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When I was a kid we used to go camping a lot. I can’t even remember how many times we went, at least a few times every year. One of my favorite places to go camping was this awesome place in Oregon called Carter Lake. Not Crater Lake but Carter. It’s in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area.
The campground sits right between a cool lake and miles of sand dunes. My sisters and I would spend all day either swimming in the lake or hiking around the dunes. It was beautiful and magical. It was a place where we felt free. Free from our everyday lives. Free from rules and restrictions. Free from supervision for the most part. Mostly free to be ourselves.
With that freedom we could climb, we could swim, we could tell secrets, we could go on adventures, we could make new friends, we could depend on each other and ourselves for the choices we made. We could pretend to be who we wanted to be up there on those sand dunes. We did cartwheels and handstands and we rolled down the hills. We were free.
Not everything was perfect up there on those dunes though. There was no protection from the wind or the sun. It was just miles of sand dunes. The wind blew the sand toward us with such force that sometimes it felt like you were being stabbed repeatedly with little tiny needles. There was no shade up there either, so we couldn’t escape the sun.
The world is funny that way, though. Maybe not everything can be perfect at once. Maybe you can’t have the sun and the freedom and the sand without also having the wind and everything that comes with the wind.
I do think that the joys can definitely outweigh the sorrows though, if that’s what you chose to focus on. I’ve had many sorrows in my life, and many joys as well. I can’t pretend that everything is perfect, but I don’t need to focus on everything that’s gone wrong in my life either.
Maybe that is the secret to life. Balance.
Maybe we all need to have more balance in our lives between work and play, freedom and responsibilities, sun and shade, safety and adventure. Maybe this is how we know that everything is okay. We can use what we’ve experienced, either negative or positive, to be able to see the other side too.
If we look inside ourselves, I think we can see this desire for balance as well. The balance between being selfish and generous, between needing other people and needing to be alone. The balance between setting goals/having focus and having the freedom to make new choices and try new things.
I think we can find that balance can exist in whatever we chose to do in our lives. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be yes or no. It doesn’t have to be now or never. Life can be whatever you make of it, in any situation, at any moment.
I hope you will continue to join me on this journey. You can follow along with the MamaBear facebook page for encouragement, inspiration and love.
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