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Showing posts from May, 2015

A Smith River Tale

Our alarm sounded on Thursday in the pre-dawn hours which is saying a lot for Montana this time of year when the days are long. At 5:15am we met up with our friends who pulled the permit for our trip. Every year Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks conducts a lottery, allowing nine groups to embark each day on the Smith River from Camp Baker. May 14th was our designated "put in." We joined two more members of our group at Camp Baker where they had literally camped out the night before to ensure we got our pick of available campsites. Campsite sign-ups begin at 7:30am the day before the scheduled put in. We packed our three rafts (I mostly wandered around Camp Baker with Miriam, making new friends) and were glad to leave behind the impatient fellow rowers anxious to assume their positions on the ramp once we departed. photo credit: Krista Koljonen We designated this trip in honor of Love146's Tread on Trafficking initiative so our raft bore the Love146 logo. On our l

A Life Less Burdened

Have you ever noticed that the things that bother us most about other people tend to be things that we do, too? For example, this morning a woman spoke at a meeting I attended. Before launching into her story, however, she qualified it; her qualification bothered me. I felt like saying, "Hey, you can just tell your story. We'll believe you." This little annoyance gnawed at me until I realized that I, too, have a habit of qualifying what I say. Typically, I visualize what I will say or write and anticipate my audience's critiques. Then I circle back to what I plan to communicate and revise so as to fill in the gaps and leave no room for arguments. This little game wears me out. Do you ever do the same thing? Today as my mind wandered, I wondered how to consciously live a life less burdened. I write "consciously" because we can choose to unburden ourselves from our exhausting mind games. I'll start by ceasing to qualify my statements -- to guard my mouth