A&A In The Land of Enchantment; Embracing Less Than Favorite Situations
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
End of Week #36
Alamogordo/White Sands KOA Journey, Alamogordo NM > Elephant Butte Lake State Park, Truth or Consequences NM
Miles traveled since last week's post = 146
Total miles traveled to date = 6,349 with trailer
Happy 'Super Monday'! Did you watch the SuperBowl last night? I honestly mostly only tuned in for the halftime performance, and I wasn't partial to either team winning. We still celebrated the day with homemade chips and guac, and buffalo chicken bites with buffalo brussel sprouts for snacks, but I spent most of the day on my laptop working on 3 NEW YouTube videos I will be sharing this week - showcasing Hill Country, Big Bend, & White Sands! (Stay tuned, the first one is going out tomorrow.)
We have spent the past week now back in New Mexico, with a few days in Alamogordo and on Friday we moved a bit northwest to Truth or Consequences. We are currently at the largest State Park in New Mexico that sits on a large reservoir fed by the Rio Grande. We will be here until Thursday before making our way over to Arizona for the next month and a half, and I'm hoping the weather will cooperate for us the next few days to do some exploring.
A&A In The Land Of Enchantment
It's nothing we have been hiding on our end, but New Mexico has not been our most favorite state thus far, and we have initially been less than excited since arriving last week. With our experiences last fall through northeastern NM, and now through the southern portion, we just don't think this will be a state we call home in the future. Not to mention it was quite hard leaving Texas after spending over 3 months there, and the adjustment overall has been a bit hard on us.
Now we do think that we will like northwestern-north central NM the best, and that is the area two of our best friends just moved to - in Santa Fe. We won't be back to explore that portion until late March, (as we are avoiding the cold & snow), but our friend Tommy (& their dog Taco!) actually drove down from Santa Fe on Friday and met us at Elephant Butte Lake State Park. Unfortunately we were missing Tania, who was out in California celebrating her nephews birthday party, but having a friendly familiar face join us in our campground was a really great way for us to embrace a less than favorite situation out here.
Friday night we fully enjoyed catching up, even if the weather was a bit chilly. We went for a walk down by the reservoir, and had a campfire for like 5 hours at our site before calling it a night. Tommy & Taco even braved our luxurious guest bedroom (Frank the Tank), the first ones ever to do so... and they didn't completely freeze! Before long I completely forgot where I even was, and had an extraordinary Friday night packed with fun... and a few tequila shots. But if we wouldn't have done all that, if Tommy wouldn't have came, and we wouldn't have gone for a walk or sat out having a fire in the cold, our perception of this next place may have been even more negative and judgemental. The key factor here is that we embraced this situation in all the best positive ways we could, and it ended up turning our whole experience around!
Embracing Less Than Favorite Situations
No matter what level of positivity and optimism you carry with you in life, every day is not created equal and you will not feel the same joy and enthusiasm about each and every situation you experience in life. Things come up that we don't agree with, that don't feel right to us, that give us a bad first impression, that give off a bad vibe, and so on and so forth. But just because a certain thing or situation doesn't feel right to us, doesn't make it bad. Just because we aren't all in on a particular experience in life, doesn't mean that it can't be joyful or expansive for someone else. And just because our initial judgement of a particular situation is less than amazing, doesn't mean that it can't come out and downright surprise us either!
Below are a few of my personal tips on how to embrace any less than favorite situation.
For us, AKA - ask the locals. Most specifically, when we are in a city or a place that we don't seem to initially like or aren't very fond of from the first impression, then in order to fully embrace the opportunity we need to ask around. The best example I have of this is while we are here in New Mexico - specifically at our last stop in Alamogordo. Sure, it may not have appeared to be our most favorite place in the country, but that doesn't mean that there still wasn't beauty hiding in it for us to discover. We took it upon ourselves to drive through town, find a nice happy hour to ponder life over, and we asked the bartender a series of questions about growing up in Alamogordo and what she recommends to do here. I swear just from her passion alone about the town she grew up in I already was feeling better and more energetic about it. But she also told us some things that I would have not known to check out - such as the world's LARGEST PISTACHIO sculpture and pistachio farm at Pistachio Land down the street. She also told us about a super cool brewery on top of the mountains nearby, that I'm actually a bit sad we ran out of time to explore. The point is we asked and it gave us a new perspective of the area we were in and how we could spend our time viewing it.
During other kinds of situations it might entail asking around to your coworkers at a job that you may not like. You might learn new things about the company or make some new friends in the process that make showing up for work that much easier. Maybe you're just feeling down in the dumps and are having a bad day. If you ask around to your closest friends for some inspiration or advice I'm sure they would be more than happy to give it to you, and it will make you feel better to get it off your chest and indulge in their comic relief and a good-friend-therapy-session.
The point is, asking around, or even asking for help, is a key way to get through a less than ideal situation, no matter where you are and what it is. Sometimes just allowing yourself to get out of your own head is half the battle you are going through and hearing someone else speak upon a situation can open your eyes in ways you were blocked to before.
Do the nature thing
This one works for just about any scenario - not just ones while traveling. If you're having a bad day at work then get up away from your desk and go for a walk outside. If you're suffering from a creative block or feeling too tired and lazy to tackle your to-do list, then go outside and breathe that fresh air! Move your body. Do an exercise - even indoors if you have to.
Of course the weather comes into play with this one, both for us on this journey, and for you wherever you are out there. But that doesn't always have to stop you. Sometimes getting outside in the blustery cold air is exactly what you need to wake your ass up to some fresh perspective on life, and what you should be grateful for.
When I'm having a particularly tough mental day, or if we are in a place that I am just not really feeling all together, then I will most definitely force myself to get outside and get moving. Whether it be to just sit in a the sun and listen to the sounds around me for a few minutes, do a 30 minute workout breathing in the air (even if it's cold) or if there is some sort of nature trail nearby then I will encourage Adam and I to go explore that. When you submerge yourself in nature you just never know what you will find or how it will potentially turn your entire day and outlook around on you.
No matter what kind of day I am having or how I feel about any situation, I ALWAYS feel immediately better once I get my ass outside. (& then I immediately regret not getting outside sooner to turn my day around even sooner too!)
Decide what kind of day you're going to have
Only you are in control of how your day goes - not anyone or anything else. I believe there are no negative experiences in life, there is only your perception of them. There is only your attitude and your beliefs that YOU personally conjure up about a scenario, a person, a place, or a situation of any kind.
Someone cuts us off while driving? It's up to us how we react. We drive through a less than ideal city or area? It's up to us if we let it bother us long term or not. I see a pile of trash sitting outside? It's up to me to pick it up and spread awareness about how trash pollution is a huge problem, instead of letting it mentally eat me alive and get sad and angry and upset over. We have 4 days in a city that we aren't very fond of? It's up to us to make the most of it, find fun and unique things to do to pass the time, or to take it as an opportunity to rest and relax and catch up on things like writing, cleaning, or watching a good show on Netflix. :)
It's up to you to decide each and every single morning just exactly what kind of day you are going to have. You can choose to be bitter and crabby, and mad at the whole world, or you can choose to seek compassion for those around you and choose to be extremely grateful for this beautiful thing called life that you get to experience.
At the end of the day, life is too short to let the little things get to us and eat us alive inside. Life is too precious to worry about the future, or dwell about the past. As far as we know we have just this ONE shot at a spiritual experience as a human on planet Earth and there is no sense in wasting any little magical moment of it.
Point in case ....
I spent the entire day today (& yesterday) working on my laptop and catching up on blog posts, and YouTube videos, online work and travel research. I of course still took a break to get outside, breath the air, and move my body, and was blessed with beautiful warm sunshine and winter desert views.
There is beauty hiding everywhere, you just have to find it.