Yellowstone: #RVLife

Yellowstone Geyser

“Nuggets!” My kid cries, bent over his screen, as if he’s been shot, heading to the bathroom. Outside, I hear my husband cough amid abundant birdsong.

We have traded the mosquitos for birds.

The last campsite — Yellowstone/Lewis Lake — had bodies filled with our blood.

Today we awoke in Montana; yesterday in Wyoming, in Yellowstone.
The states are beginning to blur, as are the days.

We are nomads, travelers, drifters. We are adventurers, overlanders, full-time RV travelers, #digitalnomads

We live, love, and fight in a moving cube.

Yesterday morning, we erupted, like Old Faithful, before the drive toward Mammoth Hot Springs. It was the usual arguments and panic about where we’d land, could we find a spot in time, given all we wanted to do, given all the miles we had to drive.

The eruption was great — talk of airports and dissolving our plans, our trip.

We had learned of constriction as the mechanism beneath hydrothermal features such as geysers, and as we drove toward the hot springs, I felt constriction in my chest. The heat of our anger, our frustration, like magma; our words flowing like snowmelt or rain, words that pelted with hurt and misunderstanding.

As we drove, I pondered the anatomy of a fight.

Always the eruption, the constriction, tempered by silence, space, and time. Ours simmered down to a low boil, punctuated by sightings of wildlife — a grizzly bear ambling matter-of-factly on the side of a road, bear-faced cow-like bison, families of geese waddling into the moving Yellowstone River below. Followed by walks to the volcanic mud pots that boiled with sulfer and smelled of soft-boiled eggs atop steaming bowls of ramen. One was named Black Cauldron, a fitting name. Later the hot springs and travertine terraces, ending the night in Montana, sipping wine and reading aloud short stories to my family — the eruption now subsided.

 

A Mindset Shift: The Difference One Little Letter Can Make

A Mindset Shift: What a Difference One Letter Can Make

It’s amazing how easily you can make a mindset shift simply by changing the ‘o’ to an ‘e’ in the phrases: “I’ve GOT to” to “I GET to.”

As ‘a glass is half empty type of person’ my entire life, I find myself needing to remember this on a daily basis.

Lately, with our recent move from our house to an RV, I’ve been struggling with going into this default mode; namely, looking at life via a negative lens. But doing this exercise allows me to quickly shift from despair and overwhelm to a more grateful and positive existence, which is what I’m perpetually aiming for, not wanting to be overruled by stress.

So here’s an example of a simple mindset shift I’ve decided to make:

  • I’ve got to make this work!  becomes ==>  I GET to live this life!
  • I’ve got to eat better!  becomes ==>  I GET to eat delicious keto food that fuels my brain and body, especially because I love the mental clarity, increased energy, and improved moods when I eat this way.
  • I’ve got to exercise!  becomes ==> I GET to sweat and I know it feels damn good when I do, especially afterwards during cool down. And I get to listen to, and feel fired up by, my favorite podcasts and music. Not only that, I love knowing that exercise lowers my insulin resistance and fasting glucose, drives up my ketones which is good prevention for cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimers. And it increases my chances for longevity, so more time on this planet to spend with my loved ones.
  • I’ve got to write that novel!  becomes ==>  I GET to write a novel that I haven’t seen out there in the world before, creating a fictional coming-of-age story about a young Asian American girl growing up Jehovah’s Witness who is faced with an emergency blood transfusion, afraid she’ll lose her chance at eternal life, all the while grappling with religion, racism, mental health issues, and her undeniable feelings for her best friend Rachel.
  • I’ve got to work!  becomes ==> I GET to work with awesome clients aligned with my values to help them write and edit content, from web copy and newsletters to social media and blog posts.
  • I’ve got to be a better parent!  becomes ==> I GET to spend even more quality time with my middle-school-aged kid, learning as I go, striving to be better, to practice patience, grateful for this opportunity of a lifetime to travel in a RV with my kid and husband, both of us teaching him–as best we know–about the world around us so as to leave him a better person on this earth.

To be quite honest, since we said good-bye to our house of ten years in Berkeley, CA last Thursday (April 5, 2018) to drive to Denver, CO to begin our new #RVLife, I’ve been in a state of shock, battling mild depression. It’s easy for someone like me to fall into a state of despair, which is why I am a person who constantly needs to surround myself with positivity, with supports in the form of inspirational and motivational quotes, podcasts, books, friends, even the virtual community on Instagram which I love.

Today, while my husband and our kid went out to finalize RV preparations, I finally had some space (both mental and physical) to reflect, recharge, and reconnect with myself. I spent time writing, reconnected with my accountability buddy and good writing friend this morning (actually meditating again!), exercised by myself using the hotel gym, and spent some time reflecting in my bullet journal. I asked for time off from my clients to use this week to fully move into our new home (the RV). That’s something I haven’t done since last summer, so to have a week off just felt decadent!

I realized that my tendency to focus on the negative can easily be shifted with a change in mindset, which forces you to be grateful for what you GET to do, rather than what you HAVE (or GOT) to do.

Coupled with self-care — a focus on nutrition (currently a carnivore keto diet and intermittent fasting), exercise, meditation, and creativity — I’m back in that space of believing anything is possible.

 

Note: I can’t remember where I got this quote from. It might have come from that book I love: ESSENTIALISM. But I could be wrong…