I’m in a bit of a sleep-deprived haze while I write this. It is Sunday evening, and I’ve just gotten home from a weekend of camping. Which is a pretty impressive thing for me, really.
When I was a child, my grandparents lived at a lake. We never needed to go camping – we would just go to Grandma and Grandpa’s place for the weekend, complete with really beds, running water, and actual toilets. “Roughing it” was sleeping on the day bed in the screened in porch. Camping just wasn’t a part of my childhood. The car accident my family was in may also have been a factor in that choice.
This weekend was the camp out that my church organized. I was looking forward to it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I was looking forward to meeting new people, and enjoying some relaxing time to get to know them. But sleeping in a tent in and having to pack 4 days worth of food was daunting.
The first night somewhat confirmed my fears. After more stops and about an hour and a half longer than expected to get to the campsite, I was a little short tempered. The boys were overly excited to arrive, and had begun acting out in the vehicle, driving mommy more than a little crazy.
We had a good dinner, and some good conversation around the fire that night. The boys all had friends to connect with, and they were entertained. And then I went to my tent. The air mattress was a little soft, but I figured that was because it had been so hot and now it was chilly. I blew it up a bit more, and drifted off to sleep.
When my husband came in, I turned over in my sleeping bag, and my hip hit the rocky ground. That was not a good sign. I dozed off, and it wasn’t long before more of my body was on the ground. As much as I tried to ignore it, I was not comfortable. Then my youngest started doing an imitation of a cat, and trying to crawl under my pillow or otherwise curl up around my head (he’s 7 years old, and tall). I was very much not amused, and in pain. I blew up the air mattress again, but it wasn’t long before body and ground met once more.
By morning, I could not sit up without help. I was in quite a lot of pain, and to use a word of a friend, feeling stabbity. I got quite angry with a friend who tried to make a joke about it (sorry, P!).
I am so glad I have the tools to help manage my pain levels and calm down! I secluded myself for a while of to the edge of the campsite, put on my headphones and meditated. I grounded, and connected with my chakras. After about a half hour, I was feeling much more calm, relaxed and sociable, and my pain levels had decreased dramatically. I was able to be friendly even. And I went out that afternoon to get a new air mattress and make sure there would be no more stabbity moments.
The rest of the weekend was very good – great food and my husband did most of the cooking, great conversation, lots of laughs, a few tears, and most of all, good community and connection. We even re-kindled an old friendship. The children all played very well together, and all the parents helped keep an eye on everyone. It became our own little village for the weekend. I’m so glad I was able to attend this year, and I look forward to next year with a lot less trepidation.