When Life is Stressful -12 Tips | Video About Us

When Life is Stressful -12 Tips | Video About Us

Have you ever had so many things going on in your life that you just didn’t know where to focus? Well, that’s been me lately. Blogging has definitely taken a backseat these days. Perhaps I’m still recovering from our quick nearly 2,000-mile (3,218 km) return drive to Phoenix … 800 miles of which included a storage unit move and me driving a twenty-foot rented box truck while Al drove the RV. Ok, I’m tired just repeating it in my head. Yeah, exhausting and stressful!

But that move didn’t stop me from hopping in my daughter’s car two weeks later for an extended weekend in Disneyland to celebrate her milestone birthday.

Celebrating a birthday in Car Land Disneyland

While at Disney, I was thinking a lot about the items we moved and continue to choose storing and what it all represents: a life well-lived. Those Disney rides reminded me that going through life is a lot like riding a roller-coaster. There are lots of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Sometimes we experience an exciting thrill while other times we encounter a dizzying headache. No one is blessed with a smooth ride. Besides, wouldn’t life be boring without all those peaks and valleys?

Going through all our crap stuff in storage was an emotional journey. Special momentoes from when our children were little had us questioning where the time went. And then there were items from our deceased parents. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss them. Even with all the things I couldn’t part with, we were still able to whittle down our belongings so we could get one storage unit in Phoenix in lieu of the two we had in Colorado and we were able to get everything into a 20-foot truck instead of having to rent the large 26-footer.

Sinclair Dinosaur

And the move could not have gone any better, but that’s not to say I wasn’t a nervous wreck. I had every intention of catching up with a few of our friends while we were in our old stomping grounds, but I was suffering from a great deal of anxiety and worrying about what could go wrong on the drive. Could that be from too many years of full-time RVing? Ya, know … blown tires, broken landing jacks, engine issues, roof damage, etc. 🤣 Murphy’s Law is alive and well for those of us that RV.

I’m sure the guy at the U-Haul rental center thought I was a little OCD especially when he mentioned, “Wow! Most people don’t read all that”. I even made sure we went over a bunch of what if’s … flat tires, breakdowns, and roadside assistance. By the way, did you know if you rent one of those box trucks and get into an accident, your auto insurance policy probably won’t cover the damages? I called USAA (our insurance carrier) to verify our coverage. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being sold a U-Haul insurance policy that I didn’t need. I needed it! Yeah, renting a box truck is not like renting a car. So, do your due diligence if you rent any moving equipment.

And to think, when Al and I moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Colorado Springs, Colorado we never asked any of those questions. Ignorance is bliss, huh! And crossing Vail Pass and Loveland Pass in Colorado was a real treat in a couple of 26-foot box trucks. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can went through our heads as we chugged up passes over 11,000 feet in elevation. The best those trucks could do going up those mountains was maybe 25mph in a 75mph speed zone. We were just glad the trucks didn’t roll backward which we, at one point, were concerned about 😆

Route 66 Casino Albuquerque
On the light post between our 5th wheel and the motorhome is a small white sign saying “No Overnight Parking”. Oops! At least we weren’t the only ones who didn’t see the sign till morning.

After six years of full-time RVing, I’m rather adept at planning and even though all my planning went off without a hitch, it took nearly 300 miles in the rearview mirror before I finally calmed down and said to myself, “You got this!” Since Al and I are well versed in caravanning in separate vehicles, we used our Walkie Talkies to stay connected while driving. He was an amazing cheerleader and knew just what to say and when to say it. Thanks, hun!

Later that evening, while we were parked at the Route 66 Casino near Albequerque next to the “no overnight parking” sign, which we didn’t see until the next morning, we discussed my unwarranted concerns of the day. My behavior was definitely out of character. I’m a rather strong and independent person and don’t usually suffer from anxiety. I’m guessing a lot had to do with my emotions regarding the cargo in the rental truck. So many special momentoes. Ah, the memories …

Baby ducks snuggled under mama
Those little ones grow up so fast! I can’t believe my little one recently turned 30.

Driving 800 miles alone in an unfamiliar vehicle without music or an audiobook (radio only worked a fraction of the time), leaves one to ponder, and trust me, my mind wandered aimlessly. But I did think about how life can get stressful and how Al and I have always found a way to get through those challenging times. This move was a prime example. We usually come out on the other side a little stronger and a little wiser. Or so we hope!

