To all my Girlfriends out there.
I had the RV cramps.
I’m not referring to that dreaded monthly cramping. Neither am I referring to the nasty “charlie horse calf cramp” that startles you awake in the middle of the night.
This Cramping was the: I’m-feeling-stifled-inside-450-SF-of-living-space kind.
Or you could call it:
Yeesh. John and I were 6 months into our world of full-time RVing being clobbered by surprise emotions.
Miss Crampi-poo had moved into our space, and I was not happy. I needed (wanted) a quiet uncramped space to call my own.
Let me digress for a moment.
Back to the days when my life did not feel cramped.
For me, the years were 2005-2010.
I was single.
I was a divorcee.
I owned my own condo.
ALL the room space was mine.
This was my condo view:
Yep, I was 47 when my husband left me for another woman. (Nope, not going to slam my ex here).
With my grown sons’ blessings, I moved 880 miles from Philadelphia to heal from my pain and be supported by my loving family.
I bought a 2 bedroom condo in Madison, Wisconsin.
My soft landing.
Back then, each morning, I stared at Lake Monona processing the pain of divorce.
I drank Mighty Leaf Jasmine tea each morning.
Each of my days began anchored in the only firm thing that remained in my life.
I talked (ok, mostly yelling and sobbing) to God about my situation.
I journaled about my crappy divorce.
I devoured words of comfort from the Bible.
I sought out counseling and support to process my pain.
There were lots of other things that helped my healing but sitting on that comfortable couch having my quiet (uncramped) time felt safe.
This went on for several years.
Dating at 52
John and I have a great story of how we met, but I don’t have time to tell it here. The short version is that we knew each other for 3 years, worked side by side, and then fell in love. (insert sighs…butterflies…happy face)
Gretty re-marries! John moved in and Miss Crampi-poo-poo sneaks in.
John and I married in 2010. With his condo sold, we settled into mine. We navigated the adjustment period pretty well, considering all the emotional baggage we hauled from our previous marriages.
Miss Crampi-do-do hid for the first year and a half of our marriage, but then she spoke in John’s voice. He was feeling cramped in “my space”.
I totally got that.
Shopping for a new condo commenced. We bought OUR place.
Now we each had our own ROOM for a solitary get-away and quiet time space.
Crazy new ideas
Now it’s time to get back to my original story.
This is the part when John and I decided to pursue the adventurous dream to become full-time RVers.
We researched how other RVers lived together in close quarters- certain we would succeed. We discussed how to attain our own space and avoid Miss Crampi-no-no. We dove into full-time RVing. Our coach felt spacious compared to our tent. We had become glampers. (glamorous camping).
What could go wrong?
We nosedived. And it wasn’t Miss Crampino’s fault.
Our coach was giving us constant problems.
We were spending most of our time in RV repair shops with issue and breakages.
I was feeling overwhelmed.
We had no “normal” days.
The next 3 months we spent shopping for a new coach.
We decided to get rid of this RV and cut our losses…
We found our ideal used diesel pusher coach on February 11, 2015, made her our home…and guess who snuck in?
John seemed to be able to carry on his quiet time routine each morning. He has the gift of being able to tune out the “newness” going on around him. (Insert snarly face.)
Here’s a photo of his desk area.
My “desk space” was the living room chair with a polka-dot bin next to it that held my laptop. (The bin also held my Sodoku book, photo books, my Bible, 2 bottles of Torani’s coffee syrup, and a box of tissues.)
I tried writing on my laptop while sitting 4 feet away from John.
I could hear him each time he cleared his throat. When he giggled, I immediately wanted in on the funny joke.
Now I was cramped and jealous of John’s workspace.
May I rant some more? The rhythm of my day was non-existent, I couldn’t concentrate!
John and I just passed the 24-month mark of being full-time on the road. I’ve passed near the flame of painful RV cramping and am finding solutions and less heat on the far side.
What I learned:
My self adorned need for my “own space” was unrealistic. Of course, I felt Miss Crampi-doo-doo’s presence when I kept focusing on old solutions for a quiet time space in a 450 square foot coach! Duh.
I didn’t need a big comfy chair to have my quiet time space.
I needed a big comfy attitude adjustment.
Is my Miss Crampino issue completely gone? Did she get tossed in the RV resort dumpster?
No. Of course not.
I didn’t enter this RV lifestyle to have a condo on wheels.
I entered this lifestyle to enjoy the freedom that the road gives to John and me.
I entered to live a life of adventure.
I can choose to focus on my growth, or I can turn into a crabby gal who isn’t mature enough to seek a new solution to issues like Miss Crampino.
Adventure is not perfect
Some of my best memories of adventures have been wrought with challenges.
I’ve learned that adventures contain obstacles, require planning, hard work, include unexpected situations, and require solutions.
New solutions are challenging.
New solutions are humbling.
New solutions are rewarding.
My latest Adventure just happens to be named Miss Crampipoo.
Yes, she has given me challenges and obstacles, but in the end, she has ENLARGED my space…
No, not in my RV…
but in the space between my ears.