“Let’s go camping this Easter,” he said. “It will be an adventure.”
This was no small ask of my husband, Arne. You see, we had bought a used trailer last fall in the dark and cold of a November night and he was eager to try it out for the first time.
From Vintage to Fridge
The trailer was anything but new and despite my not wanting another project on our hands, Arne only saw an opportunity. We were upgrading from a vintage camper to a trailer with a fridge and a bathroom!
Upon closer inspection, there were as many items that needed fixing as were operational in it. “At least the furnace and air conditioner work,” he said. Hot water, however, was not happening. And the warped floor was unsettling. Always the optimist, Arne would come in from working on the trailer with a new plan of how he was going to fix it. While the trailer project made for good conversation with our friends, there was no time to fix it before camping season.
I don’t see opportunities the same way my husband does.
I like the sure thing. I am not a risk-taker, and I don’t like change. I like order, plans, and organization. I live on routines. So the idea of testing out our trailer in April, in the States, was pushing me far outside my comfort zone.
I. Was. Stressed.
How do I pack? I now had a home on wheels with cupboards and storage compartments. Where do I put all the stuff? And do I separate the items that remain in the trailer from those that will go back into the house? Do I keep the clothes in bags or unpack them in the trailer only to pack them back into bags to carry into the house? Do I stock the fridge for the journey, or not? What food can I take across the border?
The number of decisions to make was overwhelming.
The final straw was looking at the weather forecast which called for pouring rain. I was done.
“I’m staying home,” I said.
Thankfully, my husband knows me well. He gave me a listening ear, encouragement to push through the overwhelm, and worked alongside me to prepare for the trip.
Was I Quitting?
Then it occurred to me that I was not practicing what I teach.
At ACS, we encourage our students to demonstrate a growth mindset; to embrace challenges as an opportunity for growth, to step out of the comfort zone, to try new things and build abilities, and to persevere in the face of failures.
I didn’t quit.
In the end, we had an enjoyable camping trip celebrating Easter in a new way. All my concerns and “what ifs” never came to pass. It didn’t pour rain and the camper functioned just fine. More importantly, I was reminded that growth comes in trying something new.
Who knows, maybe Arne’s trailer project really is an opportunity.