Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Joy of Flexibility

One of the things every full time RVer comes to appreciate is the flexibility of life on the road. The freedom to take your home anywhere you want or need to be at a moments notice is fundamental to this lifestyle choice. 2016 is turning out to be a year where flexibility is coming in to play in a big way for us.

We'd already decided to spend most of 2016 in San Diego. My parents were planning a big RV trip to the east coast and we were going to house sit for them for several months. Then life started throwing us curve balls...

On January 1st Hans' stepdad broke his femur. Fortunately his recovery is progressing nicely and we are able to assist as needed to help his parents get through this trying time.

On January 8th my mom was admitted to the hospital and is currently being treated for multiple issues with an unknown recovery period. We're taking this day by day and hoping for the best outcome.

I read a book recently, Awakening Joy by James Baraz, that discusses how to acknowledge all the little moments of joy that happen each and every day beyond, or in spite of, the ups and downs of life. This book gives solid advice on how to change our focus from negative to positive and create new habits that recognize and acknowledge joy instead of dwelling on our sorrows. I can honestly say this book has made a big impact on my outlook on life and on my ability to handle the challenges of recent weeks.

We are immensely grateful to be retired and to have the freedom to dedicate as much time as necessary to assist our parents when they need it most. We intend to hop around between Mission Bay and our Poway driveway site and Santee Lakes for the next few months as things evolve in our families. Obviously blogging will continue to take a back seat to the more urgent issues facing us right now.

San Diego is most definitely not a bad place to be during trying times. One doesn't have to go far to experience some of those moments of joy I was talking about...

I wonder how long it took these seals to get all the way to the top of the rocks?


 

 

 
The Sand Devils rocked the Tower Bar!

 


Remember to welcome JOY into your life at every opportunity!

38 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about the curveballs. I know exactly what you mean about how wonderful this lifestyle is for providing the flexibility to adapt to whatever life throws at you, we learned that too this last year.

    Trying times like these also reinforce why it's important to eek out the very most that life has to offer while you are able to. Love to you and Hans, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

    I will check out the book too.

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  2. Amen, sister! Life is too short to focus mostly on the bad stuff.

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  3. We like to say you can "plan the plan...but" Prayers for the best of outcomes for you and your families.

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    1. Thank you Rick. This is one of those times when we realize there are NO guarantees!

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  4. Sorry to hear about your parent's difficulties. Good that you are available to assist them. I really like your outlook on life - someone once told me that when you are down to start counting your blessings. I tell you it works!

    (And if you have to spend large amount of time somewhere, San Diego is not a bad place to be!)

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    1. Yes indeed. Life truly is a roller coaster...there will ALWAYS be ups and downs. It doesn't do any good to wallow in the downs. I intend to watch for the joyful moments!

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  5. Oh Lisa - I am so sorry to read this. I hope your Mom recovers quickly, as well as Hans' Dad. This is a lot in a short amount of time. Hang in there, we'll be sending you positive thoughts.

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  6. You and Hans are definitely in our thoughts and prayers.

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  7. Really sorry to hear about your mom and am wishing you all the best. Glad your step dad is doing better. They must really feel like life is throwing them some curve balls. Thanks so much for the book recommendation. Our life got a giant curve ball in 2012 that changed everything and my attitude suffers immensely. Your pictures are wonderful. Fabulous seals! Hope you'll need to post and comment as some joy activities. Do let us know how your mom is doing. We're sending our very best wishes to you all.

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    1. Thank you. I've read many books with the intention of a more positive outlook, but this one in particular spoke to me. Perhaps it was the timing, perhaps it is the actual steps described to change ones habits.

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  8. Great post Lisa, very inspiring. All the best to you, Hans and your families. I hope your mom recovers and can enjoy the RV trip they had planned for the summer.

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  9. Sorry to hear about your family stuff. It must be so nice to just be able to stay there and help out though. And yes, San Diego is a pretty good place to hang out for a while.

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    1. Yes, being retired and footloose has made this so much easier!

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  10. I hope your parents make a full recovery. Last week was crazy with all the flooding and rain (we were in Carlsbad, LJ and SD), so I know the driving was pretty crazy to get your parents to medical appointments, etc. Nice pictures of MB and the birds and seals.

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    1. We actually lucked out without too much driving in the rain. Of course El Nino is just beginning...

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  11. So sorry about your family issues. You are very fortunate to be retired and able to spend time helping out. When our parents were elderly and ill we were working full time and it was really challenging and stressful trying to deal with everything.
    And yes, you are in a great place to be "stuck". The gorgeous coast and excellent beer to help ease the stress!

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    1. You bet, it hardly gets better than San Diego in the winter!

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  12. My thoughts are with you. Crazy-good photos!

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  13. So sorry to hear of the illness and injury to your family. A blessing that you and Hans do have the lifestyle that allows you the freedom to do and be where you need to be. Our love and thoughts are with you, Rick and Jenn

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  14. Delighted to see the joy surrounding you, and glad you found the book at such an opportune time in your life. Being able to focus our perspective is such a powerful gift, especially when dealing with the reality of aging parents. We too are reshaping our plans around Bill's mom, feeling blessed that we can take our home to her for whatever time is needed. How cool that you got to go home with a member of the band :-)))))

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    1. I remember being quite giddy about Hans being in a band when we first met...LOL! Now I'm a merch girl and roadie ;-)

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  15. Sooo happy to hear you have discovered James' book Awakening Joy. We took his class in Berkeley in 2010 and re-did the class online also. I would recommend the online class especially to us travelers. I'm sure the steps of letting go and being of service are resonating. I hope there is a speedy recovery for Hans' dad and that your mom's issues are resolved as well. I'm sure your presence helps her immensely.

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    1. I will consider the online class. I really think his methods are solid and doable for most people.

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  16. My thoughts are with you and Hans, two curveballs in a short span of time. Fortunately you are in the area when these are happening. Having been in a similar situation a few months, I can relate and Im sending you all the best in this trying times. Glad that you had that book to keep your thoughts on the bright side no matter how bad it could be.
    Love those sleeping seals and those two at the top of the rocks are adorable, and posed for you with no care in the world.

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    1. Yes indeed, you have been there recently and fully know the emotional roller coaster.

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  17. Wonderful post, Lisa… We all need reminders to focus on what we have, not what we want or don't have. Someday we will all be in our parent's "shoes," bless you both for "being there."
    Box Canyon Mark

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  18. I'm so sorry to hear of your family health issues, and so glad that you've found a practice to sustain you. For many years now I've had a practice of writing down the things that I'm grateful for, and the moments of joy in my daily life. It is transformative, as you've found. Wishing you and Hans and your families peace and moments of joy during these challenging times.

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  19. It's so wonderful for your parents that you are able to adapt your plans so that you can be there for them. Our future plans to fulltime will involve finding a great solution to where my mother will stay when we take off. She is 90 and we've invited her to come and explore with us but she's not excited for that. We're hoping that a brother or sister will take her in once we hit the road. We're still 2 years out so we have time to plan. Spending extra time with my mother is a gift that I am lucky enough to have and that makes me a lucky person, even if it makes it a little more difficult to plan. Enjoy your parents and your new plans.

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    1. You are so right, adaptability is the key...supporting our loved ones yet finding time to do the things that enrich our lives is a challenge and a reward all at once!

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  20. Wishing the very best to your parents as they recovery. Our flexibility on the road is a beautiful thing--definitely a reason for joy!

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  21. I hope both of your parents have a speedy recovery. How fortunate that you can be there to help them out. Your pictures are beautiful. Such detail!

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