Sometimes, I just need to unplug.

Usually when that is the case, my instinct is to get outside. Spending time in nature is one of my favorite things–and sometimes, in order to unplug, I literally have to get to a place where there is no cell phone reception and no wi-fi. Rest doesn’t come easy in a world that is constantly buzzing and pushing and pressuring.

But, I managed to (mostly) spend the long weekend doing exactly that: finding rest.

It’s been a family tradition for as long as I’ve been alive to spend Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends camping at River Run Family Campground in Loudonville, OH. It’s sacred time–time that I have had to learn to guard over the years. As a kid, camping meant hanging out in the lodge trying to be “cool” like some of my parents’ friends older kids. In my teens, camping meant extended time with some of my good friends running around the campground like we owned the place. In college, I could head down the road to River Run and get all that extra sleep I had missed out on during Spring Semester. These days, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends mean one thing: rest.

Here’s how I made that happen this weekend:

  1. Sleep a little extra. This weekend, I did not set an alarm once. I went to bed when I was tired, and I woke up when I woke up. I don’t get to do that too often, so when I do, I try to take advantage. Sure, I go to bed a little earlier now than I did during the camping years in my teens and early twenties, but I don’t regret it one bit. That extra sleep was so important to the rest I got this weekend.
  2. Eat good food. There is nothing better than food cooked over an open fire–and when we are camping, that’s what we do. This weekend, we enjoyed some traditional favorites like pie-iron pizzas and steaks done over the fire, and even got a little fancy with crab legs and corn on the cob Saturday night. Eating delicious food is awesome.
  3. Do nothing. We have some family and friends that also come camping with us on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. I kind of chuckled each morning when my aunt asked, “so, what are you and Scott doing today?” and I would just respond “whatever we want, but probably nothing.” I mean, sure, we did stuff like play with my parents’ new black lab puppy, and play fetch with our golden retriever in the river. But mostly we visited with friends and family and sat around the campfire all day. And I have no regrets. Sometimes it’s nice to just do nothing.
  4. Be outside. This weekend was a little on the chilly side with highs only in the mid-60s and lows dipping into the 30s at night. But there is no way that I am going to drive 3 hours to go sit inside my parents’ RV all weekend. So, we built a fire in the morning and sat by it to keep warm all day so that we could be outside. We ate every meal outside. We wore our sweatshirts and blue jeans, and just enjoyed nature.

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