WIN

Posted September 20th, 2019 by

Win. Yes, that’s what we do at Weequahic. We only win. All the time. At everything. Basketball, football, dance, the swim meets, archery competitions, Color War. You name it, we win. All the ti….

What do you mean we don’t? Hm… you know, maybe we don’t win all the time. But we should. Let’s break it down so you see what I mean.

W.I.N.

The acronym is short for ‘What’s Important Now?’ It’s a useful and powerful question. It strips away everything else and asks you to focus on two things: context and aim.

To answer the question, you’ve got to look around and get an inventory of what’s really happening right now. Are your emotions running amok? Is your list of things to do longer than your arm? What are your teammates, family members, teachers, or friends going through?

Once you get a true sense of what’s going on around you, then switch to the end result you want: finishing the art project, helping the play be a success, scoring the goal, or making that new person feel welcome.

Take those two pieces of information into account – context and aim – and then answer the question: what’s important now? Going through this process will help you determine what’s important and how to act. It helps to remove the emotion and assists you in thinking logically through the situation.

Golf Lesson

As a high school senior, I was a good golfer. Captain of our small team, I was following in the footsteps of two older golfers who’d won individual state titles and Player of the Year honors. I knew I was not to their level… which was the problem my coach helped me fix.

Sitting around our his table (he was also the school’s headmaster) and talking about the upcoming Region Championship, he looked around at the six of us and laid out a specific rule.

“If you find yourself in the woods or in a bad situation, I want everyone to take the easy way out back to the fairway,” Coach Chambers said. We all looked at him and nodded.

And then Coach pointed at me. “Except for you. If you think you can make it, go for it.”

Perfect Advice… Twice

Wow. Talk about answering the ‘what’s important now’ question! He knew a couple of the team members needed to be reigned in. And, he knew that I needed a shot of confidence, of belief. He knew I needed permission.

You know what I did on the first hole that next day, brimming with the confidence Coach had just shown in me? I made a seven on a par four… with a four putt. It was UGLY. And embarrassing. And frustrating.

Walking to the next tee, Coach put his hand on my shoulder, smiled, and said, “What’s important now is that you focus on what you want to do with this next shot. After that, focus only on the next shot. And then the next. And so on… you’ll get it.”

Because I trusted him, I did. And, because I did, I played the next 17 holes four under par and won the tournament, my first ‘big’ win.

Coach helped me WIN.

Winning at Camp & Home

We think camp can help you WIN, too.

At Weequahic, we have a bunch of incredible staff members who help our campers remember to ask ‘what’s important now.’ We help everyone bring their emotions down a notch or three, survey the situation and ask the question in relationship to their end goal.

This happens in the bunk where we want to create a summer family, on the stage when we want to try something new, on the wall pushing through a self-set limit and so many other spots around camp.

At home, though, those amazing near-peers aren’t often available. But their voice and their memory still exists inside your head. I’m sure they’d be whispering, smile on their face, “What’s important now?”

Whether it’s give a high five, sit down and do your homework, ask for forgiveness or clean the dishes, go ahead and do it. Figure out the one thing you need to do and you’ll make some progress to your end goal.

That’ll help you win at home just as often as you do at camp. Now… go out there and be a WINner! See you next week.

Shine and Dance

Posted September 13th, 2019 by

Heading to school with our oldest who is driving on his temporary driver’s permit, something caught my eye. We’ve done the trip together 80 times or so with me in the passenger seat and I’d not seen this before.

On the right side of the road, a regular, every day road sign was glimmering and dancing, like it was alive and producing light from the inside. Of course, it wasn’t. It was just a road sign. But yet dance and shine it did. It’s play of light was fun to watch for the five seconds it took us to pass by.

I looked expectantly at the next sign, about 250 yards up the road. It stood stolidly in place, showing it’s warning and nothing else.

Of course, the dancing sign was moving because the wind was hitting it just right. And it was glowing because the angle of the rising sun made its reflective properties come alive. And yet that combination of factors made the properties of that normal, everyday sign come alive and show something… beautiful.

Coming Alive

I think we’d all agree that there is equal worth in every human. Considering you are 99.9% alike genetically with everyone else on earth, I hope you’ll agree! And yet, despite that almost indistinguishable sameness, we are so different. Different looks, colors, innate talents and predilections.

What it takes to make one person’s talents, interests, and whole-being come alive is different than the next and the next and the next.

