Tag Archives: travel

Vehicular Therapy

Something new to me is the peace that comes from the solitude found during a morning commute.

Before kids, I would wake at the last possible minute before dashing through my morning routine and flying out the door and down the road to work.

Four years as a SAHM meant no silence in the car, never a true chance to let my thoughts flow and truly listen to what my body and mind were telling me.

Sure, there were times when I could do some introspection, which lead to one of my best posts of all time.

Sure, I could listen to my audiobooks while the kids entertained themselves in the backseat.

Yes, there were chances to talk with other adults on the phone while I drove.

But to truly seek yourself every morning takes either discipline or forced solitude.  Like my morning commute.

Eight Weeks of Intensive Therapy

I have been at my “new” job for a little over two months.  Since we live in the middle of nowhere, I have a minimum of 35 minutes in the car each morning.

I’ve been training myself to select the day’s outfit and pack my lunch the night before plus set my alarm to give me plenty of time to bathe, dress, paint and coif, eat, and possibly care for a small child that woke too soon.  Most mornings, I am beyond blessed to get out the door without the kids waking and seeing me off.

Any parent who has walked away from a crying child with the guilt of “I’m putting my paycheck before you, little one” knows what it means to leave before they’re even awake.

I take my time because I’ve gifted myself that time.  I climb into my little four-door, four-cylinder car, pull out of the driveway, and get my mind into the zone.  No music or audio books.  No rush where I have anger or panic to focus on.  No one in the car to watch me as I silently run through a gamut of emotions because I’m mentally pulling apart the past few years of my life.

Or, some days, my whole life.

I spend roughly 30 minutes every morning picking through my experiences, thoughts, and emotions like I’m untangling a knot of metal chains that have rusted together.

I practice deep breathing and different levels of prayer and meditation.

I am working on picking myself back up, one mile at a time.

Underrated

One day, taking a long lunch away from my desk and picking up a dear friend from her nearby work, I confessed to her what I had been doing.  It was pouring rain and we had a slightly rushed lunch in a loud, packed Panera.  As we sat in her work’s parking lot, I told her that I had been working through some of my issues during my morning commutes.

She nodded emphatically.  She said she knew what I was talking about, knew how critical that alone time is for her in her busy life.  She agreed with me that vehicular therapy is underrated.

That is why I’m sharing it with you.  You need to know this.  You, who get up in the morning (or evening) to go to work, to spend time away from family and home and friends and an ever-growing to-do list; you, who find yourself wound up and bent out of shape before you make it to your lunch break; you, who wonders what more is there to life or if there’s something wrong with you or why can’t I find the perfect job, perfect car, perfect friend, perfect lover.

You, my dear reader, need to know what a blessing your commute time is.  This is your chance to truly be by yourself and look narrow and deep or wide and shallow at your life, your behaviors, your future.

Embrace your vehicular therapy time.

Personally

I’m working through a year’s worth of grief.  I’m working through a lifetime of pain cause by my mother and almost a decade of issues with my mother-in-law.  I’m working through the drama and bullshit that came about after a lying liar lied about me…and was believed.  I’m working through long-term goals and what my hang ups are.  I’m working through marital issues, mommy guilt, crises in faith, and so much more.

I recommend you do the same.

Because I feel more on the level now than I have in a very long time, even though to an outsider it may look like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

Personally, I will tell everyone I encounter about the joys and blessings that come from 30 minutes of silent introspection at least 5 days a week.

One holiday down (Surviving the Holidays series, pt. 1)

Wow.  That was one of the least stressful holidays I’ve ever experienced.  Considering I made two pies completely from scratch, three batches of fudge, and some homemade crackers for the weekend, I must say that was the easiest Thanksgiving I can remember.

My older brother lives about an hour and a half away.  He hosted last year so I contacted him early in the month to see if he was doing so again, hoping he was.  When your in-laws live on top of you, getting away to your own family is a needed relief.  BHE and I showed up with pies, fudge, and Angel Baby, determined to consume mass quantities of food and alcohol, all while talking over football on TV.  Sounds like the all-American way of celebrating Thanksgiving, right?

Making it through the weekend

Knowing how crazy the holidays can be, and we have many branches of our families to see, I didn’t want to have a four-day crazy-ass weekend.  I warned my sister-in-law (BHE’s sister) ahead of time that all I really wanted to do on Black Friday was consume wine and pie.  And maybe leftovers, if there were any.

On Friday, I had steel-cut oats with raisins, apples, and honey for breakfast, fudge and Chardonnay between breakfast and dinner, and a slice each of apple and pumpkin pie for dinner with a side of Moscato.  Yep, wine and pie.

Moral of the story:  plan to not stress out.

How we travel

We use cloth diapers but not exclusively.  Depending which brand is on sale, we use Seventh Generation or Babyganics disposable diapers when we aren’t home.  We live in the middle of nowhere, which means anytime we go anywhere, there is a fair amount of travelling involved.  Just assume that if I’m not at home, Angel Baby is in a disposable.

Also, we heat our home with a woodstove.  There are ways to stuff that sucker (BHE calls it “banking the stove”) so that it lasts quite a long time and still leaves you plenty of coals to work with.  Still, we have a propane-fueled furnace as a backup.

Being thankful

I am thankful for my family, for their health and their love.  I am thankful for the means with which we can put food on the table, regularly as well as in abundance on the holiday.  I am thankful for my friends, for my home, and for the vehicle that safely gets me from one to the other.  I am thankful my home is warm and it is a healthy, happy place to return to when the day is done.

Stay tuned for the next part in my Surviving the Holidays series.

This is just the beginning.

Welcome. Thank you for taking a bit of your precious time to check out this blog. You will find a lot here as I develop it. So much of what will be posted will be practical information you can use to make positive changes in your life.

I don’t like giving advice; mainly, because I don’t like receiving it. (Stay tuned and you’ll learn all about my pet peeves.) This blog will contain information about how and why we do what we do. I hope that information can be applied to your life in a way that benefits you.

We receive questions (and judgments) about our lifestyle all the time, so in this blog I’m creating a repository of answers. I will cover everything about our sensible, sustainable path so you can see not only the what, how, and why but also the results of it all. I’ll let you into our lives and home to see so much.

Come back often to learn about: renovating a 110+ year old home, gardening, cleaning, raising children, eating an organic diet on a budget, shopping just once a month, budgeting and saving on one income, cooking some fantastic food (with some major fails in the kitchen from time to time), cloth diapering, heating 3000+ square feet with a woodstove, and so many other aspects that are part of this cleaner, greener, healthier, happier path through our crazy life.