None know how often the hand of God is seen in a wilderness – Thomas Cole
Stories are made everyday.
You never know when they are going to happen. But you have to be there to be a part of them.
You have to be “doing” something. You have to be “living”, “involved”, and “engaged” in life for them to happen.
And the best stories involve others. You’re never alone in the really good stories. Don’t your favorite stories start with, “Remember when WE …”?
This past weekend I not only created some new stories, but experienced the “Remember when” moment.
I make an effort to go hiking/backpacking a couple of times per year. The more primitive the better. I love the solitude and other than my hiking companions, I prefer not to see another soul for a few days.
This trip not only included one of my best friends, but my 19 year old decided to go along with us. My son and I used to take trips every year, but girls and a driver’s license have changed that over the last few years.
My buddy loves to fly fish so this trip took us to Sam’s Knob in the NC mountains. We camped streamside of Flat Laurel Creek. While Win (my buddy) fished all day, Blake (my son) and I day hiked, took pictures and just chilled.
In reality, other than the actual hiking in and out of the woods, there isn’t much to do. It’s forced R&R. You HAVE to relax. And when you do, what happens?
You tell stories.
Where do stories come from? Past experiences. Hiking trips from previous years.
- Blake and I told Win about getting caught in a hail storm in 2007. Temps dropped rapidly. We were soaking wet and hypothermia was a real threat.
- Win recalled the trip in rained and rained and rained on us. We were stuck under a little tarp for 3 days.
- Blake remembered when he was only 10 years old and we underestimated the distance to our campsite. We had to hike in the dark until 10pm. Finally we had to stop and just set up the tent in the middle of the trail. He didn’t know it at the time, but I was a little scared and worried about having my 10 year old in danger.
- Win laughed about the time I dumped my favorite freeze-dried dinner, Polynesian Chicken, in the snow on top of Mt. Mitchell. It looked like vomit. I was pissed because I don’t take extra anything on trips. I went a little hungry.
- Blake told about waking up one morning and our wet shoes from the hike in had frozen solid over night. Our shoelaces wouldn’t tie and we had to walk in frozen shoes until they thawed and we could tie the laces.
These stories mean NOTHING to you.
But that’s the point!
There is nothing spectacular about any of these stories. They are just memories. But we wouldn’t have them at all if we had stayed at home and done NOTHING.
All we did was a little pre-planning. We packed up some gear and slept in the woods.
These are MY stories. You can easily make YOUR stories.
JUST DO SOMETHING.
And the awesome thing is. I added more and more memories this weekend.
- Seeing the snake
- Summiting Sam’s Knob and sunbathing on the rocks
- Blake falling in the creek
- Blake going to bed at 7:30 pm after dinner
- OMG the bugs!
- The incredible views
- Pictures. Awesome pictures.
Memories don’t have to be SPECTACULAR to be SPECIAL.
The next trip we take we’ll say, “Remember when at Sam’s Knob….”
Stop wasting your weekend and create a “Remember when” memory. That’s living a better story.
Here are a couple of suggestions to create a “Remember when” story for yourself:
- DO SOMETHING – You don’t say, “Remember when I laid on the couch all day.”
- INVOLVE OTHERS – You can tell a story or you can share a story.
- BE ADVENTUROUS – Don’t be a stick in the mud. Try something new.
- BE SPONTANEOUS – Just do it now.
- TAKES EFFORT – You might need to schedule time off and do some pre-planning to get max benefits.
- ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS – Don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy it.
- RELAX – Leave the stress behind and be 100% in the moment.
- DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR – Memories build over time.
I’d love to hear your old stories or the ones you create. Let me hear about your adventure, mishaps and inspiration.