12 Tips to overcome stress.

  1. Trust. Trust in yourself and your abilities.
  2. Laugh. Sometimes life gets so crazy that you just have to laugh. Even when Al and I have been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, we try to find the humor in the situation. Even if you are in a serious, sad moment, there is laughter to be had. Laughter makes everything better!
  3. Focus on what you can control. Sometimes there are situations beyond our control (weather comes to mind) and no matter what we do, we can’t change it. During those times, it’s best to just roll with the flow, make an educated decision on the best recourse, and accept you have no control over the situation.
  4. The path is winding … unless you’re driving on Interstate 80 through the middle of Nebraska, only then can one be assured of a straight path.🤣
  5. Tips to overcome stressEveryone goes through stressful times. There isn’t an adult anywhere who hasn’t gone through feelings of being absolutely overwhelmed and stressed to the max. Know you are not alone.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others. While there are people who will think that it’s helpful to tell you how they handled a similar situation, smile and accept their advice with a grain of salt. Only you know how to best handle an event or situation. We’re all different. Remember, trust in yourself.
  7. Learn from your mistakes. There is no growth without mistakes.
  8. Plan. Prior planning prevents poor performance. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Having a good plan in place will make life easier and less stressful, but be sure you build in some flexibility to help keep that stress level manageable.
  9. What you want and what you need may not be the same. When you’re feeling stressed about something not turning out the way you wanted, ask yourself if it was actually in your best interest? It could turn out that you’re better off with a different situation that you didn’t expect or know you needed.
  10. Tough situations make life better. It might seem silly, but challenges in life are what make life interesting. There’s great joy from successfully tackling a problematic situation. When you gain the confidence to know you can tackle anything, obstacles no longer are seen as insurmountable. Per Kelly Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger“.
  11. Understand that things will change. My favorite saying is, “This too shall pass”. Remember all things in life are temporary, including us. I no longer fuss over needing the perfect campsite, the perfect weather, or the perfect scenery… of course, I still want all that, but if I don’t get what I want, I don’t stress over it. Tomorrow is another day.
  12. Lean on your support system. We all have special people in our lives whether they are friends or family. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Studies have shown that leaning on friends or family makes it easier to cope with life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help during those stressful and overwhelming times.

Entertaining video?

So with all the stress behind me, … weeell ……….. except for that long list of RV repairs that we’ll need to tackle this winter, I’m sharing why Al and I moved into our RV full-time in this video. Life can be stressful and sometimes we need to make a change and close one chapter and start a new one.

Oh, and by the way, one of the things that I didn’t explain or it might not seem clear in the video is regarding our careers. We had transitioned from airline careers into a career in homebuilding. So when I talk about our business was slow, that would be our homebuilding biz. Our story is better explained on our “About Us” page if you’re curious.

How have you overcome times of stress in your life? Do you have any inspiration to share?

(Thank you for using my affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases and really appreciate your support ❤)

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Wholesale Warranty

Plan A, B, or C?

Moving!  Does anyone look forward to this arduous task?  Some people seem to move often while others have only moved once or twice in their entire life.  My dad has lived in the same house over fifty years while hubby and I, however, have moved  a  dozen times.  I’m not talking about moving around in our RV.  I’m talking move about moving from house to house with a boat load of stuff.   Some of our moves were within the same community while others were cross-country.  Some moves presented challenges while others went smoothly, but all were exhausting.

Our daughter, Ashton, was three-years old when we moved from Chicago, Illinois to Las Vegas, Nevada.  She may not remember that move, but I remember it as though it were yesterday.  Al and I loaded up our rear wheel drive, full-size van, pulling a small U-Haul trailer and with two little kids and a dog, we crossed the Colorado Rockies in January.  A moving company transported the majority of our household belongings while we transported personal items.

Traveling Interstate 70, 2 hours west of Denver, Colorado, in July
Traveling Interstate 70, two hours west of Denver, Colorado, in July

The 1,800 mile move took us three days and did not pass without incident…. ah, but that’s another tale for another time.  For today, I wish to focus on Ashton’s journey.  It was during this drive west that Colorado made an indelible impression upon this three-year old little girl, as it did on the rest of us as well.  After exiting the famous Eisenhower Tunnel located about an hours drive west of Denver along Interstate 70, we were all greeted with the most breathtaking sight.  Laid before us were rugged mountain peaks in all directions, blanketed in a thick layer of the brightest and whitest snow we had ever seen.

ColoradoI remember pulling over at the Dillon Lake scenic overlook.  While I walked the dog, Al watched our 3 year old daughter and 5 year old son run around throwing the white fluffy snow.  The lack of moisture in the snow made it impossible to compact into a snowball.  The children giggled in delight with their failed attempt at throwing snowballs at one another.

It was weeks later, long after we had settled into our new world in Las Vegas, that my little curly-headed blonde announced, “When I big girl, I move to mountains.  I like mountains”.  Well this adorable three-year old only had to wait a mere four years.  At the ripe old age of  seven, we moved from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Colorado Springs, Colorado, making her dream come true.

Denver 002There would be two more local moves in her future before it was time to head off to college.  Then those college years brought about several more moves for Ashton, but most of her belongings at that time would fit stuffed into a vehicle or two.

