Happy camper

All right! HOOOOO! Let's go! You are all my audience and I am running through the aisles high-fiving each of you! Oh my god you love this!

I returned from Camp Mighty on Monday morning, and first of all, I have in the past told everyone I know, "please remind me never to take a red-eye flight again," and then I book another one, and everyone I know says "but you said you should never take a--" and I bellow "YOU CAN'T ORDER ME AROUND MOM," and then I take it, and then I am a wreck for the remainder of the week. I don't know if it's because I am an especially delicate flower, or I'm just old. I'm sure it's both. I am an old and delicate flower. I'm like Jessica Tandy, not even if she were alive. I am the dusty corpse of Jessica Tandy. (Aw. Jessica Tandy.)

Not to mention, I had two--TWO!--readings this week, both of which were a tremendous amount of fun, but this is all too much excitement for an aging-with-age eccentric like myself.

I'm fatigued and depleted! Where is my vitality-tonic! I require liniments!

Camp Mighty was--and this was no surprise to me--amazing. Like I said before, Maggie and Laura, they are superstars. Superstars with beautiful hair and amazing hearts. I would follow them wherever they might suggest we go. Would you like me to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, Maggie? Say no more. Tether my ankle and let's do this.

There was so much fun that was had and so many friendships that were formed, but what I want to talk about is the life list. Oh, the LIFE LIST. Like some of my more skeptical camp-attending friends, I was deeply unsure about the benefits of a creating such a list. For one thing, everyone knows that when you create something called a "life list," you are reminding the Universe that you're mortal and the Universe then casts its cold infinite gaze upon you and goes "Oh, right, duh," WOMP. ("Womp" is the sound of the Universe placing events in motion that will cause you to get hit on the head with a brick while you're heading to the end of your block to purchase a Snapple.) This is common sense. Or science. It's common science.

But also, creating a life list means sharing your goofball dreams and grandiose aspirations with OTHER PEOPLE and OTHER PEOPLE will probably roll their eyes or explain why it can't be done, and in these ways they will crush your tender inside parts. This is neither common sense nor science, but in fact is my deepest held belief which might be why I should go back to therapy a lot?

I read somewhere, though, that in order to have extraordinary experiences, you have to be okay with discomfort. This has been true for me with just about everything else. I get on planes and stand in front of audiences and those things make me shaky and weak, but they're so worth it. (Of course then I need to spend a week lying down on my couch with my dog curled up next to me and multiple cups of tea, but I digress.)

I was surprised at how much discomfort I felt writing my list, honestly. But that discomfort was valuable information. I also saw how hard I am on myself, how so many items were "finally stop sucking at X" or "get over this ridiculous fear, you ninny."  I had to sit and concentrate on being nicer to me before my brain would give me access to some of the more fun items on the list, or the ones that the critical parts of me would dismiss or criticize. What was that I was saying about other people? Oh, right, that's not other people. That's me. Therapy: no longer needed!

So writing it was valuable, but sharing it with strangers or near-strangers or even good friends who know me? Well. That took a level of trust and faith I'm still working on. At one point over the weekend, we split off into teams, where each member got up to discuss the five items they would commit to accomplishing in the next year. I'd like to say I chose the ones that were most important to me, but pretty much I chose the ones that would be the least embarrassing. And then other people stood up and were vulnerable and honest and I was so inspired, and I realized I need to let myself be more like them. I need to let people in a little more. I need to have more faith. Faith in people. In the universe. Also in myself.

I'm adding all of these to my life list.