Top Tips For Facing Your Fear

What a wild time to be alive, friends! I hope you’re prioritizing your own health and well-being. There’s so much stress and vitriol in the world, and if we let it consume us, it really will.

I read this quote this week and it really resonated with me. It can be really helpful to stop and articulate, with words (out loud or in writing, or even with imagery) how we’re feeling and what we’re fearing. Putting a name to it can make it easier to face. 

Here are some of the things I’m fearing right now: 

  • I won’t build my business to the level I dream about
  • I won’t be able to visit family and friends for a long time
  • I won’t be able to attend my friend’s wedding
  • I won’t be able to safely share my views & background and be my authentic self under our next administration
  • I’m not doing enough to help the causes I care about
  • My BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ friends and those with disabilities (basically anyone that isn’t a white male, TBH) won’t be safe in the near future

Putting it down makes it clear that that’s a lot to navigate! No wonder I feel stressed sometimes, despite my healthy habits. 

Here are some of the things I’m pursuing to clear my fears: 

  • Daily work on my business & accountability checks with my mastermind & mentors
  • Weekly calls and video calls with friends and family, plus emails and text check-ins
  • Daily and weekly work to encourage voting, educate those around me and assist anyone with questions
  • Supporting the causes I care about, financially and with my time and energy

It’s so, so important to not only articulate what’s on our minds, but, when we’re in the right headspace, make a plan with concrete steps to feel better. If we’re feeling scared of the unknown, what’s one thing that’s within our control that we can make progress on? If we’re frightened that x might happen, what’s one step we can take that will listen the blow if it comes true? 

For instance, if we’re afraid that a wildfire could burn our house down, we should pack an emergency bag & create a plan. 

If we’re afraid of the outcome of an election, we should vote and encourage our friends to do the same, and lend our support to the causes and people we care about if we’re able to do so. 

We can’t eliminate the possibility of the things we fear, in many cases, but we can eliminate the fear by tackling it head on with the pursuit of new things, as Susie Moore says. Taking concrete steps feels good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Can you relate to any of these? What is one thing you can do today to face your fear?

Using Frustration as Fuel for the Future

I’ve been dealing with some challenging situations in my work lately. One of my clients has been particularly disorganized, and for the first time in a long time I’m finding it hard not to carry their own stress into my life.

It’s not the scenario I hoped for when I took on this client, but it’s a scenario that many aspiring adventurers know well.

Do you find yourself carrying the stress of your 9 to 5 into your nights and weekends?

Do you find it tough to turn off the worry when you turn off the laptop?

Is it hard for you to devote time to working on your goals and dreams because you’re too stressed about the here and now?

I can certainly relate, and my best piece of advice is this: use your frustration as fuel for the future.

When you catch yourself dwelling on anger or frustration, reframe the situation by saying (out loud, in a journal or in your head) “I’m so thankful for work that allows me to pay my bills. I’m so thankful for work that allows me to save for my future goals. This situation is helping me to build my future dream life.”

Remember that this frustration is fueling your future in multiple ways:

  • Financially – this money supports you while you dream and scheme and plan, and it may let you save enough for funding future too.
  • Emotionally – this experience is giving you visceral lessons that will stick with you moving forward. You’ll remember this feeling and when you lose momentum or focus on the work of dream life creation, remembering how much you don’t want to experience this again will get you that fire under your butt that’s needed for change.

Rewriting our stories is truly important for growth. It’s essential that I keep rewriting my frustration so that instead of a thing that’s happening to me, I put myself in a position of power.

I choose to do this job to support my future life.

I do this work to feed my family.

I’m learning lessons that will help me in the future.

Choose a story of empowerment. Choose to use your frustration as future fuel.

Have you been in this situation?

How did you handle it?

How are you rewriting your story today?

______________________________

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. 

 

The Future Is Unknown – So Enjoy Today!

Hi everyone! Nothing super exciting to report this week. We’re continuing to find ways to have fun in a small space, from cooking elaborate meals and trying new fruits and vegetables to finding new things to watch on Disney+!

