I had an absolutely amazing time this weekend. Specifically Sunday. As hectic as it was to get everything in, I truly enjoyed my excessively busy day. It all started with waking up and getting ready to rush out to church. I’m not a morning person, so of course I wait as long as I can to roll out of bed. Then, I remind myself, you have 4 children to tend to also. At that point, every Sunday, my rush mode jumps in. It is procrastination at its’ finest. Some how we managed to get everyone dressed, fed, CLEAN, hair brushed, and into the car. Everyone even had their shoes on, this time. Not a single child forgot their church bags either. As I pulled out of the driveway, children happily singing whatever was playing on K-LOVE over the radio, I was proud that we were actually going to be on time this week and no one was in tears!
Church was great, though busy. Some times it feels like there is so much to squeeze in that I have to be in a rush. Between 4 kids with Sunday School classes, all of the people I want to greet and who want to greet me, the weekly issues I need to attend to, and getting to my own Sunday School class some times it can feel like a blur. I’m a slower pace kind of woman. I don’t like to be in a rush. I like to savor the moments of life and really get to know the people I’m around. I very much enjoyed my time today, though it felt a bit quished.
I rushed my children home, left two with family, and hurried the other two back into the car after a quick bathroom stop. We were headed to one of my most favorite and most influential places to me on earth. Rain or shine, I was dedicated to getting my oldest two children to Spruce Lake Retreat on Sunday. A place where I went as a child for their Wilderness Camp and grew in so many ways. My little heart, mind, and spirit were touched by the staff that I encountered as I grew into a young woman. The only natural way for me to go from there was to be on staff, which I did, for three years. The only thing that kept me from a fourth was my then boyfriend -now ex husband- who was out of state and insisted he couldn’t go with out seeing me for the entire summer. In retrospect that was a bad choice, but it is so much easier to look back and make those judgments as we see them blossom into the worst of situations.
It was pouring. Driving along the interstate highway with what looked like exhausted truck drivers who couldn’t contain themselves in their own lane which made the drive stressful. For my girls it was long. “Are we there yet?” rang in my ears over and over. As we got closer I’d point out things as if I’d seen them just yesterday, even though it really had been over 10 years. I’ve been back up there since working there a few times, but I never paid attention to how things had changed or stayed the same. My mind was in a different place. It was in the clouds if I may use the phrase.
When we finally arrived safe and sound, there were times I wasn’t sure that would happen, I had to take a deep breath and settle my nerves. When I took a breath it still smelled the same. It smelled like home. It smelled like peace. It smelled like all of the wonderful moments and feelings I’ve ever had in my life. I closed my eyes and could feel the calm in the air. This was the same place where I first felt like someone really cared about me, who wasn’t in my family. While the nostalgic feeling was there, the surroundings were different. So much had changed since I was a camper and staff member. It was like stepping into a different new modern world. The changes were all for the better, but overwhelming none the less. I sat there and recalled for a moment how when I was on staff we’d talk of going through culture shock when we’d get back into town after a few weeks at Wilderness Camp. It was true. We did go through shock. We got so used to our tight nit groups and roughing it in a lot of ways that when we walked into Walmart after a month in the woods it was like we’d been on a deserted island for years. Our comrodery with each other was also unsurpassed. We started out as a group of strangers, for the most part, but after a week we were like blood. This is how I felt when I breathed in the changes made to my childhood escape, shock.
I’m really digressing here as I reminisce about my past, but I really am getting to a point. I promise. My girls and I got out our papers for the event and made choices on what to do. It was still pouring. They complained a little. I told them we had a choice, we could just leave and go home and have wasted several hours of driving time, or we could put on our rain coats and have fun anyway. They moaned, but they got out of the van. We went a few places, did a few things, found a great deal of people from my past as a camper and a staff member, which really surprised me. Of all of the years Spruce Lake has been there, my time had been but a pin prick and yet, so many I knew, respected, and loved where there. We got in a great walk. Despite the rain my girls had a blast.