The key is to keep looking for those moments and situations that draws out the best, the true, the pure inside. Like that sign coming alive, it takes a combination of factors. I would posit it takes the melding of community and aim.

Community

At camp, we get to create a ‘kids focused’ community. We aren’t worried about test scores, sports results, fashion faux pas, or work. It’s all about the kids… and the staff. We’ve shown at Weequahic that kids with different accents, languages, experience and knowledge can get along beautifully.

As songwriter Ani DiFranco has said, “I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.”

For us, that overlap is the central idea of worth, isn’t it? We come together already knowing each of us is valuable beyond measure, full of joy and potential. We just need the right combination to set all that good free.

So, we come together and form a community with enormous potential. What unlocks that stored potential is the aim.

Aim

When we are all pulling together towards a common goal, we create a sum greater than our parts. We create waves and currents that scoop up others to join in, something together that is meaningful, wonderful, and so much fun. We take that community and make something more: a family.

At Weequahic, we use the ideas of gratitude, attitude and courage. We’ve found these ideas to be bedrock principles on which we can build a community that turns into a family, especially when ‘fun’ is the mortar that holds it all together.

When we combine ‘community’ and ‘aim’, we get a whole of shine and a whole lot of dance. We get people young and old who come alive, aware of their true selves and open to honestly showing the world.

Challenge

So, the trick, then, is figuring out how to create that same combination of factors when we aren’t at camp, isn’t it? How do we build a community around ourselves in the world that is full of people busied by their own lives, aspirations, and pains?

Intentionally. Thoughtfully. Courageously.

Collect the people around you that help bring out the best. People who challenge you, hold you accountable, love on you, and support you. Friends who’ll laugh along with you and cry by your side. Those who’ll be open and honest and listen when you are brave enough to speak.

Be patient in building this community back home. It takes thought and effort and the bravery to be open. But, creating a environment that helps you dance and shine may be the most important thing you can do. Not only will it unlock you but it will help others enjoy the show. Have a great week!

Weequahic at the Bridge

Posted September 6th, 2019 by

I was recently introduced to Horatius at the Bridge, a poem written in the 1800s by Thomas Babington. It depicts a battle in ancient Rome. Three men, led by Horatius, volunteer to hold the foes as they tried to cross the only narrow bridge across the Tiber and into the city.

As a horde of thousands gather to cross the bridge, all looks lost. Horatius looks at his commander and says: 

“Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,

  With all the speed ye may;

I, with two more to help me, 

  Will hold the foe in play.

In yon straight path a thousand

  May well be stopped by three:

Now who will stand on either hand,

  And keep the bridge with me.”

The poem in its entirety speaks to my romantic side as well as my affinity for the Roman and Greek myths of old. This passage, however, is yelling at me in a different, more relevant way for today.

The World We’ve Built

Parents, the ‘world’ in which we grew was very different than the one we’ve made for our children. Technology, of course, is at the forefront of this change.

A great deal of this change is certainly an improvement. When I feel the desire to rail against the advances of the modern world, I think of writer AJ Jacobs’s admonishment: “Repeat after me: surgery without anesthesia.”

With the host of advantages our ever-modernizing world delivers, there come a few challenges as well. Two things, in particular, jump out at me: the images our kiddos see on a daily basis and the lack of real-life human interaction in our young people’s lives.

The photoshopped and filtered perfect worlds, clothes, parties and bodies of ‘influencers’ is something we never had to contend with. Sure, we got to see the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous once a week and could thumb through People or Sports Illustrated. But these images were a small part of our weekly digestion. Now, new images – and the self-comparisons they inevitably create – are a thumb swipe away all day, every day.

Screen time is certainly having an effect on our young people and it’s not very positive.

The fall of free-play with friends and true connections with interested near-peers and adults is having disastrous effects. There have been several studies confirming the rise of anxiety and depression in our kids. As writer Kim Brooks recently reported, “kids have fewer opportunities to practice social-emotional skills.”

In simpler terms, we’ve taken away the opportunity for our kids to play, create, and interact in the places and ways we did and their grandparents did as children. This deficit is truly harming our kids’ futures.

At the Bridge

Valiant Horatius had only two companions at the narrow bridge into Rome. That proved enough.

The bridge to our future is much wider and requires more people standing shoulder to shoulder. Thankfully, at Weequahic, we have our two hundred staff members who choose to live by our values of gratitude, attitude, courage, and kindness. And, we’ve got a huge cohort of families who feel the same way.

