Small Victories

Trent Ernst, Editor

Summer has been a little … wet so far, but that hasn’t stopped me from getting out.

The last few weekends we’ve been out camping as much as we can. In fact, I have about twenty minutes before we’re supposed to be heading back out to Gwillim Lake where we’re camping with an old roommate of mine from back in the college days, whom I haven’t seen for nearly twenty years.

In that time, we’ve both gotten married, both had two daughters, and both, ironically enough, bought nearly exactly the same tent trailer.

Two weeks ago we went down to Kelowna where he lives; this week he came up to Tumbler Ridge to visit us.

Last week, however, we decided to go down to Flatbed to camp.

Which, on the face of it, isn’t really a very epic camping trip.

But coming on the heels of the previous week’s trip, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Not Charles. The metaphorical doctor.

You see, our camping trip of the previous weekend didn’t involve much actual camping.

Oh sure, we were in a tent trailer, but most of our time was spend in a car or away from the campsite.

On Thursday, we hopped in the car and drove to Pierre Grays Lakes near Grande Cache. This was, if you recall, the weekend the Pine Pass washed out and we weren’t sure how long it would take to get through that way, so we went via Alberta.

We woke up early in the morning and started driving for Kelowna.

By the time we got to our campsite there, it was three minutes before the gates were locking up. The next day was spent driving kids around, shopping and going to a friend’s birthday party. When I pulled into the campsite at 10:30, I smiled at the attendant: “Look,” I said. “We’re back a whole half an hour before the gates lock.”

The next morning we were up at the crack of dawn, and heading back for Tumbler Ridge.

So driving the shortest distance we could to go camping? I’m not complaining.

My point here is that you don’t have to get very far away to get away. Flatbed is far enough. Or maybe Moose Lake. Or Gwillim.

July is already halfway over. Before you know it, the snow will start to fly and another year’s plans of getting out and going someplace will be tossed out the window.

It’s been said before and it will be said again, but summer around here? Magical. Take the time to explore here. The pros call it “Staycation”. I call it enjoying one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Right now? Times are tough for a lot of us. We’d like to do something big and fancy. Drive to Disneyland, or go to Mexico. But that’s unaffordable. Untenable. Beyond our means right now.

So take your pleasures where you can, no matter how simple, how small they are. Take your victories, however inconsequential, where you find them.

There’s a trick I learned from a psychologist a while back, which is to look at how you’re doing, emotionally, psychologically in smaller time increments. Most people talk about having a bad day, when generally, they had a pretty average day, and it was only one or two things that went wrong. So when people ask you how your day is going, break it down into smaller chunks. “It’s been alright, but the last five minutes? Have been awesome.” Because the battle is often not won in one decicive moment but in a series of small victories.