I was reminded of something that happened as an assistant counselor with one of my best friends. We had a group of girls who were very prim and proper. My friend and I were, lets be blunt here, tom boys to an extreme. We played hard, got dirty, and didn’t care. We were blunt, and very much our own people. When we saw these girls were assigned to us we looked at each other and giggled a little bit. The first day we vowed to get them dirty. We had a mostly uneventful week. It was hot and dry. No one really complained much except about the bugs, but I mean, who doesn’t complain about bugs biting them? We were happy, but we both knew we still needed to get these girls out of their prim and proper shell. What is Wilderness Camp if you never get dirty? Yes, they never got dirty. If they did, they changed and washed thoroughly. That isn’t such a bad thing, except they did it out of compulsion, not because they felt yucky. Thursday night came rolling around. It was our last evening together. What did it do? Rained. A lot. We had a nice little thunder storm in fact. What happened? It got muddy. Very muddy. Friday was our day to get around and do our special programs. Things like kayaking, zip-line, and challenge course kind of stuff. It hadn’t stopped raining, either. Everyone generally assumes if it is raining you’re likely not going to get those things in, but my friend and I? We were different. We were more like the male counselors in this respect. Rain would not keep us from having a great time. Especially this week with these girls. We went about our day. No one wanted to do it. Not a single one of our girls in our tent wanted to go anywhere in the rain, but we insisted. They complained a great deal, until we told them they were not aloud to anymore. Event after event slowly they each stopped being annoyed and began to enjoy themselves. By the end of the day the sun started poking out. We had about 45 more minutes of free time. Most of the other tents canceled their events so we got done more quickly. My friend, my co-counselor in crime, and I decided right there…the sun was out? It was HOT, we NEEDED to go mud sliding. So we walked the girls up onto the ball field, lined them up, took a glance at each other, and ran for it. Belly flopping into the sopping wet muddy grass we slid across like skipping stones. The girls cheered with delight. Half of them joined right in. Our prim and proper ladies stood there, apprehensive. We could tell they wanted to, but were so afraid of getting muddy. We reassured them we’d clean them off before they went home and eventually they took the plunge. We were such a muddy mess, but the memories made there, for me at least, have and will last my life time.
Just like my tent group that week, we didn’t let the rain stop us on Sunday. We still did everything we planned to do anyway. We got soaking wet and cold. We had fun. That same principle goes for every aspect of life. Often times we look at situations we’re in and consider them too inconvenient to be bothered with. Well, what if I don’t have enough time to finish? What if I get too tired? What if I’m sore? What if? If, If, If… Well, what IF you do it anyway? What if you stop asking what if and start trying and see what happens? What if you DO put that sugary snack down? What if you don’t order those french fries? What if you take the stairs, instead of the elevator? What if you actually do, instead of giving up before you try? What if you take a moment to inconvenience yourself right here in the now and find out it was the better choice in the long run?
So, what if?
What are your what if’s that can be turned around? How can that impact your life? The only thing holding you back is you. You can find a positive in everything if you look for it.
My week was amazing. It was busy. It was full of stress. I had an allergic reaction in my mouth for most of the time which even now still hurts. My finances blew up in my face. I hurt my ankle further on accident while training for a half marathon coming up soon. I could look at everything that went badly this week and give up. Or, I can look at everything that went badly this week and remind myself I kept going anyway. I found a way to make every negative into a positive, including my ankle. I don’t just mean a superficial comment, I mean I believe with my whole heart, that this week was wonderful. It isn’t the times that we fail that make things bad, its how we decide to view them and allow them to effect us that do.
Despite a lot of bad things happening for me and my family this week and my lack of complete self control in my diet I still lost another pound. I pushed forward anyway. I kept my focus and my positivity. It all starts right there.
If you believe you can, you will.
…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!
Until next time, be blessed!
The Sedentary Momma