With the help of our families and staff, Weequahic will continue to pick and choose the most beneficial of our ever-growing technologic powers for our community and shun the rest. We’ll set the standard of behavior (and dress) that draws our kids’ community together in reflection of our values rather than apart by comparison. And, we’ll continue to foster growth and creativity through play and laughter, challenge and training, community and connection.

Parents, thank you for standing at the bridge with us. And, thank you for helping us support SCOPE who is making this same stand available to others.

Let’s keep it up… together. Have a great week!

 

 

 

Own Your Skills

Posted August 31st, 2019 by

Dr. Tim Elmore is someone I enjoy following. In a recent blog post, he talks about the 14 skills every young person should own before leaving ‘the nest.’ While some of the items aren’t covered at camp – we don’t teach balancing a budget – many skills are practiced, honed, and owned at Weequahic.

New Skills

This past summer, campers developed distinct skills. We learned to build new friendships, developed deeper levels of empathy by living together, exercised our ability to choose an attitude as modeled by our staff, and deepened our courage by trying new things away from the safety of home.

Yes, we learned to waterski, climb a wall, project our voice, throw a pot, and more. However, these skills are secondary to the primary importance of the personal and interpersonal skills we fostered together.

Cooking a Meal

Most of us learned to cook real food. Sure, we enjoyed some playtime in the kitchen – who didn’t love the s’more fondue?! But, we also learned how to truly cook and clean, an important skill set for the future.

Needing Less

We developed an understanding that we really don’t need a lot. Dr. Elmore talks about ‘minimizing our needs.’  This is an important mindset both when you are starting out – you don’t have a lot anyway – and as you age.  At camp, it’s a bag of clothes, a good pair of shoes, bedding for a small bed, and a whole bunch of friends. No phones, no video games, no malls….

For three or six weeks, we were reminded that life can be better with less.

Managing Our Schedule

Because of our choice-based program, we learned to manage our own schedules. That, combined with living away from home, is the single biggest factor in the growth of your independence. You get to decide what you’d like to do.

Is there structure? Of course. But camp provided a wonderful opportunity to practice using your voice over your choice.

Clean Up

While it may have been grudgingly, we learned how to clean. Admiral William McRaven wrote a wonderful short book on changing the world…  by first making your bed. While the first thing we do is get breakfast, we all must make our bed, help with our chores, and put on sunscreen before starting the day.

Valuing People

Finally, we learned to value people. Let’s think back to a few paragraphs above. Without the people we love and with whom we laugh, camp is pretty pointless. Henry David Thoreau said, “The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” Woodrow Wilson also had something good to say about friendship: “it’s the only cement that will hold the world together.”

The relationships we fostered, whether they started for the first time or were rekindled a 10th time, will warm our lives for a long time.

Hone Your Skills

Campers, take these skills you learned this summer and practice them at home. Make your bed, clean your room, smile (with meaning) at those around you. Continue to develop your courage, empathy, and independence. Value all around you and seek those who will continue to lovingly push you to develop in all ways. And, be aware and grateful for the gifts in your life.

You learned the basics at Weequahic this summer. Now go make them yours out in the world!

The Courage to Connect

Posted June 21st, 2019 by

It’s the final Friday Night before the kiddos arrive and I’m excited.

We’ve enjoyed a wonderful day of Orientation. The vibe among the staff is energetic and interested, engaged and excited. They’ve taken the stunning amount of ‘liquid sunshine’ we’ve received over the past four weeks in stride and sloshed their way to knowing Weequahic.

Like the staff, I can’t wait for the sun to shine when our campers arrive!

I spent some time with just the guys on camp this evening. Kate was with the ladies. It’s the only night orientation that we divide this way.

While the activities and conversation differed between the two groups, the message was the same: will you, the counselors, show the courage needed to connect? Will you connect with one another? And, will you show the courage to truly connect with the kids?

(Leaving the huddle, I know our young men are ready, willing and able!)

Our Need to Connect

When you strip everything away, it’s connection that we crave, isn’t it? I know that is what our new campers want to start right now. They just want to find a friend. And our returners come back for one reason: to rekindle the connections they love so much.

At camp, we remove all the barriers and do our best to connect. We drop our masks. We let our true and best selves shine through. We remember who we are and those around us join in on the party of that knowledge.

