Commitment Doesn’t Have to Be Painful

Focused on MoneyThe truck was packed to the brim. The other two trucks accompanying us were also full. We were on our way to a remote lake near Lake Tahoe in California. We'd been planning this trip for a month but my mate had been talking about it for over a year. Loon Lake was the destination and he wanted to paddle our kayaks across the lake, then camp. That would mean only bringing minimal stuff and I like bringing a lot of stuff to keep me comfortable.

We had seen the main camping area several weeks prior to the trip. I liked the idea of staying there better than hauling minimal gear across the lake. I was also excited that this main campground had picnic tables, barbecues, running water and outhouses. This site had some great comforts. I suggested to my mate that it would serve our group best to stay there.

We caravanned up the last windy road to Loon Lake, eager to set up camp. It was about midnight and I couldn't figure out what was coming toward our windshield. My mate told me it was bugs. It looked like thousands of mosquitoes on a warm summer night at dusk. Huh. "That's weird, they're not sticking to the windshield," I thought. Yes, I'm naïve sometimes.

It was snowing.

The weather forecast had been for some snow, but I didn't believe it. I had shorts, bathing suits, kayaks, boats, margarita makings and quads behind us, not snow gear.

I did not sleep warmly that night.

The next day, after building a raging fire, the guys decided to ride the quads. That lasted about forty-five minutes. It was too cold to ride.

Hmmm ... we didn't come camping to stay huddled around a campfire all day and night. We all decided to get in the trucks and drive back down the windy roads to the next main town, over an hour away.

We were in luck. They had a movie theatre! We hit Starbucks, the movies and pizza. I felt like we were cutting school. We had ditched the outback for the comforts of society. One of the families had decided to get a hotel for the night in town and would come back to camp when the weather let up. We all took turns using the shower in their newly acquired hotel room. A hot shower?! Now we were really cheating! This wasn't camping or roughing it out in nature. What would the folks at home say?! Who cares. It felt good!

Staying at camp in the snow had felt miserable. My digits were still going numb and my dog was shivering non-stop. Deviating from our plan felt like the path of most allowance. Why stick to the commitment if it feels miserable?

The next day was warm, with clear skies. We cheerfully hiked and kayaked.

Have you ever found yourself sticking to a commitment — simply for the sake of commitment — and not enjoying it?

Several years ago I had found myself constantly eyeing my mate's steak when we'd sit down for dinner. I was almost drooling at the smell, but not eating it. I had been a vegetarian for years (with an occasional fish or two on my plate). Soon, I was asking to have a bite of the red meat. I felt like I was cheating. After a few months of this, I asked myself, "Why am I still a vegetarian?" I had lost the passion behind making the decision.

At that moment I decided to include anything into my diet and have been enjoying all my meals since.

I've had similar experiences while on cleanses and fasts. I finally decided that abiding by strict rules didn't serve me if I was in resistance. I didn't always put fresh fruits through a juicer. I bought Odwalla juices and other bottled juices to save time (the horror!). It made doing a cleanse so much more enjoyable. Faster and less of a mess.

I'll never forget when my grandmother showed me that even old school Italian cooking can be easy. She'd given me her recipe for making an Italian dish called kiplets. It's much like tortellini swimming in broth. I made all the dough circles and stuffed them with the filling and then carefully crimped the edges to seal them. It was incredibly time consuming. I called my grandmother to tell her of my accomplishment. She said she no longer rolled her own dough but used pre-made wonton wrapper dough instead. Uh! Why didn’t she tell me that before I spent hours on the dough! I did the same after that. It was easier and no compromise on taste for this traditional dish.

Are there any places you could be taking short cuts and still honoring your values?

Roughing it is not honorable. Taking a stand for what you want and creating a joyful ride is what it's all about.

Is there something you can do differently starting today? Share below!

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