Friday, October 28, 2011

What do I want to do with my life?

In ten months, I will join the ranks of empty nesters.  As a single mom, it means something a little different for me when compared to couples or parents of multiple children.

Currently, in my world, there are two of us.  We travel as a pair. We laugh until we cry at things only the two of us may find funny.  We know each other better than a lot of couples.  But, in 10 months, we will split as we have always meant to.  Off he will go to become the man he is meant to be.

And I will start my own new adventure.

This one is for me.  Not for my parents. Not for my family. Not for my fiance/husband. Not for my son. Me. This time it is all about me.

What the hell do I do?

How many other people have experienced this?

Hundreds of thousands I expect.

I've promised my son I would "get a life" and not wallow in missing him...or become the hermit I'm so good at.  So I've been searching my brain for what I really have always wanted to do - and then figure out how to do it.

The answer came to me when I stumbled onto a auction show.  Someone was trying to auction of their old AirStream trailer.  It was from the 1970's and he wanted $10,000 for it. AirStreams are cool. Very cool.

I want one.

Wait a minute.

I really do want one.

How cool would it be to travel around the US? Go anywhere you want whenever you want? Drive your own home.

Right.  People with huge retirements do that.  Couples. People with more money than reasonable do that.

And then I thought to look into it.

The average full-time RV-er spends approximately $25,000 a year...some more, some less.  And you can join groups.  There are companies that will hire you seasonally - they will actually hire work-campers.

Okay...that would help.  But I'm also a writer. It's what I do and what I'm good at. So...why can't I find a job that allows me to telecommute from the road? Seriously?  Why not?  It's 2011 - the age of technology and instant communication.  With a cell phone, a computer and wifi (or hell, an aircard) I could be in immediate contact with anyone.

I could also write travel columns.  Or blogs. I'm pretty damned good with a camera too - so I would be able to submit pictures to go with the articles.

Dear God I could freelance.

I it really possible?  How long would it take to establish myself and guarantee and income of $20 - $30K a year in a combination of freelancing and working various jobs around the nation?  I couldn't expect much more than minimum to $10/hour ... but that would at least cover gas & food.

I would have to downsize.  Severely.  But I live in an apartment right now ... and have started to go through the remaining boxes in my garage.  I'm already getting rid of stuff. So why not just get rid of more?  Why not just keep stuff in storage?  I don't have that much anyway.  Very little furniture that I'm attached to.  Like 5 pieces and my bed. They rest can go away. My art is a different story.  I'm actually attached to 6 pieces and I'm not sure they would fit in an RV.

Then there's the idea of an RV.  The little research I've done tells me I need a class C no bigger than 27 feet. I'll be able to tow my car behind it.  I like my car and it would be the perfect vehicle for travel.

So all I need to do is figure out how to afford an RV and finance my life on the road.

I can have a life.

I will become Terri the Nomad.

I may actually manage it by the time I'm 55.  That's 2015.

This may really be doable.

And that makes me happy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

day: I re-commit myself to me

I've been lost.

Some of you may have noticed, but I'm assuming the vast majority have not. Nor should anyone. Because I'm me and not you. Our focus should be on ourselves.

We - at least the females among us - tend to focus on everyone else other than ourselves and in doing so, forget the most important person in our lives.

I've done it the same as the rest of the women in this world.

I will always find a way to focus on others before myself. But I will make the effort to take care of me first.

And that is what I'm doing today.

Taking care of me.

This past May, I jumped into the 17 day diet with both feet and I managed to lose 30 pounds. This is incredible. This is amazing. I've always done in the past...I started to inch my way into self-sabotage. I made excuses and found ways to cheat albeit in very small ways. The whole time I knew what I was doing. At least I was completely aware.

And I reached out. I cried out. Everytime I felt myself starting to hide away from the world, I'd yank myself up and throw myself out there publicly. least I threw myself out there into SparkPeople world.

Thankfully some people reached back. Even though many were struggling with their own weight loss demons - people found a moment in their day to recognize me. I love you for that. I needed you and there were those who ... at the very least ... acknowledged my presence and predicament.

I knew I needed to get back on track. I knew the weight would creep back up if I didn't. Thankfully, I've gained less than 5 pounds back. This past weekend was like a free-for-all with Mexican food. In the past six weeks, I've "allowed" myself to reintroduce sugar back into my system. And alcohol. And though I've maintained an awareness of each addition...I caught myself starting to let it go.

I do that. I am the best damned pity-party thrower out there sometimes. I don't know why, but I will destroy my best intentions with feelings of being unworthy.

I know...I know...I am worthy. 99% of me knows that and will tell you that. I am strong and intelligent and accomplished. But there is that teeny tiny voice inside of me that says I'm lying. It tells me that I've been faking it all these years and someone will call my bluff. It tries to convince me that there is no substance behind the facade that is me.

Why that voice is easier to listen to doesn't make sense to me. But it is. It's like comfort food. It's like a warm, soft blanket on a blustery Autumn day. It's the crackling of a fireplace and the caress of a lover.

And it is trying to destroy me from the inside.

Not today.

Today I am pushing it back down - but only after I confront it head-on. I know it will always be there - but by acknowledging it and recognizing it is part of me - I will be able to keep it in check.

Today I am back to complete my goal for 2011. To reach that goal - a total of 40 pounds lost in 2011 - I have only 13 pounds to go. I can do it. It is completely possible. Not "if" but "when."

And in doing so - will be able to reach MY healthy weight in 2012.