Last summer was one of her most enlightening moves.  For over two years, Ashton had endured a horrible work commute.  She was living in Westminster (north of Denver) with a girlfriend from college while working in the Denver Tech Center (south of Denver).  Her commute to work one way was anywhere from 35 minutes to 2 hours based on traffic and weather, but the apartment and roommate scenario were perfect thus making the commute tolerable, at least for the time being.

However, with another impending winter approaching along with those dreadful snow storm commutes, she finally decided to move closer to work last September (2014).  The majority of the furnishings in the 2 bedroom apartment belonged to Ashton and she was relying on Al and me to help her move.  This is when I stepped in and showed daughter how a young, single gal can move easily without the help of family or friends.  With her checkbook handy and pointing finger ready, she directed Two Men & a Truck to move her from point A to point B.  Within hours she was easily moved and comfortably situated in her new home in Centennial, Colorado.  Her self-reliant confidence grew by leaps and bounds that day.

Interstate 40 heading west toward Flagstaff, Arizona

So here we were a year later.   Ashton found herself moving a thousand miles away; a move that’s a little more challenging to navigate than a local move.  Al and I were in town to provide moral support and advice.  This time I didn’t even help her box things up.  She had a handle on the whole process.  And as much as she knew this move was good for her, it was emotional.  She was leaving her beloved Colorado behind and moving to a city she’s never been particularly fond of.

Moving day was on a Monday.  Al and I picked up Ashton at her place and drove her to the U-Haul facility where she picked up a 17 foot truck.  The U-Haul was no sooner backed into her driveway (with a little help from dad), when the two guys she hired to load the truck called wondering if they could swing by sooner.  YES!  A little over an hour later with the loaded U-Haul truck, Ashton headed back over to the U-Haul store.  I followed driving her car while Al followed in our F-250.

At the U-Haul store, they hooked up the flatbed trailer.  Ashton nervously drove her car onto the trailer and the guys secured the vehicle.  With that task complete and with Al’s assistance, she clenched the steering wheel of the truck tightly and navigated out of the tight parking lot.  This was her first time pulling a trailer.  We rendezvoused at the Cabela’s on Denver’s south side in preparation for the long drive to Phoenix.

Getting ready to caravan from Denver to Phoenix
Getting ready to caravan from Denver to Phoenix

It was 2:00 in the afternoon and we were way ahead of schedule.  It was time for me to implement Plan B.  You see, I took it upon myself to be in charge of the navigations and picking out our gas stops and overnight stops along the journey.  I had a slew of notes written with lots of built-in flexibility…. I had backups to the backups, not knowing how the trip would go.

move We lucked out with mild traffic on Interstate 25 from Denver through Colorado Springs.  By 6:00 p.m. we were parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot in the town of Trinidad, located just 12 miles north of the New Mexico/Colorado border.  Whew!  It had been a long day, but a productive one.

I kept all of us well fed and hydrated throughout the journey
I kept all of us well fed and hydrated throughout the journey

Day 2 had us skirting through Albuquerque.  Since I was really concerned we might run into a lot of traffic through Albuquerque, considering it was the Tuesday before the big balloon fiesta weekend, I drove the U-Haul through this stretch with Al and the 5th wheel following close behind.  Fortunately again, we lucked out with light traffic and once we were west of Albuquerque on Interstate 40, Ashton and I switched drivers.  It was at this point and time, I briefed Al and Ashton on our intended overnight stop that involved a little scenic drive in the process.

driving through New Mexico
driving through New Mexico
Ashton and I are in the U-Haul truck while Al follows in the F-250 and 5th wheel
Ashton and I are in the U-Haul truck while Al follows in the F-250 and 5th wheel
Painted Desert
Painted Desert

I was happy my little plan was not met with resistance.  We were traveling via my Plan A all along, but shhhh don’t tell them that 😉  Not long after crossing the New Mexico/Arizona border, we took the exit for the Petrified Forest National Park.  As many times as Al and I have traveled this stretch of Interstate 40 in northeast Arizona, we had never stopped at this National Park.  Hmm, I’m not sure why!

Painted Desert
Painted Desert

First we took in the unique sight of the Painted Desert.  From there we continued south traveling the 28 mile scenic drive with the occasional stop at an overlook here and there.  Remember, we started our day early in Colorado and it was now late afternoon.  We had already spent all day driving and were all getting rather tired.  Thus, Ashton and Al were putting the kibosh on my photo-op stops 😦

driving through the Petrified Forest
driving through the Petrified Forest
Petrified wood - This National Park is known for its fossils. 225 million years ago, this area was a forest. The downed trees have since turned to stone.
Petrified wood – This National Park is known for its fossils. Once upon a time, 225 million years ago, this area was a forest. The downed trees have since turned to stone.

