Full time RVing – Remember to play!

 

Camping is a playful act.  Remember camping out in the backyard for a moment.  Isn’t that the feeling we’re trying to recapture when we choose full time RVing?

My last post was about having a sense of humor. How is that different than playfulness?  Playful people, in my opinion, go beyond seeing the funny part of life, they actively create opportunities to have fun!

We got in our coach yesterday, ready to drive the leg from Denver to Colorado Springs, and the coach wouldn’t start!  Our first major breakdown in this over 6,000 mile odyssey.  What to do?  Fortunately, we had electricity where we were, so we called mobile repair.  Unfortunately, there was no water spigot, and we ran out of water.  Choice point.  Feel inconvenienced and annoyed, or, create a sense of playfulness. 

Playfulness and creativity are very close cousins.   Whenever an activity calls on your creativity, you are playful. How to use the toilet?  How do I make my coffee?   Pretty soon I’m in a whole new mindset, and I’m back to being a little girl playing “house.” Did you play this game with your friends?  I found my sense of humor about the situation.  Then I started to think, what else could I do to have even more fun?  Could I get out my paints and take advantage of this downtime?  You get the idea.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old,

we grow old because we stop playing.”  George Bernard Shaw

 

 

An essential definition of being playful is not taking things too seriously in life.

Digging even further, I looked at synonyms for playful.  Here is just a handful.  Energetic, lively, spirited, spunky, vivacious, lighthearted.

And here’s some antonyms of playful.  Grave, grim, serious, solemn.

 

Some people are just naturally playful.  Stephen will break out into silly faces or dance at the drop of a hat.  He has lots of fun with word plays too.  He amazes me at how much fun he’s having in life!  I need a sense of safety and relaxation, and then my playfulness reveals itself.  With Stephen, my trust is high. I’m confident I won’t be humiliated in some way by opening myself up and being playful.

RVing has helped me build this trust because at the same time as we’re having new experiences together, we’re becoming better partners in life.  That spells trust which leads to playfulness.  Few things breed intimacy as much as playfulness.

So consider yourself fortunate.  You’ve chosen to live in a way that naturally enhances your sense of play.  Were you ever in a marital rut?  When we repeat daily routines, over and over, we lose our sense of wonder, excitement, and joy.   Did that happen to you?

I bet wonder, excitement, and joy are all qualities you wanted to introduce into your life when you adopted full time rving.  This lifestyle is made to order for bringing them back into your relationship.  A change of scenery, sleeping in, exploring a new place, these things change you.  And, they change your conversations with each other.  Your life is fresher, livelier.  Read more here.

Yes, we are experiencing some adversity right now. As I said before in my post How’s Your Sense of Humor, stuff happens.  I know I want to be a more playful person.  So, when a stressful situation presents itself now, I ask, “How can I make this more fun?  Sometimes it even works!

The only reason to pursue this state of fun is to feel more alive.  And isn’t that why we all chose to go full time RVing?  What fun can you have today?  Go make some funny faces in the mirror and see what happens. What do you and your partner do when you play?  I’d really like to know.

Since Niagara Falls (which was amazing), I celebrated my birthday by photographing grafitti in Detroit.  Then we had to get a part replaced in Elkhart, Indiana.  Then, it was a quick run to Denver to see one grandson.  Now sitting in Colorado Springs to enjoy another grandsons football game.  It’s the last one we will see before he goes off to play at a college next year.  Can’t wait to see him play.

 

 

Full-Time RVers – How’s Your Sense of Humor?

 

 

Finding Humor

We are about 4,000 miles into our 6,000-mile round trip to Nova Scotia and back from New Mexico.  I can now say, with great authority, as  full-time RVers, living this lifestyle demands and develops a sense of humor

Here are the things that have happened to our rig during this journey. 

 

 

At certain times, rain pours in through a crack on the top of the window near the passenger seat. 

  1. Driving area needs to be re-floored because of this leak.
  2. Leak in back closet in bedroom – probably need new roof. 
  3. Slide out keeps blowing fuses.
  4. Step is persnickety about going in and out.
  5. Cabinet hinge broke and now has to be bungeed closed.
  6. Bookcase keeps jumping away from the wall and needs an L bracket.
  7. Ladder and rear of coach damaged because of driver error backing up.
  8. Coach tilting to the right – airbags problem?
  9. Floor needs to come up because of soft spot under the refrigerator.
  10. Hydraulic fluid reservoir for the levelers fell off.
  11. Brake system for the tow car had to be replaced.
  12. Sewer line on gray water tank broke from vibration (Stephen fixed this).

Now, what would be your go-to emotions about all this adversity?  Anger?  Frustration?  Well, we did indeed feel each of those deeply for a few moments.  Not funny situations, right? But we try hard to morph those emotions into things to smile about.  Our life together on the road has proven to me that a sense of humor is a great coping mechanism!

Here is the essence of what I love about this lifestyle.  Yes, stuff happens.  Stuff happens a lot!  But, even while adversity occurs, the other side of the balance scale is getting filled up with great memories. 

I’m a pretty serious person, and for most of our life together I’ve been a little judgmental about how Stephen can just jump right into being amused by it all. Because of RVing, I’m learning to lighten up and be light-hearted.

When I look at the obstacles that come up almost daily when RVing through the frame of humor, I find the strength to put my shoulder to the wheel and carry on.  The challenges are cut down to a handleable size from the big monsters I originally thought them out to be. 

Here is a quote from Mahatma Gandhi.  I didn’t even know he thought he was a funny guy!

“If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.”

I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating, my worldview has changed significantly since becoming a full-time RVer.  Stephen’s wellbeing has become as important to me as my own.  I write about this in more detail here

Now, the desire to create the life I want to live is my motivation.  Stephen and I are now even more inextricably tied together.  When he’s stressed, my first thought is how to help him relieve that stress.  I know by lessening the number of stress hormones in our bodies, we increase infection-fighting antibodies.  Laughter eases our physical tension and causes our muscles to relax!   

If I make a conscious decision to bring lightness to any difficulty we’re facing and help diffuse our stress, I’m aware of my power to create a happy and loving environment for traveling.  My sense of humor is my most valued friend when we hit life’s speed bumps.

Stephen has a talent for the comical, and now that I fully appreciate this ability, I enjoy so many funny moments every day.  All we have in life is the present.  What I make of my life is transformed by choosing a humorous outlook.  Even at the most challenging moments.  By choosing laughter, I choose happiness.   Happy life or unhappy life – the choice seems like a no-brainer.  Read more about choosing happiness here.

Each day I consciously work on developing my sense of humor muscle.  What is so surprising is that as I do, my brain is automatically starting to see the funny side of life.  My thoughts are entertaining!  Another bonus that reinforces my changing behavior is making Stephen laugh when he finds me witty!  I love that!

So, ask yourself, what does it mean to have a humorous perspective on life as full-time RVErs?  What are some ways you can add humor to your road life and lighten up your travels?

After visiting friends in Vermont we went back to the Boston area for a couple days of being tourists.  We thoroughly enjoyed a day of boating around the harbor.  Then, we headed to Newport Rhode Island where we have friends and have visited before.  What a swanky place.  So happy to see the ocean again!  I knew we would be leaving the ocean for the final time so tried to soak it up as much as possible.  A highlight was visiting a museum of illustrators like Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish.  We’re on to Niagara Falls next!