making myself a healthy breakfast, drinking at least 16 ounces of water and taking my vitamins. I’ve also got some personal prep routines in the mix, and lately I do some meditation and yoga in the mix too (I take three live classes currently, 3 days a week, and it’s such a blessing). Habits give you predictability when the world around you feels like a total disaster!

Daily Activism

Black Lives Matter. The state of the world has me panicked, I’m not going to lie. So one way for me to address that is to make sure that every day, I make time to do something to make the world a better place. I stand up for someone who needs it, I sign some petitions, I write my reps or make a phone call. I can’t do it all, but being able to say I’ve done something every day is key to feeling like I’m making a difference and not being complacent as it feels like we’re moving towards fascism. (The news of people being taken off the streets in unmarked vehicles is just the latest, of course. I’m not planning to stop bugging my reps until Trump backs off of that.)

Planning Ahead and Being Prepared

I also take time every day to think about planning ahead and being prepared. Am I well-stocked with food and supplies? Have I taken a few minutes to create a vision for the future of my business? Have I researched the next steps for my career goals? Even when these things seem like a silly distraction, I know that taking a few minutes to do this daily will make sure that when I look back on 2020, I’ll see how I made the best of it rather than how I fell apart.

Bonus: Self-Care

If you’re like me, without kids, white, employed, this list probably makes sense so far. If you’ve got lots of additional issues you’re dealing with right now, whether that’s mental health or sick family or anything else, please prioritize your self-care and give yourself grace when things don’t happen.

And if you’re like me, you probably STILL feel overwhelmed daily. I know I do. So take what works from this list and build your own list that DOES work for you. Take a bath. Have some ice cream. And leave me a comment to let me know how you’re coping during these challenging times.

I’ll also take a couple of sentences to plug Deadbolt Mystery Society – we’ve just completed our third mystery box and it is an absolutely delightful way to spend a few hours! At-home date nights for the win. Use my code to save a little cash. It is seriously the best time we’ve had since quarantine started. Perfect for 1-4 people with access to the internet and a smartphone with a QR code reader.

Sending love and hugs (virus-free) to all of you across the miles. Thanks for reading.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.