I went camping this weekend, and it might have been the best weekend of my summer. I am not outdoorsy. I hate bugs, and there is nothing I fear more than spiders. I religiously take showers because I greatly dislike feeling dirty, and I love beds. I love the squishy, smooshy, comfort of my bed.
But I love camping. I hadn’t been camping since my childhood, so probably ten years or so, but I knew that camping was one of my favorite past-times. I love driving away with the car loaded with enough food to last a few days and a canvas tent. I love the freedom of having nothing to do and endless possibilities (do we hike or read a book or fish in the pond or swim in the pond or chase all the dogs or climb the trees or build a fort or…). I love having no distractions and being distracted by the lack of distractions (What kind of bird makes that noise? Was that a bear? Kill the mosquito!). I love camping.
I am a big fan of Netflix. I love The Office, Parks & Rec., Gilmore Girls, Friends, Arrested Development, Grey’s Anatomy, etc. I am a big movie watcher too, so Netflix is top on my list of favorite inventions. But part of me hates it. I just read Kill Me Now by Timmy Reed, and Miles had a powerful quote that I’ll share:
Sometimes I wish the machine had never been invented, but that doesn’t mean I stop watching.
I, too, can’t stop watching TV. It’s sucked me in. I hate that. I want to spend all of my time reading serious books and writing powerful posts and the next Great American Novel. I want to crochet a blanket for every member in my family and try all the recipes passed down by my family. But I choose to watch TV.
When I was a kid, I was fascinated with the Amish. I loved the idea of giving up all my technology and living with just the basics of life. I thought that would be such a fresh and freeing way to live. When I’m faced with the question of time-travel and where I would go if it existed, I’m quick to answer with the mid 1800s. Then I remember indoor plumbing and pause, but I think I’d stick with that answer.
hat if we went back to the basics? What if we turned our lives into a never-ending camping trip? What if we forgo Netflix for a scary-story shared around a fire?
I might just be naive, but I choose to believe life would be a lot more pleasant if we got rid of our distractions and lived life with what was in front of us all along. I know technology is an advancement, and in many ways it is. But when I spend hours in front of a TV melting my brain with Joey and Michael Scott, I’m led to believe it’s not all about advancing in the world.
Maybe I won’t start protesting all of technology, and I won’t try to convince you to give up your smartphones and computers. Instead, I’ll just encourage that everybody takes at least one camping trip a summer. Forget social media. Forget Netflix. Open that book that’s been on your shelf collecting dust, light a fire, and just be.
If you need a place to go camping, the beautiful featured image was taken at Klondike Park in Augusta, Missouri.