We talk about the summer burning brightly at Weequahic. The light of camp, though, does not come from the Friday night campfire by Sly Lake. It comes from the light of connection created between the 650 souls who run through our forests, sleep in our bunks, and play… together.

Soon…

We are excited to get the rest of our crew here. We’ve got two pieces of the puzzle so far – the place and the staff. We just need the kids.

But, before our campers arrive, I’ve just one question for them: Will you show the courage to connect?

See you seven sleeps.  Can’t wait for camp!

Butterflies

Posted June 14th, 2019 by

At some point over the next two weeks, many of our first time campers wake up around this time and think, “wait a second – I’m really going to camp!”

This thought is normally accompanied by two seemingly opposite feelings – pure excitement and a lots of butterflies in the stomach. Both are completely natural and normal. To be honest, I’d be surprised if our newest campers didn’t feel the butterflies!

Here’s a truth moment for you: when the calendar hits June 1, I wake up each morning feeling the same. In fact, the morning the kids are about to arrive, the butterflies in my stomach are big enough to get me airborne!

After co-leading camp for 18 years, I have come to realize those butterflies I feel is just my body saying ‘Ok, you are getting ready to do something pretty amazing and a little bit unknown. Let’s get ready.”

When the butterflies flutter for our campers, they aren’t thinking about buses, bunk maintenance, and 325 sets of parents. No, they are normally thinking about one of the following:

  1. “I don’t know anyone at camp. Will the kids be nice and want to be friends?“
  2. “What will my counselors be like?”
  3. “How will I know where to go?”
  4. “I’m going to miss my parents!”

Here is how I would answer those questions:

Yes, it’s a little daunting coming to a new place and not knowing anyone. WAY TO GO! That courage is the first step in expanding your world in all the right ways. Our campers and staff are super friendly and only want to make new friends. Most of our kids don’t know anyone when they first get to camp. It’ll take you about 15 seconds to make a new friend if you are open to it and about 30 seconds if you are not as open. Because…

Our staff members are amazing. The come to camp because they want to help our campers have an amazing experience and live whole our values of Gratitude, Attitude and Courage. You’ll hear a few interesting dialects as about 1/3rd of our staff come from places like England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand,  Mexico and Texas. Lots of different places!

As soon as you arrive, you are going to meet your bunk counselors, go through a quick checkin and get some lunch. Then, you are off to the bunk and then you start running around camp with your bunkmates and counselors. It’s a 2 minute walk from the flagpole (the center of camp) to the beach or a 1.5 minute walk to the driving range. That’s the whole camp – it’s super easy to get around.

Finally, let’s talk about missing home. You will miss home… and THAT’S OK! I’ve visited almost everyone of our new campers families in their homes and I totally understand missing them. (To be honest, I miss my kitchen and bed at home from time to time during the summer, too!)

The good news is you’ll be having so much fun that, given a bit of time, you’ll be so overcome with camp joy that it will drown out those missing home moments.

So, for our new campers, deep breath – those butterflies are just saying you are about to do something awesome. It’s going to be an amazing summer and we can’t wait to get you to camp! See you soon!

 

 

 

Smaller

Posted June 7th, 2019 by

There was a time not too long ago when people would look at what we can do with the phones in our pockets and not think: ‘wow… you’ve got superpowers.’ It’s so ubiquitous now that we hardly think about it.

Want to know batting average of your favorite Boston Red Sox player? It’s a few taps away. Want to call someone in Africa? Easy. Want food or diapers delivered? Done.

Not to be forgotten, we’ve got real time information coming out of the TV, the radio, the newspapers, and more. This information deluge allows us to the see the larger world out there in real time. This is a superpower.

But does it make us better?

Superpowers and Focus

There is a wonderful scene in the Man of Steel when young Clark Kent’s amazing powers start to show themselves.

He’s seated in his 5th grade classroom. All of the sudden, the clock’s second hand is booming in his ears. He can see through the teacher. The scrape of a pencil sounds like bombs going off.

After being bombarded by too much input, the young Superman runs out and locks himself in a hallway closet. He’s desperate to get away from all of the other kids and adults.

The teacher, not able to get him out, calls his mom to come help. While listening to all the other kids whisper and being mean, he also hears his mom ask, “Clark, what’s wrong? Let me help.”

“The world is too big, Mom,” Clark responds.

