If change is my friend, why do I feel so anxious?

My husband and I took the next obvious step in our RV adventure and bought a fifth wheel today.  It is exactly what I think we want. We spent a couple of months seriously looking at fifth wheels and picked out this make and model as our first choice. I wanted something used, preferably about 5 years old. This 2014 Arctic Fox 27-5L fits the bill perfectly. The price was a little more than I hoped to pay, but we went through a local dealer in California and all of the internet reading I did indicated that we would pay a higher price in these conditions.

So why I am awake in the middle of the night feeling anxious about this purchase? I am not having worrying thoughts. I just have an anxious feeling in my gut. My only explanation is simply that I am nervous about the change we are bringing upon ourselves. We have to learn how to drive this thing, back it into campsites, and take care of all the maintenance items that I'm totally unfamiliar with. This is the first time in my life where a big change that I chose myself is making me anxious. 

My parents bought a ski boat and a travel trailer in their mid-40's for our family, but my mother usually took us camping on her own. My dad loved those weeks at home by himself when he could take care of projects around the house, like re-tiling the shower. Mon was passionate about being outdoors, and since she had nine children to take care of, she had to bring us along. She jumped in head first and learned how to drive the boat safely, pull the trailer, and deal will all the unfamiliar systems in the trailer. I am now gaining some appreciation for how impressive she was, acting with confidence in the face of change.

Our vacations with the travel trailer were all excellent. We visited most of the National Parks in the Western United States with that trailer. I never experienced tent camping as a child, but I certainly appreciated a solid roof over our heads when it rained across most of Oregon and Washington. Those childhood memories is what set me on the path to buying my own rig now. I want the experience of being in wonderful places, but still have the comfort of the trailer to protect us from rain, snow, wind, and mosquitoes.

I will use my mother as my role model now. I may have to fake it at first, but I am determined to act with confidence in the face of this change.


That New Truck Feeling

My husband and I purchased a new truck yesterday, as the first big step towards my dream of living full time in an RV, traveling the country and enjoying all of the beautiful nature in North America. I should be feeling excited, but my gut is anxious instead. The anxiety started after we got the truck home. I pulled into our driveway and then promptly got it situated at a weird angle so that we can’t get it back out of the gate at the top of the driveway. I got out of the truck and looked at it on our driveway and it looked huge. I felt overwhelmed with this monstrosity of a truck that we now own (partially).

Logically I know that I am perfectly capable of learning to drive this thing, and it is exactly what we want to pull our future fifth wheel. Emotionally it is way outside my comfort zone. It is similar to the feeling of being out of control that I had just before I crashed my bike on a downhill curve a few years ago. Before I went to sleep last night I tried doing some breathing exercises to release the tension. My mind was relaxed and not swirling full of negative thoughts, yet I struggled to let go. Eventually the anxiety subsided and I went to sleep. I woke up briefly during the night with a gut full of anxiety again, but thankfully I went back to sleep fairly quickly. And this morning it is here again, like an unwelcome visitor.

I had a small inkling of anxiety in the last couple of months as we started our serious shopping for a truck/RV, just feeling overwhelmed by everything we need to learn. But I did not expect this gut anxiety on day 1 with just the new truck. It truly came as a surprise. I was expecting more nervousness as we initially drive with the fifth wheel and have to negotiate traffic, back into a campsite, and drive down a winding road.

This truck is the big boy of trucks, with a crew cab and long bed, and dual tires on the back. Because of the long distance between axles, it’s turning radius is much wider than anything I have ever driven before. With my ignorance in full play, I drove it through our tight gate opening into our driveway, then expected to be able to turn it around in a turnabout area, so that it could be driven forward out the gate. Tonight we will tackle rescuing the truck from its current plight, probably with the help of a couple of neighbors. Hopefully we won’t have to call a tow truck to help.

I feel more relaxed now that I have written out my thoughts and feelings here.