No Filter

Movies, Instagram and Facebook all have one major thing in common. . .all are edited moments to make life look grander than it is.  All provide excerpts of life extremely photo-shopped. Very few of us want to expose the underbelly of all that takes place in our homes but I believe there is yet another common thread:  it’s just messy. We are messy people by nature and we all fail a little bit each day.  We want to see all of the good stuff so that’s what we take pictures of.  We edit out anything we don’t want to remember.

We are taking pictures every hour as we document this trip, but it can require a number of “takes” until I get the one I want.   Here is Parker refusing to smile and Parker after we threatened he wouldn’t get to swim if he didn’t smile.  If I’d only posted one of these, you don’t get the full story. (Hurricane Ridge in Port Angeles, WA)

I loved a post I read today that said, “Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.  Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.”  Faulkner knew what he was talking about.  He reminds me the world is mine to make of it almost every day. More often than not, I’m holding myself back from being the best me. I had charted a course and direction for my life but I kept hitting roadblocks and detours.  It often felt like everyone’s lives around me were moving where they wanted and mine wasn’t.  Pictures are always deceiving.

My sulking and my anger delayed me.  I wallowed in a pretty big pool of self-pity when my future wasn’t shaping up the way I had planned.  What I learned from wallowing is that I can float for a really long time. So, at some point I had to decide if I could move farther along or I just sink to the bottom.  Turns out, I’m a not a sinker.  I can and did chart a new course.  I re-calibrated my efforts to make the best use of my time and energy.  I dove into my passions and focused my efforts on the things that really mattered to me, on the people that mattered most to me.   Roadblocks sometimes send us on the most scenic drives and allows us to set new horizons. (Straight of Juan de Fuca, Port Angeles, CA)

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I remember when we were on our first camping trip in our Airstream in 2011 in a brand new trailer park outside of Gatlinburg.   I was the only family member feeling upset about our way of travel.  All I wanted was to stretch out in a clean hotel and take a hot shower and maybe order room service.  And yet I was parked on a concrete pad overlooking the interstate while my kids squealed with excitement to hit the trailer park pool.  I need space to clear my head and this just seemed too much for this girl to get on board.  So, I took an hour or so away from my family, and the thought that kept creeping back was look at them.  Look at how happy everyone is.  I was so focused on my unhappiness, that I had failed to see the absolute joy on the faces of my family.  And that was it for me.  I was over myself.  I put on my swimsuit and jumped straight into that trailer park pool.  I was baptized in the waters outside of Gatlinburg to be a camper for life.

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