When we camp out, we don’t mess about – it’s like moving house … and then two weeks later doing the same thing in reverse. Every year, as I get the roof box down off the car, narrowly avoiding the kitchen window and several children, shlep all the tentage, camping chairs and camp cookware back into the loft and process enough dirty laundry to make a washer-woman weep, the thought crosses my mind … ‘is it really worth it?’ The answer is always ‘Absolutely, Yes!’ and here’s why …
This year we camped in the Lake District. The weather was fantastic, we were perhaps 10 paces from the shores of Ullswater and had ducks and swans as well as their various babies for company. The kids who are rarely what you might call ‘well manicured’ over the course of the two weeks became positively feral. I mostly kept my mobile off and gradually slipped into the rhythm of a simpler life. Wake with the sun, chill out and marvel at stunning lake, experiment with camping-style pancakes for breakfast, mull over whether we actually need to go anywhere as we are already there, progress to possible outing, or just walk down to lake and let kids get soaked and muddy as they hatch plans for taking a duckling home or build a jetty out of stones. Have lunch at some point, hang out and read to kids at the swings, put together barbeque for dinner. Get everyone changed for bed as the day gets older and sleep with the sun. Next morning another variation of the same.
It took almost a week for the rat-race to fall from my shoulders. I felt lighter somehow and more in tune. The one telephone client I did work with over the course of the holiday commented a couple of times that I seemed more perceptive than usual and was just ‘picking things up’. It didn’t matter what day of the week it was or even what time of day it was … in a sense it even became a bit of a meditative experience.
Two weeks later here we are back home again, most of the aftermath cleared away, and school looming on the horizon. So I ask myself, what souvenirs did I come home with? Well I did come home with a realistic-looking egg made of bouncy rubber that has been safely installed in my mother in law’s fridge, but I’m talking about a different kind of souvenir. You know you always learn something in meditation. That’s the point of this week’s post really. Many of us have been away, or at least had a break to our usual routine so what have we come back with? This is really a yearly opportunity to see things with fresh eyes. Personally, one thing I’ve realised is that I’m juggling far more balls than I knew I was. Life can be a bit like that, one responsibility after another sneaking up onto your back. You may well find the same thing in your life. We need to ask ourselves ‘How much of this is necessary and useful, and what can I just drop?’ Dropping dead weight leaves us more energy for the things we really care about. In reassessing where we place our energies, now is also a great time to ask ‘Am I really getting the juice out of my life? What could I add or change to make my life even more fulfilling?’ Finally, I think this is a time for gratitude. Sometimes we need time out from our lives so that we can come back and really appreciate what we already have. Gratitude attracts an abundance of everything good and we have so much to be grateful for, even on the simplest levels. Having returned from living on a field for two weeks I find myself really grateful for running water, central heating and indoor loos for a start!
So I leave you with these three post summer holiday questions:
1- Have I any commitments that are redundant and can be dropped?
2- What would I like to bring into my life now?
3- What do I have in my life that I can be truly and newly grateful for?
Have a fantastic and fulfilling week, and –why not? – a fabulous year ahead!
Posted on August 31, 2011, in Abundance, camping, commitment, Inspiration, summer holidays, summer vacation, Uncategorized and tagged camping, commitment, summer holidays, take a fresh look, taking a break. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.