“Then make it smaller. Just focus on my voice. Pretend it’s an island… [and] swim toward it.”

Make it Smaller

I love that idea.

As an adult, I have a hard time grasping all of the information coming my way and fighting the ‘rabbit holes’ strewn about my phone and laptop. I’ve worked intentionally to set up habits and systems to combat the pull of the information deluge.  And, it works… most of the time.

Our kids? Their brains and emotions and bodies are not ready for this onslaught. Yes, they’ve grown up with the tech. Yes, they can push the buttons faster than we adults can think.

But their brains and the deep drives that have been cultivated over thousands and thousands of years have not changed in the last generation. ‘Fight or flight’ is still a real thing.  And, social media exacerbates it to no end.

The answer, to me, is to make our world smaller. Rather than thinking about what someone is doing in Europe, spend some time thinking about the person next to you. Rather than reading the news about what happened 10,000 miles away from you, be truly present where your feet are.

I’m not suggesting to go Amish (though there is a lot to be said for that way of life.) What I’m suggesting is that we need to start focusing more on those around us rather than those who capture our attention online. We need to spend more time in our narrow circle rather than trying to take it all in from the whole world.

Smaller At Camp

That’s one of the beauties of camp, isn’t it? We get to focus on the here, the now, and the people around us. No distractions, no phones… just fun and friends and new experiences.

We aren’t thinking about what those other people said or think or believe. There is too much going on in the bunk, in the division, in the camp. When we fall asleep, we can hear our friends softly snoring, moving around in the bunk above or next to us. We know the counselor is there to help, no matter what.

There is safety in smaller. There is comfort, too. Camp is the respite for the busy, connected world. It’s the step backward required to leap forward.

That’s the paradox, isn’t it? In order to fulfill our potential in the larger world, we’ve got to begin with a small base in which we become our best selves. We must find a place, the place which allows us to flourish. And that, boys and girls, is camp.

We can’t wait to get smaller. See you soon.

Memorial Day

Posted May 24th, 2019 by

In running a few errands for the kitchen late this afternoon, I passed a lovely church and its cemetery.

Several men and women were bent over working with weed whackers, racks, and shovels removing up the winter debris. Others were cleaning gravestones and affixing small American flags. They do this in honor of those who have come before them and fallen in the line of service.

Benjamin Disraeli once said, “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.”

Remember those who came before us is something we ought to do more often.

Camp Memorial

Taking a walk around Weequahic this evening after dinner, the idea of Memorial Day struck me hard. I had just spoken with an alumnus of Weequahic whose son is coming to camp for the first time. The conversation led to speaking about the Lustig and Seffer families who got this whole party going.

Most of us never met Mr. Al Lustig. He was a teacher and coach at Weequahic High School in Newark, NJ. The story, as I understand it, was that Mr. Lustig was a bit of a ‘pied piper’, someone who instructed and taught in all the right ways.

In the early 1950’s, Mr. Lustig was encouraged to find a piece of property that would become a summer camp for kids. In 1952, Mr. Lustig closed on the 110 acres of farm land and opened the doors of Camp Weequahic in June, 1953.

From 1953 until 2008, the Mr. and Mrs. Lustig, along with and preceded by their children and grandchildren, built Weequahic into a thriving spot for children. The traditions of Tribals and Olympics, Moo Call and Canteen Raids, Campfire and Burning the W… all came from our founding family.

Mr. and Mrs. Lustig have passed as have Mr. and Mrs. Seffer. The work they and the rest of the founding family of Weequahic completed set us on the path to where we are now – a thriving place that cares for children by behaving gratefully, choosing your attitude, and building courage.

They were the heroes who got us going, who put in the work, and had the vision of what this place could become in time. I hope they are looking down and smiling now.

Happy Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day weekend, I’d first like to honor all of the men and women who have fallen in service of our country. Without you, we could not enjoy camp as we do in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Secondly, I’d like to thank the extended Lustig family for their vision of Weequahic. Without you all, we’d not have such a unique place to call our summer home.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend, y’all. Can’t wait for camp!

Choose To Be Brave

Posted May 10th, 2019 by

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.” – Emma Donoghue, Room

Two summers ago, I witnessed a ‘standout’ act of bravery. One of our girls had a hard moment on the ‘pamper pole’, a forty-foot telephone pole that you are supposed to climb up, stand on top of, and jump off. (Yes, you are very well harnessed!)

