Category: Life Lessons



We just enjoyed one more day than we had last year or the year before that or the year before that. We got a bonus day: February 29th.

But did we change anything? Did you spend the whole day reveling in something you rarely if ever enjoy? Perhaps a swim in a chocolate fountain? Maybe you painted your room some really fun colors. Perhaps you spent the entire day with the people who bring out the best in you, laughing to the point of snarfing.

The funny thing is that the calendar is just a constraint for our planning. Our time on earth didn’t change just because the calendar said we had an extra day. We got to enjoy (or not depending on your choice of attitude) the same about of time on the 29th as we did the 28th of February.

Helpful Constraints

Did you know that the beloved children’s book Green Eggs and Ham came from a bet? A good friend bet Dr. Seuss that he couldn’t write a great children’s book using 50 words or less. (Who do you think won the bet?)

What other constraints are useful? We present a number at camp with which our campers and staff are familiar.

No cell phones. No technology except for something that only plays music. We have set bed- times and wake-up times. We have some choice in the Dining Hall but that list is about 5 or 6 items long rather than a full menu at a restaurant. The speed our waterski and tubing boat stays constrained to safe (and fun!) speeds.

When you think about it, we’ve got a LOT more constraints in camp than we do at home on a relaxed weekend. And yet… camp is more fun than a lazy weekend at home. In fact, I would argue that we have more fun at camp BECAUSE of the constraints rather than in spite of them.

We aren’t trying to decide between 50 different ideas of what to do this afternoon. You aren’t trying to decide where to spend your time online. There are no worries about picking your food from a long list of options or your clothes out of your ample closet.

At Weequahic, we narrow things down to the essential, to the events and activities and friends and mentors that help create amazing. These are the situations in which you can flourish, which bring out your best self.

No distractions. No unlimited choice. Just the people and the moments that matter.

Those are the kind of constraints we need in our lives. Have a great weekend!

Performing or Living

We all spend a good bit of time on social media. Whether it’s Insta, TikTok, Snap, Facebook… it absorbs a lot of our time.  We spend most of that time watching rather than producing or commenting. In the supposedly social world online, we are consumers more than anything else.

Sometimes, we put our own thoughts, videos or comments ‘out there’ for others to consume. Hopefully, they react positively, showering our output with favorable reviews, likes, or, even better, comments and shares. Sometimes, we get the opposite: negative reviews. Sometimes it’s even worse – no response at all.


In these situations, regardless of the outcome, we are performing, aren’t we? We are putting some form of performance out into the medium to which, we hope, others will react. We are hoping to delight, confound, inform, entertain, or shout down.

Shakespeare has a widely known quote about this idea of performance:

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players….”

The same can be said for our homes, classrooms, offices or bunks. Do we play the class clown? What about the studious one? Do we play the martyr. How about the ‘glitter’ or the ‘glue?’

Coming through middle school, I decided I’d play ‘the nice one.’ It helped me with the teachers, certainly, though it didn’t play as well with the other kids. Thankfully, I had two fantastic friends who stuck with me no matter what so it didn’t matter what the others said or thought.


But what happens when we stop performing? When we drop the mask?

‘No [one], for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.’

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Normally, we drop the mask around those who make us feel most safe, the most like ourselves. It’s not about what you are trying to be for others’ approval or expectations. It’s just about being who we actually are.

That’s when we start really living.

Think about the times when you’ve been the most alive, the most excited to be yourself without exception or concern or fear or embellishment. Was it when you rocked a test? How about when you competed and won… or come up just short? Maybe it was in your bunk at camp surrounded by your people.

Looking back over my life to this point, I clearly see the times I wore a mask and performed: my first semester in college, the first graduate course I took as an undergrad, when I wanted to impress a young lady, my first (and second) summer running camp. None of those situations went well.

Lessons Make Us

Without those lessons, I could never have truly learned what makes me come alive.

What are those, you ask? For me, it’s spending time around the campfire with our campers and staff, wrestling with my boys, sitting on the couch with Kate and talking about something we’ve read or listened to, helping a young person grow into a competent, confident adult, cooking something really good….

Do I still perform from time to time? Yes. But those moments are much fewer and further between. And, I’m much better about recognizing those moments, dropping the mask, and returning to the living.

Performing all the time is exhausting. You’ve got to think about the audience, gauge their reactions and change accordingly. It’s a constant juggle and struggle in which even victories are tiring.

Instead, spend more time on being who you are right now or the person you are striving to be. (For example, I’m striving to be a person who eats more salads!) The people in your life who really matter will love you and support you and push you in all the right ways.

Who you are and who you will become is worthy of that love and support and pushing. So, let’s drop our masks, just be ourselves and enjoy it.

Have a great weekend.

(A great book on this subject is Awareness by Anthony De Mello.)