I recently went camping for the weekend with my wife’s family in Birmingham, Alabama. My wife’s parents went as well as my wife’s brother and his family from Memphis and her other brother and his family from Birmingham. This has become a yearly event now to sort of kick off the summer together. While it is fun to go camping with all of the young kids in our family, there are a fair share of challenges that make it a pretty exhausting weekend.
First of all, the drive to and from Birmingham is long. A little over 5 hours with a toddler can be a trying journey. Plus, once we arrive, remember that we are in Birmingham. We are not arriving to nice cool temperatures. Think hot and muggy. And of course camping always brings the possibility of rain. And this year it did. Pouring rain, with thunder and lightning. With 3 year olds and 5 year olds and other assorted single digit ages.
So why do we do it? Why drive all the way down to Birmingham from East Tennessee to camp? It’s sure not for a shortage of campgrounds or campsites here. Why do we brave the heat and humidity of the deep south? Why do we tempt fate by exposing ourselves to mother nature who can be quite fickle? Try convincing to a 5 year-old at 3 am to go back to sleep and that everything will be ok when rain is pounding down and the sky is filled with lightning.
Ultimately it is because of the people. So often we do things that make no sense or we could never imagine doing in any other circumstances, and we do these things because of the people we get to do them with. One of the greatest motivators in life is who you get to do life with. I have worked some pretty uninspiring jobs in my life because of who I got to do those jobs with. I don’t love camping in Alabama in the summer, but I do enjoy being with my tribe. People drive me. They motivate me. They encourage me. They make me laugh.
So my question for you is, do you enjoy the people you are with? Who are you on the bus with? Do you like those people? Do you have fun with them? Are you willing to go the extra mile for these people? Are you willing to sacrifice some of your preferences or comforts for them? Who are the people that you would go summer camping in Alabama with? Find those people.