We’ve been talking a lot about what’s next for us, and COVID-19 has really thrown a wrench into our planning. Will we feel safe traveling? Will we feel safer elsewhere? When will we again want to go into a theme park, or feel safe going into a bar for an open mic night?

Our goal has been to try out Portland, OR for their music scene…but if the music scene isn’t open to us yet, we’ve actually got several other favorite places in Colorado and New Mexico we’d be happy to spend time in. So we keep expanding our list of options, clarifying our goals and staying as flexible as possible.

Are your plans changing because of COVID-19? What do you think things will look like next spring?

______________________________

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. 

Stillness, Movement and Disney

Still in Florida. Still spending 99% of our time in our RV. And still thankful that we have enough, and that there’s plenty to enjoy, even in a small space.

Stillness

We haven’t gone anywhere since we last checked in. Just walks around the campground. And honestly, that’s fine. In fact, I just took about 3.5 days off this past weekend, and you know what? I LOVED it. I hadn’t taken that much time off since last summer! So having hours to stream great programs (like Bernstein’s Mass, a Hal Prince documentary and a livestream of The Marvelous Wonderettes from Seacoast Rep) was delightful, and having time to make cookie dough (the kind you don’t have to cook – mine was an almond flour base) and enjoy whipped coffee courtesy of my husband? It was so lovely.

I also had the time to make a Pros and Cons list, something I’d been threatening to do for many weeks. And the grand conclusion, shocking, I know, is that it’s safer and better for us to stay put in Florida than go anywhere else right now. We’ve got plenty of internet access, an affordable site in a comfortable place, access to deliveries of all sorts…and the moment we move, we’ve got extra risk and a whole bunch of new variables. So, barring weather or other changing tides that make staying here unsafe or unsustainable, we’ll be sticking around. We’ve got a few logistics to figure out with doctor appointments and the like, but this feels like the best course of action through at least most of the winter. So we commit and stay the course.

Movement

It can be easy to get restless when you realize you haven’t gone anywhere for about six months and won’t be going anywhere until next year. One way I’ve been able to combat this has been participating in projects to get me outside of my RV. I had a blast with a virtual choir experience (I’ll let you know when it’s complete), and more recently, I got to participate in some movement. I really love how this one came together if you’re interested. (I’m in the blue dress later in the video sequence.) It was lovely to have an excuse to dance for a while!

If you know anyone wanting to create one of these videos, let us know! Ross’ video and audio editing background means he can do these types of things very well.

Disney

Disney has announced that Disney World will be re-opening, with lots of modifications of course, in mid-July. July 11th and July 15th, mainly. We don’t feel comfortable going, because of underlying health conditions and the knowledge that it will be a LOT of extra risk for us. We haven’t been in a building off the RV park grounds since March 16!

I’m happy for the people who have been in need of this. I truly hope and pray that Disney can keep their employees and guests safe. Since Florida testing has gotten really unreliable and shady, I’m not sure how we’ll know if “it’s working” or not. So I’m just going to be thankful for all of the time we got at Disney in our first three months here. It was really wonderful. And now I’m going to practice self-care and be thankful for all that we do have. (It is so, so much.)

Wishing you and yours all the best. Take care and be well.

______________________________

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.

