I suppose I should start from the beginning and explain where all of this is coming from. I full realize it will sound completely lame to a lot of people who don’t understand but that’s ok. This is how it is for me. And one of the things I’m working on realizing is that what I think and feel is ok…no matter what other people think.
So. What’s causing this fresh start? Well…believe it or not, a trip 4 1/2 hours north chaperoning my little sister’s 5th grader trip. Seriously. Have you ever had the feeling where you didn’t know you needed something until it happened? It’s an incredibly weird feeling, I’ll tell you that. I’m one of those people who knows exactly what I need when I need it. So this was a trip for me. I mean, obviously I knew I would be chaperoning this trip. It’s not like it just crept up out of the blue and I didn’t know it was coming. But what I didn’t know was how great it was going to be for my soul. For my mental well-being. Just in every aspect of my life. I didn’t know that I needed it. But I did.
I’m sure you’re thinking “back up….WHAT exactly was this trip? And why was it so great?” I’ll be honest…the idea of 4 days with 100 5th graders and a bunch of parent chaperones and teachers I didn’t know was a little bit daunting to me. I’m quiet, I’m shy and I’m a complete introvert around people I don’t know. Yet I didn’t even hesitate when my sister asked me if I would chaperone (clue #1, in hindsight, that I needed this trip?) As the trip approached, I became a little apprehensive…I’m just not the type to go out and just. do. something. (Ok, I have to remind myself no one this is me and I can–and need to be–completely honest. ) I’m a complete homebody. I don’t go out and party anymore. A lot of the friends I used to hang out with most of the time are not necessarily people I want in my life. I get nervous meeting new people. I spend more time with my family than most people my age. And, in complete honesty, if I was looking at my life from an outside perspective, I would think I’m kind of pathetic. **I’m getting off on a tangent now…I am definitely coming back to this frame of thought though because I have a lot to say about it**
Back to the story. The trip. It was 4-4 1/2 hours north of where we live. I went on this trip when I was a student in both 5th and 7th grade so I knew what it entailed. It’s basically a week staying in cabins, spending 7 hours a day outdoors learning and doing physical activity of some type. There is very little free time (I’m talking typically 15-20 minute pockets of cabin downtime). The time is very structured so the students get as much out of the trip as possible. A typical day went like this:
7am wake up
9-1130 morning activity
1-330 afternoon activity
345-5pm recreational activity
7-9pm Evening activity
930 pm Lights out
By now, your question is probably “And you came home completely refreshed after having virtually no downtime?” And the answer is a simple yes. What you’re not seeing is the bigger picture. No television. No cell phone service. Healthy meals. Milk, water and orange juice to drink. No pop. No work to worry about. Hours in the outdoors (yes, it was cold as it’s the middle of January–but with all the snow clothes we packed, many of us were actually too warm!). I worked muscles I forgot existed. I did things I really didn’t think I could do. I met amazing kids and amazing parents.
It was literally a vacation for my soul.
I feel as though I’ve repeated that a million times since I’ve gotten home but I honestly don’t know how else to describe it! I can’t tell you what, exactly, gave me this new perspective. All I know is that this trip is entirely what I didn’t know I needed. I didn’t want to come home. I wanted to spend another day, two days up there. It was refreshing, invigorating. Simply amazing.
Can you see where I didn’t know any of this was coming? This was supposed to just be a trip chaperoning 5th graders. I was there to help them, to watch them, to guide them. But it ended up doing wonders for me. I feel as though I have new purpose in life. And I’ll be honest, I’ve had feelings similar to this before. Something happens, I feel refreshed, I say I’m going to make changes and, two weeks later, everything is the same. I can’t promise that that won’t happen this time but I really hope it doesn’t. No, I don’t hope–I am going to do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen. I want to succeed. I want to be happy. I want to be successful. I want to make things happen for myself. This trip gave me a head start…I just need to continue on this path.
That includes many things. It includes continuing to eat healthy, continuing to exercise–those are two of the biggest things that, I think, changed my perspective. I want to be healthy. I don’t want to be skinny, I just want to be healthy. This is a start. What else does it include? It includes silly, simple things like watching less tv, reading more. Working hard for what I want in my business. Pushing myself until I can’t push any harder. It includes waking up earlier–not sleeping the day away. Was I exhausted by 10pm during this trip? Of course–but I felt like I had accomplished so much more. There is so much more it includes that I will have to add later but this is just a start.
Remember how I said there will probably be a lot of random thoughts? Example one, in this post. Sorry ’bout that 🙂 Anywho, that’s a snippet (yes, I could’ve made it much longer!) of where all this is coming from. I’m hoping to expand as the days go on because there is still a plethora of thoughts I want to get out as soon as possible.
But for now, I’m making good on one of my promises. Bed time at 11pm so I can be up at 8am to start my day. I’m sure I’ll talk to you tomorrow.