She had made it to the top. However, rather than standing up, she literally curled herself around the platform, belly and face looking down at the ground 40’ below, and her legs and arms wrapped around the top of the pole. Tears intermittently rained down while her head shook from side to side. It was ‘full stop.’

After a bit of conversation, one of the instructors harnessed up and climbed up next to her. About two minutes later, she was standing wobbly on the top. A minute after that, there was a leap, a scream, lots laughter, cheers and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen slowly returning to earth.

“I was terrified!” she said when I asked her about the experience. “But Sarah got there and promised I’d be ok and that I needed to be brave and trust her that I could do it. Oh my gosh… I’m so happy I did it!”

Fear and Bravery

Here’s the thing about fear: it doesn’t go away. It’s our ability to take the fear we are feeling and move forward with our purpose that makes us brave. And that bravery, the actions we take when feeling fear, is what opens up our world.

Fear affects us all. Going into a situation where we do not know anyone else or don’t have an idea how it will turn out. Putting our knowledge ‘on the line’ by taking a test or playing a recital or joining in tournament. Spending the night out at a friend’s house… or going camp.

When we fear, we focus on ourselves. We get ‘insular.’ And the best way to keep the fear strong? Keep staring at ‘yourself’ – your problems, your fears, your self-perceived short comings.

Want to get through the fear? Try this:

Recognize your fear. Name it and make it the object. (You are the subject.) Rather than ‘I’m afraid’ say, ‘I’m feeling fear about getting out of my comfort zone.’

Once you’ve recognized your fear, say I’m not going to let fear stop me from xxx.” You don’t have to love what you’ve decided to do. But once you’ve decided to write that kind note, speak up about something that should be changed, or try waterskiing, don’t let the fear you are feeling stop you.

Then, get after it! Focus on the end result you want and remain open to other inputs coming in. In other words, rather than constantly focusing on the fear you are feeling, spend your energy and focus on what you want to occur and those around you.

A few things will happen with this approach:

  1. The fear won’t go away and it won’t feel as big any more.
  2. You’ll learn that you can do things that, at first, you don’t think possible.
  3. Those who celebrate your efforts are a lot more important than those who try to tear you down for trying.

As old Winston used to say, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Be brave. It’s a choice and an important one at that.

Your Private Garden

Posted April 26th, 2019 by

It’s spring time here at the ‘Winter’ office and everything is in bloom. The flowers are lovely, the trees full, the grass is greening up. It’s a beautiful time of year in Athens, GA.

Outside my office window, I have a little herb garden the boys and I planted years ago. It’s nothing special and certainly not as fun as Camp Mom Judy’s garden at Weequahic. At home, we’ve got a nice stand of rosemary, some thyme and a little oregano the boys brought home from their science class so many years ago.

We’ve used these herbs often in our cooking over the past few years. The best thing I can say about the garden: it produces.

In the middle of the garden, though, there is a bald spot. Ants built a hive there last summer and vacated it over the winter. A short garden hose laid unused long enough for a lot of the thyme to grow around it. A board rotted away and much of the rosemary’s roots showed through due to the soil loss.

So, while our little garden still produces some nice results, it’s operating well below its true capacity. Does that sound like you? I know it does me.

I spend a lot of time running around not questioning old habits. Eating certain foods, spending time online, connecting with people, taking in media… mostly out of habit. In this manner, my life grows a bit wild. Some ‘weeds’ pop up. Some aspects of my life thrive while other aspects suffer. The soil (or soul) is neglected.

As for our little garden, it was time to put in some effort. I hacked away the dead parts of the rosemary that was just taking up room. The garden hose had to be cut up and removed from the thyme. New soil was churned in along with some fertilizer. Finally, some rocks for support and a side beam were added.

It didn’t take long – just one hour of work and a trip to the local hardware store. But, we’ll have better herbs for a longer period of time. Even better, I was able to clear enough room to add a few new basil plants.

When we let our lives spin thoughtless on, as I let our little garden grow, we get whatever life throws at us. There will be some good things, there will be some bad, and a lot of stuff will just get sucked up without you recognizing it because, well, that’s how you’ve always done it. Things are just… fine.

But, you don’t want ‘fine.’ You want great! You want AWESOME. And that result, young camper, requires some effort on your part. You’ve got to take some time to prune the garden of your life, invest in new soil, cut some of the dead things away and plant new ideas.

Only then will your garden truly grow.

Have a great week!