Passing Time

Time passes quickly and slowly right now. We haven’t been in a store since March 16th. Our days are spent in the RV or at the campground, doing the same things we used to do there – working, relaxing, creating – but there’s no escaping to Disney World or Orlando and the like to break things up. 
In some ways, that should make it easier to focus on our goals. But with the world falling apart around us, focus is a much, much tougher thing to attain than it used to be. 
We interviewed a new potential client yesterday. Video editing and some virtual assistant work – we love the type of work and when the right clients connect with us, it’s an absolute joy! Being able to be picky about what we want to do is a blessing in itself, of course. We remember our blessings and our privilege every single day. 
Life is simpler than it used to be, in some ways. We spend more on food than we used to, and we actually budget for alcohol, so we’ve got weekly produce from Misfits Market, twice monthly food and supply deliveries from Aldi and Amazon (yeah, trying to limit that) and though we’ve only done takeout/delivery once so far, I’m sure it’s a matter of time before we do it again. I also budget for yoga classes, affordable ones but nevertheless an indulgence and an appreciated gift. 
And then, of course, there’s the logistics. Produce delivery means I spend about two hours getting the box in the RV without getting the germs transferred to the RV, and all produce gets washed before it gets put away. Shelf-stable deliveries get quarantined in the car for a few days since we are running low on Clorox wipes and can’t seem to refill them. And as the temperature increases, getting outside for walks requires a system all its own, especially with the addition of a mask. 
Yes, the mask. So far, behavior around us isn’t changing in regards to mask-wearing. We are still one of a handful of people wearing a mask around the park. This last week Florida “opened up” again, at least somewhat, with all but the three hardest-hit counties allowing retail and restaurants to operate at lower capacity, assuming their city or county didn’t restrict things further. 
We know, of course, that that’s a dangerous thing. So we strengthen our resolve to control what we can control and try not to panic when we have to be in shared spaces and around other people. 
Ross said to me last night that the thing he really misses is our ice cream dates. And I agree! Going on an adventure and stopping for a cup (or two!) of ice cream is one of our favorite things to do. Being unable to do that, at least in a manner we feel comfortable with, is definitely a bummer. We are so looking forward to that changing.
Our July gig has been canceled, so we officially have no more reason to be in Florida. And yet with the uncertainty of next week and next month, is there really a reason to go to another state right now? We are residents here. We were hoping to go back to New England in July, but NH campgrounds are closed to non-residents this summer (which we applaud!), and our work seems really unlikely to go on as planned (library performances? Teaching older adults?) so we weigh pros and cons, feeling like sticking with a situation that’s working well could be the best course of action. 
And then there’s the news of Disney Springs, Disney’s shopping complex, opening May 20. We certainly don’t feel comfortable going back yet. But the whole reason we are here is for Disney World. So how long will it takes for us to get comfortable with the idea? A month or two? A year? 
Right now, we feel safest staying put. That may change in the coming weeks or months. 
Meanwhile, we pray for our family and friends and for those less fortunate than us. So many are struggling right now, in so many ways, and of course our essential workers aren’t being given the protection they need to do their jobs, or in many cases, adequate compensation. We continue working to build our businesses knowing that the more we earn, the more we can give back and support others. Thank you to our front line workers in all industries. Truly.
I hope you’re well and taking care during this time. Virtual hugs your way. Thanks for reading! How are things where you are? 

______________________________

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 Best Part

The best part of waking up early is getting to see a gorgeous sunrise.

The best part of a nutritious breakfast is how it fuels you well for the day.

The best part of a bowl of ice cream is how delicious it is! Though science would say the first eight bites.

The best part of visiting friends is creating new memories and reminiscing on old ones…well, unless the food is amazing, in which case that’s pretty great too.

The best part of working hard is the financial freedom you can create for yourself and how you can spend the money.

The best part of living in Florida is the sun and the Disney time.

Hope you’re enjoying the best parts of your week, even if there’s a lot you’d like to change.

Our First Disney World For RVers Meetup

Last weekend, Ross and I, for the first time, met up with a couple that we only met because I started the Facebook group Disney World For RVers. Lily and Anthony are, as it turns out, absolute gems of human beings, full-time RVers, fellow geeks and nerds and just truly lovely, kind human beings.

We spent four hours hanging out, and if Disney Springs hadn’t closed an hour prior, we may well have stayed even longer than that! We enjoyed dinner at Cooke’s of Dublin (amazing gluten-free food for me!), wandered World of Disney a bit and then had delicious goodies at Amorette’s – two out of three were gluten-free! In fact, I took home a mini-cake that I indulged on during the week too. Yum. Coffee cream…

We wish them the happiest of weddings this week and a beautiful life together, and we look forward to spending more time together soon.

Here are a few pictures from our fun! Cooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureCooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureAmorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

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.