Changing the Situation

imagesSometimes travel is easy. At those times I sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. There are moments in travel that are hard, things don’t go right and the trip becomes a struggle. I believe the term is “Roadblock”.

Riding down the coast with Cat has had moments of each. The ride itself has been comfortable and the sights have been rewarding and awe inspiring. Cat’s days are long and often she is tired when arriving at camp. It is hard for her to want to interact and be social. Sometime I have been lonely on this trip and I long for the socialization at the end of the day. These two separate daily events have made it hard for both of us.

About 2 weeks ago we decided that staying together each day might not be the healthiest thing for us. A friend of mine reminded me, it is important to remember that this is a situation that Cat and I have chosen to take on. We can change the situation anytime we want. We decided to try a different approach to our current situation. After a few different experiments on how we could make things work smoother, Cat is now riding unassisted. That means she is carrying her tent, sleeping bag and all her gear with her on her bike. I am there if she needs me and I am somewhat paralleling her ride down the coast. We touch base by text every few days to make sure this is working for her and myself. So far, it is working well. As Cat has gotten stronger and increased her mileage, she has become more independent. It feels, to me, like a natural progression.

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Paralleling each other has given me the time to explore more at my leisure. I can pick my campsites and stay a few days or more. This has allowed me to relax more and not feel like I always need to be on top of where we stay the next night. It has given Miss Elsie the Cat a few dog free nights in a row. I think that is a good thing for her.

Friendships are fragile. They need to be taken care of on a daily basis or even more frequently. The hardest thing to do sometimes is to communicate with others. I have found on this trip that often when things have gotten stressful between the two of us, it is a result of miscommunication. Our friendship is new, we have not known each other long. It takes practice and time with other human beings to learn how to communicate well. We are a work in progress.

I travel alone, now that Jim has died. He and I traveled together, frequently. We had our moments of miscommunication. It wasn’t always stress free. Most of the time, though, we did communicate well. It was usually smooth and easy and supportive. The longer we were together the easier and smoother it became.

Now that I am alone again I have to learn how to communicate with others again. It is not an easy process. We as humans are fragile and can be broken pretty easily, at times. We are also resilient and can pick up the pieces and move on again. This combination of fragility and resilience is what makes friendships worth the effort. This is why Cat and I keep adjusting our situation as we move down the 101. We are not ready to give up on the trip or our friendship.

Sometimes it is worth the effort one puts into a situation. This whole adventure with Cat continues to allow me to grow and define who I am as a human being on this planet. It is giving me the opportunity to find my strength to learn how to communicate freely and openly with another human being and hold my ground. And, if this situation doesn’t work then it is OK to change it again.

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Change-Big Change is Coming

Search-Colorado-Springs-MLS-Homes-for-SaleThis past Monday, my realtor and I went “live”. My home is up for sale. I have been working on the house since February getting it ready for this moment. My broken ankle slowed the process down for a few months. Now that I am walking and doing better each day, it is time.

Today, Tuesday, two interested parties came to view the house. When I received the first call, I was nervous and excited and a bit anxious and scared all at the same time. There are so many mixed feelings with this move.

cardinstallation_02@2xEver since I was diagnosed with breast cancer I feel as if my life has been tossed up in the air, like a deck of cards. While I was picking up the cards from this incident, Jim was diagnosed with cancer. Up went the cards again. Eight months later he was diagnosed with a metastasis from the original cancer, up the cards went once again. With his death all those cards have been taking their time coming down. I have been slowly picking them up, one at a time. Picking up each one has certainly been taking time. No set schedule here.

I thought I would sell our home  3 months after Jim died. I now understand that was way to soon. Grief needs time and I needed somewhere comfortable and secure and safe to manage the initial stages of grief and loss. There was nowhere better than the home where Jim’s and my relationship flourished.

Janet driving in the alley in Chicago(3)

Me & the Trek

I have been trying to figure out what is next in my life since Jim’s  death. I have been waiting for a grand moment of awareness. It has not arrived. I am going looking for it. Miss Elsie the Cat and I are going to make my sweet little Roadtrek into our home for the next year. It may be longer than a year or it may be shorter but I have decided to go traveling. I love to travel. I enjoy learning and meeting new people and exploring this grand country I live in. And to create some expansiveness, I am including Canada in my travels, as well.

Link to Listing

I don’t plan to set out until the house sells, unless it is on the market for a while. If that happens then I will be heading out before it sells. Maybe I will figure out where I want to live. If not it will be one grand adventure. I look forward to seeing friends, friends who I have known forever and newer ones as well.

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The nervousness and anxiety comes from the unknown. It is a little overwhelming to put my trust out there in the universe that all will be OK. I have moved several times in my adult life. Each time has been just a wee bit harder than the last one. I am not sure why that happens, but I do think it has to do with age. Maybe as I have gotten more mature I have found myself more settled with each move. I do have friends in so many places and I hope to meet up with as many as I can. It is time to catch up.

I am getting ready to roll. What should I take? What should I leave? Where am I going? Is this crazy?

Then there is the house. It takes a bit of effort to dismantle a house. I have been in the process of doing this for the past few weeks. I still have a ways to go, yet even this is manageable as long as I don’t get too stressed.

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Miss Elsie

And then there are the memories. Sigh. Even this is OK. It can even be therapeutic. And the bottom line here, is I need move ahead with my life. I want to create adventure and exciting, happy challenges. I am ready. Miss Elsie, well who knows but she is coming along for the ride.

Getting ready, change is in there air.

 

 

 

House For Sale, Adventure Awaits

 

imagesA while ago I mentioned in one of my posts that my goal for 2016 was to fix up the house and get it on the market.

