Floatin’ Down A River

“Floatin’ down a river
Runnin’ around
But not gettin anywhere
Powerstearin’ wheels
Just ain’t connected
And we can’t jump off like flees on a dog
Can’t fly away like flies on a hog
We’re really just along for the ride like ants on a log.”

— Randy Travis, Ants on a Log

For three hours on Saturday, life just happened.

That’s us. Just floatin’ down a river.

There wasn’t any traffic, no cell phone, no internet, no deadlines, no messy house, no broken appliances, no school closures, no meetings. There was no hurry, no worry, and no havoc.

No headaches, no heartaches. Only a whole lotta nothin’.

We were just floatin’ down a river. Earlier, the kids and I jumped into a few inner tubes purchased on a lark at the local camp store, launched them into the river at a site selected with little forethought, and floated down the river without a care in the world.

As our tubes puttered along, we chatted, smiled, and waved at people along the banks. Everyone was nice. People talked with us. A few even offered to give us a push if we floated too close to where they were swimming.

It was all quite splendid. A perfect way to spend a lazy, hot, Saturday afternoon – family, sun, a cool river, fun, and  … nothin’.

However, it couldn’t last forever.

When we got back home today from our camping trip, dirty and exhausted, we walked into our sweltering house to a pile of dirty dishes. The dishwasher had broken Thursday before we left which meant an hour of hand-washing dishes (headache). The sweltering house was the result of a newly-discovered and now-defuct air conditioner (heartache).

Isn’t that the way all vacations end? Coming back to a house full of broken things, and a job full of missed deadlines?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could keep that groovy feeling we all get from just floatin’ down a river?

There is a way. You can do something to capture that feeling.

Do what you do when you’re floatin’ along. Give a wave and a smile to the strangers on shore. Be nice to people around you. Talk with them. Help them out with a little push when they float off-course.

After all, if we’re nicer, kinder, and more helpful when we’re relaxed and feelin’ good, couldn’t the opposite be true? Doesn’t it stand to reason that if you’ll be nicer, kinder, and more helpful when you’re uptight and stressed, might you feel more relaxed and less stressed? You never know unless you give it a try.

After all, maybe we all are just ants on a log. Floatin’ down a river.

“We all know people
We yella t the cars and the traffic
Folks in a hurry
Life’s full of heartache and havok
I finally learned how to lay back and let life happen
I just image
The angels up in heaven
Lookin down at us and laughin'”

— Randy Travis, Ants on a Log

This weekend’s gifts of time –

Friday, met with District 7 Toastmaster’s current speech champion, Ryan, to brainstorm ideas about his speech for the upcoming international competition in Orlando.

Saturday, lots of kid time, family time, and floatin’ time. Thanks to my wife, Melissa, for driving the support vehicles.

Sunday, left a load of left-over camp wood at our campsite for the next camper. Did the dishes by hand for my very tired wife. Again, many thanks to her for doing all the cooking this trip, as well as the vast majority of packing. 

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About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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