“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”
Almost one week in and we are certainly still finding our feet and are by no means sorted. I have been having some serious reality checks this week as to what we are in for the next year or so but more than anything…. We have been loving every minute.
Some of the harsh realities (these are the parts I probably didn’t think about or expect when embarking on this adventure):
- I have not washed my hair for a week, did a stint of not showering for 5 days which when I first became a mum, when I didn’t have a shower for a day, I really thought I missed something but somehow these five days just passed with barely a second glance. We have had a leak in our water tank since we started so every time Nic tried to fix it, we have to wait 24 hours for it to dry before having water again. Water rationing like this makes you very conscious of the water usage. We stopped in to visit our friend Tom today and I couldn’t believe how much water was flushed down the toilet when I used it!!! The upside of being unable to shower is that it forced me to swim in our beautiful ocean which being mid April, I was not so keen on but it was actually so cleansing, refreshing and heavenly.
- Washing!! Now with two kids, I would normally do two loads a day. With 2 kids whose backyard has just expanded tenfold, washing is the harshest reality that I need to get my head around. Rio just loves digging in dirt, showering in sand and sitting in water. I am slowly coming to terms with accepting this reality. I have done my first hand wash and one laundromat stop. Both of which were a raging success. Thank goodness for our shub!!
- I’m scared of the dark at the best of times but there is something about being parked in such public places in a little caravan that makes me feel a little insecure. I no longer have the big front door and strong walls to make me feel safe. I must admit I am scared to go outside once it gets dark. I know that come summer, I will feel a lot better about this but for now, this is one of the challenges I am faced with to overcome
- I think a lot of gypsies nailed it in that they often chose dark colour schemes for their homes. It hides dirt! We on the other hand decided on lighter hues giving the feeling of space, brightness and freshness. I love the lightness of our van but by jingos. She’s a toughie to keep clean. Which brings me to reality number 4. Living in small spaces means constantly tidying up. Everything has its place and there is a place for everything. I clean the floors 3 times a day. If I don’t, our beds and blankets would be filled and covered in sand and dirt. The front door step is pretty much the whole caravan and with four of us in and out all day long, there is a constant stream of dirt. Though in saying this, it probably takes a grand total of about 3 minutes to sweep the whole floor each time so I actually find it really rewarding and satisfying. Plus, I have time available for cleaning up that it doesn’t even seem like a chore but rather just something to do and achieve.
- Dampness and cold. I have a few constant thoughts lingering over me for our daughter Frankie having Cystic Fibrosis. Dampness and cold are not ideal for her health so I am very conscious of this at the moment and taking it all in in regards to this environment we have chosen. We want to do this for her as well just to show her that she can do anything she wants in life and that CF shouldn’t hold her back. But keeping her healthy is most important. We took her for a cough suction at Whakatane hospital yesterday as she has developed a bit of a cough and has been a bit out of sorts so we will await the results on Sunday. The caravan does get a lot of condensation and I can only imagine how chilly it will get in winter.
Putting all that aside, the feeling of the unknown and the daily challenges are exhilarating and it feels amazing just to live each day and cross each bridge as it comes. It means all of the realities I have mentioned above, really mean nothing at this stage and can all be dealt with day by day. And we are all in on it together. We are working it all out as a team and it feels so amazing. It feels amazing to have this freedom. To be doing something different. To face new things rather than the daily activities that have become so mundane.
Nic has gotten back into his running and exercising which he was finding it hard to make time for. He has taken the surf board out already. I have managed to do some yoga, the kids play in a playground around three times a day and are outside so much more which in itself is invaluable. We have time to read books and wake up slowly all in bed together. We have time to just take things in around us. We can literally stop and smell the roses. We can read, write, make time for each other and just breathe. This is the sweet taste of freedom.
I know Jack Frost is just around the corner waiting to sprinkle some of his white magic on us soon and is will definitely test me as I hate being cold. But knowing what is on the other side of winter… it will make it all worthwhile. We are still testing the waters, learning and finding our feet but we can feel it and we can taste it. The adventure has not yet started, this is just the warm up and it we’re loosening up nicely.