Day 0

A few days ago, I decided that I needed to isolate myself to get some work done. Between then and now, this idea turned into a 100 day quest. I guess I tend to do a lot of thinking about things.

No, I'm not spending 100 days in an RV, just two nights. I am however doing a sort of self-imposed mindfulness challenge. This solitary RV trip is just the big kickoff. Tomorrow, I will make my first post of 100. I imagine that some will be long and some will be short. Seasons will come and go. Throughout the next 100 days, however, I am committed to this mindfulness quest. The labors of my quest include meditating at least 5 minutes per day, eating whole and unprocessed foods at a table in a chair, and hopefully making some important self discoveries along the way. I plan to write everyday using prompts that inspire me from other blogs, books, podcasts, or my own head. I ordered a meditation sidekick journal from Habit Nest that guides you through 66 days of meditation with a different prompt and mindfulness exercises each day. So excited to get it in the mail. I was going to wait until I got the journal to start but it felt right to start now, when I'm all alone in an RV with no cell phone reception.


RV Experience Night 1:


Arrived at the RV park in Bend, TX at 7:30, 30 minutes before 8 o'clock, which was the absolute latest I was to be here. When I arrived, I was greeted by a sign advising me to check myself in. Next to an obviously residential home was a 3-sided shack with some papers. I walked in, filled out my paperwork (even though it made no mention on RV fees, only camping fees), dropped my check, $50 for two nights, and my paperwork into the drop box. On a white board inside the shack was a code meant to grant me access to the park. I drove about a mile or so down into a valley until I reached the park. I was greeted by another sign advising me to drop my payment off in this drop box. Oops. No matter. They will figure it out. If not, they can come ask me. It seems like a pretty low-key spot. I was also greeted by a sign that warned of the consequences of violating park rules:

NO ALCOHOL, NO FIREARMS, NO DISORDERLY CONDUCT.

There were other rules that I really don't remember. Good thing I'm on day 1 of my Whole30 and no alcohol is permitted anyway. I drove around the park for a hot second looking for a good spot. I found one far away from everyone that looked pretty even. Great. I take my time to pull into the spot, got out, checked to see if I was even and close to the breaker box and water. I am. Cool. I quickly realized that I had pulled up on the wrong side. My connections were on the OTHER side. I pulled out and found the next best spot that was easy for me to pull into without turning too sharp and hitting my husband's truck with the front of the trailer. I have about 30 minutes of daylight left. I can get the RV set up in that time. I get out, put the chocks behind the wheels, got out the blocks and all the tools I needed to lower the legs. I'll just stop right here to say that I do not know the technical jargon for travel trailer parts so bear with me. I got everything lowered, almost even and released the trailer from the hitch. I had some trial and error with getting it even, but I eventually got it. I had to lower the back legs manually because I almost broke my wrist using the drill. That was a pain and I worked up a sweat. I was cursing at this point, "it's not THAT bad" I thought, and kept on turning the wrench. I plugged in the power and was ready to do final checks before hooking up the water and turning on the A/C. Wait. I didn't pull up far enough and now I can't get the pop-out out. The breaker box is in the way! Ugh. I back the truck back up and re-hook it to the trailer. I basically have to disassemble everything I just did. So I do. I get the trailer in a good spot and make sure the pop-out has the room it needs. It's getting quite dark at this point. I wasted a lot of time manually lowering the back legs. I lower the front legs again and decide to pull the truck forward to release it from the hitch. I put the truck into drive and begin to roll. I heard a clank and quickly realized I didn't pull the lever to release the hitch. So I get out and do that. I pull forward again but am startled by a screeching noise this time. The front legs were not high enough. I really thought I broke them. I didn't. I don't even think I damaged them. Thank God. At this point, I notice I'm sort of on a hill. I have to be strategic about leveling the trailer. Something I wanted to avoid. So, I cranked the legs up really high and made sure everything was good before I pulled forward. It worked. Geez. Typing it out makes it seem like it wasn't too bad, just a couple of hang ups, but it took me 2 hours before I was able to enter the trailer and turn the air on. I had to hook and unhook the trailer twice because the chocks got stuck the first time, before I almost broke the legs off the front. Twice I thought, "I'm hooked up, I could just drive back home, it's only 30 minutes." But the fact that I already wrote a $50 check kept me. I also have no phone reception so I couldn't call my husband and ask for advice. Also, there was a patch of bull thorns right beneath the breaker

that I constantly was pulling out of my feet and ankles. It was rough. I thought, "what am I doing? I am NOT cut out for this kind of stuff." But the fact that I wanted to do this and thought it would be good for me and all the reasons I gave myself when I planned this trip kept my head on straight. I love challenges. Not because challenges are fun, in fact, they're CHALLENGING. But because the feeling of accomplishment is intoxicating. The first time I ever felt accomplished was when I graduated college. It was hard and I really doubted if I could do

it. But I did it. I have the $40,000 piece of paper to prove it. In fact, I didn't even go to the graduation ceremony when I got my associate's degree because I had my sights set higher. My logic was that I didn't need to go to the ceremony because I hate ceremonies and don't want to burn myself out before I get my bachelor's in two years. I didn't want the finality of a ceremony because it was not the end for me.


I'm typing this with dusty hands even though I've washed them twice, waiting for ice to be made and water to cool off in the fridge. I even successfully got a rouge dirt dobber out of here without killing it. My view consists of a rocky ridge, a river, and rolling hills. It actually looks a lot like home but it's better because I have no phone service and I'm all alone with only my knitting to keep me company. In the morning I'll wake up, have some earl grey, sit outside and watch the water, and journal. Tomorrow is day 1 of my mindfulness quest. I even brought a copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau to read when my hands get tired of knitting. I can't stream music which is definitely a bummer, but that's the price you pay I guess.


I actually put my knitting in the trailer earlier today so I wouldn't forget it. Then I forgot that I did that and freaked out when I thought I was going to have to drive back home in the morning. That would've felt like defeat for me. But earlier in the day me was looking out for evening time me. Thanks, me.


It's now 10:40 and I'm debating on if I should have some chamomile tea or if I'm sleepy enough for that yet. I consider that a good problem to have.

© 2018 Candace Pauly