The last month has been an exciting time for me; I’ve been able to engage in new scholarly beginnings, plan my wedding, redecorate my room, and complete a plethora of other to-do list items. But I haven’t given myself a time to slow down and just not be busy. There’s always something to do. So, in short, I needed this last weekend.

I went camping with a group of really amazing 14- to 21-year-olds, and I got to decide for myself whether or not I wanted to do…well, anything. I could have stayed in the cabin all weekend. I could have done a service project (which I did decide to do). I could have taken a walk, hiked around the campground trails, gone to the camp store, etc. etc. etc. I didn’t have any school work to worry about. I didn’t have any large tasks breathing down my neck saying “Hey, remember me? I still need taking care of.”

Camping really is a relaxing venture. The proverbial “they” say “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I don’t think they mean it in terms of relaxation, but it’s still true in that realm. I ventured to relax during this past weekend, and I gained a new perspective: we are not our to-do lists. I don’t have to slave away over a list of tasks in my bullet journal. All it does is get me upset, overwhelmed, and worried that I’m not doing enough. We are what we are passionate about.

So, this weekend, I read. I created new bullet journal pages. I did a service project involving wooden archery stands and a sledgehammer. (That’s all I’m gonna say about that…) I took pictures of the really interesting, beautiful, relaxing things I saw around the campground. I got to be me without thinking about “tasks” that I had to do. And I would encourage you to try it. You don’t have to go camping specifically (although I do recommend it). You can go for a walk around your neighborhood. You can go on a hike if you’re lucky enough to live in a pretty place where there are actually hills (which don’t exist in my state). You can veg out in front of Netflix if that’s what you’re in to. Just take the time – say an hour or two – to do something that isn’t on your to-do list, and you will be amazed at the difference it makes in your overall happiness and well-being.

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