Guess what I am in the middle of? Yes, you guessed it. I am in the middle of completing  some major interior and exterior projects on my house. Last week I had a cracked slab repaired, a new sidewalk with drainage on both sides installed, and a new driveway put in. It looks snazzy.

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Driveway drying

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My new sidewalk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is more to come. I have to get some drywall work done and then the interior will be painted. I am hoping to complete this by the middle of March and then if all things go according to plan the house will go  on the market.

Here is what I know about this process so far. It is stressful. It can be very stressful, at times. I feel that I have done pretty well dealing with the stress of it all. Oh wait I almost forgot I am getting over a cold but that is not stress related (who am I kidding). Every once in a while my not so favorite friend, anxiety, rears it’s ugly head. I try to remind myself that I am halfway through the repair and fixing up thing. It helps that Barbara, my friend and realtor is willing to listen to me. She asks the right questions too.

Once the house sells I head straight into the unknown. I am not planning to buy or rent another place immediately. I am going to sell most of my belongings, put the rest in storage and Elsie and I will live in my Roadtrek RV for the next year. If I really like it I may stay in it longer. If I don’t like it I may not stay a year. This is my plan at present.

stress-article-2015Moving into my Roadtrek is way more challenging to my stress level than getting the house ready for sale. When I was younger, I would pick up on a whim, pack and move. Sometimes I had no idea where I would end up. I am sure there was stress and anxiety with those moves too. I have found, as I have gotten older, moving has become harder and harder. Now I am want to move out of traditional housing entirely. What????

Since Jim’s death selling the house has always been in the back of my mind. It has nothing to do with our life together in our home. If it did I would stay here forever. This is what occurs when one finds oneself in a good and filling relationship. Creating a fresh start is important to me. I find that if I have to start over, I want to start somewhere fresh and in a place that is mine to create.

My problem with finding a home and space that is just mine is, I don’t where it is. I have been on two long trips and I thought each one would help me define where I want to live. I have learned some important things by traveling, yet where I want to live is still a mystery. Here is what I know:

  • I will not live east of the Rocky Mountains again-unless my family needed me. I love the wide open spaces of the west. I love all the mountains and the broad forever vistas. When I first moved to the Rocky Mountains in the 1970’s I never looked east again.
  • I have ruled out two thirds of the country. That’s good.
  • The Pacific Coast is amazing. I love camping and traveling it. I have found that I have been inexplicably drawn to the Pacific since Jim’s ashes went to sea.
  • I don’t mind some humidity. The humidity back east and in the south is overwhelming.
  • I love the lack of bugs in the west. I will put up with mosquitos and those pesky ants. But I don’t have to clean the front end off my vehicles after I drive them once.
  • There is something amazing to me regarding the fact that on any given day, year round, I can walk out of my house and go exploring. I don’t usually have to wait until the weather clears.
  • My car stays in good shape forever.
  • I have good friends all over the country and beyond. I have very good, loving and supportive friends in San Diego. Their support, caring and love would make it very hard for me to leave. All my friends have gone above the call in helping me during the last 3+ years.

Here is what I don’t know:

  • Where Do I Want to Live??????

Until I know more of what I want,  I don’t think I will buy. I may rent, after the year in my RV. I plan to keep an open mind and let in all possibilities.

Miss Elsie and I are going to become the traveling duo. Where do I travel to first? Maybe the photo below will shed some light on this question.IMG_2569

Yep that is right. I am pondering the Alcan Highway later in the spring, depending on the sale of the house. I have a lovely friend, Cat, who has a fifth wheel who wants to caravan with me. I am feeling the slight undertones of excitement. We would make a good team, me and Miss Elsie, Cat and her two dogs, Dory and Bodhi.

2016 continues to be an interesting year. I promise I will keep you up to date as the mystery of this year unfolds.

And the Adventure Continues.

 

 

 

Anyone Want a Bed?

imagesToday I sold my bed. Now that is usually not a big deal. You decide that you want to sell it and you put it up for sale and then it is sold. I wish it was that easy.

Here is my reality. I put the bed up for sale on Craigslist. I have received three e-mails in the past week. Today a very nice woman came to look at it and decided to buy it.  I instantly went into a panic. Did I want to sell it? Did I want to keep it? The anxiety is so real.

The ad has been on CL for months. When you advertise something on Craigslist it has to be renewed once a week. I always have the chance to not repost it or to take it down. I chose to leave it up.

So where is all the anxiety coming from? I have always known that I wanted to sell my home after Jim died. I still do. I don’t have a time line. It feels as if something is holding me back and I think it is fear of the unknown. Familiar is comfortable. Unfamiliar makes me ask myself many questions:  What do I do next? Do I want to stay in San Diego or do I move somewhere else? Where is my life taking me? Where am I taking my life? Arrrgh, the same old questions over and over. Maybe the only way to figure it out is to take the leap.

The bed is the first big item that I am selling. It symbolizes so much. Jim, of course-something to sleep in-the leap into the abyss. Even though I have been anxious about this I decided to move forward with the sale of the bed.

Into the Abyss

Into the Abyss

Now where do I sleep? Well I do have the tempurpedic mattress so I am reverting to college days and sleeping on the floor. I also have an air mattress that I can use. I am really fine. I hope the anxiety goes away once the bed is removed to it’s new home.

I read and believe in many of the tenants of Buddhism. Letting go of emotional attachment has been on my mind the last few days. This bed is just an object. If I look at this issue of selling my bed, I really find I don’t feel much emotional significance connected to this bed. With it’s disappearance I am saying goodby to the familiar and those many questions, mentioned previously,  come a bit closer to the surface.

And…would you like to know the outcome of all this. This woman contacted me last night and told she is not taking it?  Now, though I feel more ready and maybe the next offer won’t be so traumatic.

Anyone want a bed?