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Personal Blog: Keeping it together when you desperately want to go.

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Life isn't just about darkness or light, rather it is about finding light within the darkness - Landon Parham

I wasn’t sure whether to add a personal blog on the website. When I start travelling full time I definitely will be, because I want to be very open with people and show them the good with the bad of travelling full time as an older woman with mobility issues, travelling with her dog and her cat. What I wasn’t sure of, was if I should share my thoughts and feelings on the road to retirement as well, but I decided I would give it a go and see if anyone is interested. Thank you for subscribing to my personal blog.

How many other women or men out there, feel the same…trapped?

It is so hard at times, when there are so many obstacles in your way, when you have itchy feet or are in flight mode and all you want to do is pack up and hit the road. You feel trapped by mortgage, work and the commitments of life.

What frustrates me the most is that some things I have no control over. I have no control over my age for example. I cannot retire before I turn sixty, well I could retire before, I am eligible to claim my super being over fifty eight, but if I want my super and not be heavily taxed, I have to wait until I am sixty! It is less than a year… but boy! It feels like forever!

Another frustration is the more I try and sort out the house, the more obstacles I have or more things break! From mirrors, yes, I am superstitious. but it was just a small mirror attached to a brush, so I am ignoring the superstition... to water pipes! This house is not helping me at all with my preparation 😫. It could just play nice for once...

Needs v's Wants

Sometimes the wants are overwhelming, and you need to step back and take a deep breath. I am a true believer that things happen for a reason. The house is telling me that it will not be ready to be sold in six months, working and family commitments limits my time, so I need to slow up and take the pressure off. The house will go on the market sometime next year, probably the later part of the year after I have retired. Once I retire, I can work full time getting the house ready for sale. The most important thing now is staying healthy enough to work and to ensure I have the deposit ready for when they open up the 2023 orders for the van. Once I have the van on order things will start to fall into place, I just know it.

Freedom at 60

For me, turning 60 is not so much a milestone, 60 means freedom! Why? because, unless the government change the rules, which it probably will, at 60 I can claim my small, non-increasing Superannuation without being slammed with a 15% tax! I can leave a job that is slowly killing me, buy my van, sell the house, and start my next chapter in life.

I have always valued my freedom and my ability to be able to travel, drive and camp by myself without needing assistance from people. That's me, in my ute in the picture! I was watching the sunrise on Bribie Island while waiting for my campsite to be free. I didn't know then how much this image would mean to me now.

Over the last few years, with the dreaded covid, associated prolonged illness, with old age creeping on and all those aches and pains becoming life not just a nuisance, I am now limited in mobility and what I can do. Will that stop me? A BIG DEFINITE NO! I have just have to do things differently and I have to acknowledge what I can and can not with my strengths not weaknesses. For example, my van will be automatic, which will be easier to drive than my manual ute I drive now, because I have osteoarthritis in both knees, my left knee (clutch) being the worst.

Change is hard, especially when you are a creature of habit. When I am away, I will miss my family, but having a van makes visiting more flexible and meaningful. The freedom, that the new life will bring, will also bring flexibility in my life not inability. The ease of movement from one place to another, taking my home and my beloved pets with me, makes every visit with my family more special. It also means I can take my two wonderful grandsons on trips with me, when I am not restricted by the constrains of home ownership and all it entails. Packing up my life will be hard also, to say I have "collected" things over the years is an understatement and being teacher... I have a lot of stuff. Good job it takes a while for the Van to be built once I put in my order. My plan is to be on the road permanently by the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

So how do you keep it together when you desperately want to go?

So many people have so many suggestions about how to stay calm and keep it together. I truly believe everyone is an individual and being an individual, they would have their own ways and methods that work for them that may not work for anyone else. People say try to think positive, negative brings negative, positive brings positive, which is true, but boy! that can be easier said than done. For me, when I am under a lot of stress, my body reacts physically, so it will usually stop me when I need to stop, for example migraines. My job is very stressful at the moment, which doesn't help, with the staff shortages, Illness and the lack of funding affecting everything and stopping the wheels from flowing. It is like being a pressure cooker, with the temperature being turned up until bursting point.

What do I do? First, which I have only learnt since getting older, is that I give my body time to heal, which may mean removing myself from the cause. I focus on work, only while I am at work. I go with the flow, even though it is very frustrating. I do what I have to do only, and I try not to overthink or over process anything. I do work planning at work and try not to bring anything home, if I do, it is limited. I plan my days, but stay flexible because you never know in the morning if things will change, i.e, no NCT or No Teacher, so their class is split and you have an extra 10 students in your room. I constantly apply a relaxing oil blend to my neck, temples, and wrists which is usually to help with sleep, but it is just getting me through the day.

When I am at home, I rest or sleep if I need to. I have learnt that if I push myself when the body doesn't want to, recovery takes longer. To keep my mind occupied, I plan, I organise and direct my thinking to something else, like writing bogs or making vlogs all of which you can do in bed!

I get out of the house on a nice day to do gardening or I take the dog out and do some more filming for the next vlog. On the holidays I always like to go to the beach...the beach is my Zen place. I love to stay places where I can see and hear the ocean. I am trying to eat better, because it is true, we are what we eat. I realised a few weeks ago that I had stopped eating vegetables! So now I have vegetables or salad with every meal. I need to lose at least 10 kg before we start my travels because my weight is part of the GVM for the van! Me, 10 kg lighter means 10 more Kg of water or something. Me, trying to lose weight, which is hard for me, might be a whole separate blog!

Thank you

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