After a fair amount of oohing and ahhing, we kept our wheels rolling (come on guys, just one more stop – NO) until we arrived at the Crystal Forest Gift Shop Campground.  Thank you to fellow blogger, LuAnn, for the heads up on this free campground.

Crystal Forest Gift Shop Campground just outside the south entrance to the Petrified Forest NP
Crystal Forest Gift Shop Campground just outside the south entrance to the Petrified Forest NP

We settled into two sites next to each other and opened a bottle of bubbly while I made dinner.  We had made it to Arizona!  While we enjoyed dinner, we watched a beautiful sunset. This turned out to be the perfect stop for the night.  It was quiet, dark, and we all slept soundly.

We made it to Arizona!
We made it to Arizona!
Ashton decides to enjoy her bubbly by sitting in comfort.
Ashton decides to enjoy her bubbly by sitting in comfort.
Perfect place to spend the night.
Perfect place to spend the night.

By noon the following day, the RV was all set up at the RV Park in Phoenix.  After enjoying another homemade meal, we were on our way to our son’s home with the U-Haul.  Our son and a friend unloaded the U-Haul and that evening, Ashton slept in her own bed in her new home.

As far as moves go, this one could NOT have gone any better.  Moving karma was with us the entire journey.  We ate well (thanks to my planning and preparation), we slept great, traffic was light, the weather was perfect, and we even managed to enjoy a few laughs along the way.  Ashton did an amazing job driving the truck and trailer and by the time she was met with Phoenix traffic, she was navigating like a pro and already talking about a future cross-country move.  Slow it down honey, slow it down LOL.

Petrified wood up close.
Petrified wood up close.

In the end, it was wise to have a plan A, B, and C, but I was thrilled to be able to carry out my Plan A all along.  The move was tiring but fun!  And by the way, I look forward to returning to the Petrified Forest National Park, but after Al and I enjoy some much needed down time.


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Reusable Furniture Moving Kit for All Floor Types, including both hard surfaces & carpet – (16 assortment pack of SuperSliders)


Let the Adventure Begin

Well, it’s official.  The house is sold and we have moved….. happy

When Al and I returned home from our four-month winter excursion in the RV, we did so reluctantly.  During that trip, we had a ton of fun and met some amazing folks.  We were surprised with the number of people we met along the journey living in their RV’s full-time….by choice. 

Pueblo West ColoradoWhen Al and I purchased our 5th wheel a couple of years ago, we never dreamt of living in it full-time.  However it was sometime early on during this winter excursion that we started talking more and more about the full-time RV lifestyle.  We had a lot of things to think about and figure out.  Was this something we really wanted to do?  

After spending the month of March back in our sticks n bricks home in Pueblo West, Colorado, it became clear….Al and I knew….. the road was calling.  Our interests were changing.  There was an absence of any passion for gardening or any interest in a home improvement project.  Life in general, just didn’t seem right.  We were unhappy and restless. 

Thus, it was time to formulate a plan and start implementing said plan.  Before putting the house on the market, we needed to do some purging.  I’m not a garage sale kind of person, but in the end I do like counting the money.  So we started the whole process off with a huge sale.  We turned our unwanted treasures into cash.   After that, it was a total white glove cleaning of the home which wasn’t difficult since we had been away traveling.


We then contacted a Realtor (someone we’ve done business with in the past) and let him know we were interested in selling our home but were not quite ready to list.  Well, to make a long story short, we were under contract within 48 hours.  Yikes!  We weren’t ready to move and still had a lot of decisions to make. The deal had some variables and most likely wouldn’t close without a glitch or delay.  So we figured there would be a little extra time in there somewhere….. NOT.  The closing went off without a hitch…..smiles and handshakes all around. 

Mind you – I am in no way complaining but the quick sale and closing left Al and me running around like a couple of chicken’s with our heads cut off….. leaving us in a comatose state of exhaustion and denial.  There isn’t a muscle in our bodies that doesn’t hurt from the packing and lifting.  I’ll admit, we did hire the help of a couple of young, strong guys for some of our larger, heavier items but Al and I moved the majority.  In retrospect, we should have purged a heck of a lot more than what we did.  As it was, it was extremely difficult whittling down 32 years of accumulation to fit into a 250 square foot RV and a storage unit…..oops two storage units.  Whatever was I thinking?Prickly Pear

Friday we put Pueblo West / Colorado Springs, our home for eighteen years, in the rearview mirror.  We took the drive north to the town of Golden (west of Denver) and will call Golden home for the next ten days.  After that, we’ll head west.

For now, allow me to say; It’s official…..we are full-timers….living in our RV full-time.  We’re taking it one day at a time and getting used to a lack of responsibilities.  Let the adventure begin! 😮

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs