Both retirement and becoming an RVer are big steps in our lives that can come with a lot of uncertainty and even guilt. So here are ways to embrace being a senior RVer…
Life is nothing but a series of adjustments and recalibrations. Whenever I think about it, I think of the artificial GPS voice saying, “Recalculating!”
We recalculate when we start our jobs, our marriages, our families. And then we need to recalculate when we retire and everything that comes along with it.
For Jennifer and me, recalculating for retirement also meant recalculating for the RV lifestyle. We had spent years dreaming of it and finally started living it in 2012.
What’s funny, though, is the years we spent dreaming of it and then living it are years we kept getting older. Who knew?
So, we’ve had to learn how to embrace being a senior RVer. Here’s how we do it…
How to Embrace Being a Senior RVer
Much of the following advice we’ve learned from others, including from members of our RV Lifestyle Facebook group and readers like you. All of it applies to being a senior, in general, but we’ve found it particularly helpful for life on the road.
Reap the Rewards
You have been sowing seeds for decades. It’s time to reap the rewards.
Enjoy the money you’ve saved and the plans you’ve made for years. You can’t take money to the grave so you should make the most of it while you still can.
Create a budget so you can maximize the value of your savings and income. Be sure to include a “guilt-free” budget item to spend on whatever you’d like without second thought.
Let Go of Responsibility
One day, your kids and grandkids will have to survive without you. There’s no point in making that day the day you leave this earth.
Pass on the responsibility of caring for your kids and grandkids to your kids and grandkids. It’s better that they learn how to take care of themselves while you are still around to give advice.
It will be hard at first, but remember, they’d have to do it someday anyway.
Live a Balanced Lifestyle
Remember that retirement and the RV lifestyle are not a permanent vacation. Don’t fall into the trap of eating, drinking, and sitting too much.
Sure, enjoy life’s pleasures but be aware of the real danger of RVing becoming too much of a vacation.
Maintain balance by purposefully planning healthy meals and daily exercise along with your treats and relaxation.
Take Pride in Your Appearance
When aging starts to take its toll on our appearance, too many of us seniors start to view it as a losing battle not worth fighting.
But there is beauty in age. Find that beauty and embrace it.
No matter your weight, dress for where you are now. Don’t put off shopping until you “get back to” a certain weight. Wear what makes you feel good, not what hides you.
No matter your wrinkles, smile through them because they are the most beautiful of battle scars from surviving life.
Don’t wait for your kids and grandkids to come to you. You remember what it’s like being a young parent or busy at work, and how easy it is to get pulled away from people that matter.
Remember they’re trying to figure out how to balance all the responsibilities that come with their stage in life. They do love you and care about you, but the days slip away and the phone calls get put off.
So, don’t wait for them to come to you. Call them. Visit them. They’ll make room in their day, and be glad for it!
Give Advice, Not Criticism
With age comes wisdom… and often criticism.
Yes, you have a lifetime of lessons and experiences that give you more insight than most younger than you. Offer your wisdom as advice, not criticism. Think of it this way…
If someone needs a hammer, show them how to use it, don’t hit them with it!
Never Say “In My Time”
Your time is now. Yes, you’re older, but you’re still you. This is still your life.
Treasure the highlights of your life, but don’t think for one moment that those are all in the past. Keep living your life and enjoying your time on this earth every day.
Make New Friends
At our age, we understand that friendships come and go and some are lost forever.
This only becomes truer as we grow older and friends leave this world before us. But it should never come down to the last friend standing.
Always be open to new friendships and even seek them out. There are others just like you who need to fill those gaps in their hearts or could simply use a friendly smile.
Whether you make a new friend for a week on a camping trip or for a few minutes at lunch, a friendly smile and conversation can make all the difference.
With a lifetime of stories, you should certainly share them! But never forget to listen, too.
Try to exchange stories, rather than share them. Tell yours, and then ask for one in return.
There’s no better way to connect to others! You’ll get a glimpse of others’ lives that may have been similar or completely different than yours. Either way, it’ll be an interesting conversation.
Don’t Focus on Discomforts
Getting old hurts. There are aches and pains that you never expected and just can’t make go away. It’s time to accept them.
Instead of focusing on your discomforts, treat them as best as you can and then keep moving forward.
We’ve done this our whole lives in one way or another. Whether you worked through the discomfort of laboring for a paycheck or the discomfort of caring for a child in the middle of the night. You pushed through it.
So, push through it now.
Don’t Be Grumpy, Be Happy
Age is not an excuse to become grumpy. Yes, you have aches and pains. Yes, people can be dumb. Yes, politics are frustrating. But no, none of those are worth dwelling on.
All of those things are going to continue whether or not you’re grumpy or happy. So, choose happy.
And the surest way to find happiness is to practice gratitude. When you find yourself being grumpy, find the silver lining instead. Look for the good (it’s always there).
Wake every morning with an “I’m thankful for…”
What I’m Thankful For…
I am incredibly thankful for Jennifer and we’re both very thankful for our RV lifestyle. No matter the gas prices or bumps in the road, we get to see things and meet people that most others don’t. I hope we never take that for granted.
Please share what you’re thankful for in the comments below. Let us know if you have any other words of wisdom on how to embrace being a senior RVer.
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