Volume 120 –  Paddle Past Your Sunday Scaries

Last weekend we set off on a three-day river trip with friends. It was the first float of the year, the maiden voyage of our boat (raft), and Steve-the-dog’s first river and camping adventure.  

Our adventures always inspire my thoughts on how to improve your week, especially with so many firsts involved!

1. Don’t Leave Things Up To Chance

Since this was our first trip with our new inflatable raft, we set up on dry land beforehand to ensure we had the proper outfitting, figure out how to pack it, and get Steve, our puppy, a chance to get acquainted with the boat. 

He was clearly confused when I instructed “Load up!”…he stood there looking between me….and the car. 🤪

While I have become more spontaneous over the years (thanks, Jim), a river trip is not the time to wing it, and that pre-planning can be just as beneficial to big projects as it can for managing your workflow! 

Gather your “tools and equipment” – review your schedule, plan your days, prep some meals, and manage your energy accordingly. You’ll be quite pleased you did a (literal) dry run before setting sail into the week. 

2. Always Have a Safety Net

This is your friendly reminder to always wear a Portable Flotation Device (PFD) on or in the water because unexpected things can, and do, happen.

Steve was so excited to be on his first river adventure, that the first thing he did after we pushed off was- possibly intentionally- fall off the boat and into the great Colorado River (which was moving at about 18,000 CFS…no small clip). 

I’m pretty sure he was surprised by the fast-moving current because he didn’t dare do that again, lol, and thankfully, he was wearing an adorable doggie PFD, so I could pull him back into our craft.  

Ok, yeah, you’d look pretty ridiculous work wearing a PFD, but we can still use it as a reference for some practical life safeguards to put in place. 

  • Have contingency plans for your projects. Whether it’s a backup presentation, alternative suppliers, or a secondary marketing strategy, having a Plan B can save you from potential crises and help you pivot if the launch of “the thing” doesn’t go as planned. 
  • Backup and update your technology regularly to be sure important data are saved, and your computer is protected from whatever the lates virus is. Here’s a bonus piece of technology that has literally saved me countless times – an internet hotspot! 
  • Keep a list of emergency contacts, including family, friends, and healthcare providers, so that someone knows what to do if the unexpected happens. 
  • Build up three to six months of savings, so you have an emergency fund in the event something goes sideways with your employment. Saving money is hard; finding a job inside of a month is harder.

 

3. There’s Always a Way to Do What You Love

Despite my husband’s recent ACL surgery, we still found a way to get out and do something we love. Typically, we’d be taking this trip via stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), which are off-limits to Jim this summer. 

Not only did this give us an excuse to break out the rolled-up raft that waited 2.5 years to see water, it also gave us the flexibility we needed. 

Adaptability is one of the most hotly demanded soft skills on the market today. Remaining open to new methods, collaborations, and skills is a great way of achieving your goals and overcoming limitations, whether they’re hobby-related or career-focused. Be open to new methods of achieving your goals.

4. Find Joy in Simple Things

Forget the excitement of the boat. I think Steve’s favorite thing about this whole camping river thing was chasing lizards around our campsite at night. 🦎 

He got himself so exhausted that he ended up sleeping away the boat ride during the day! It was quite convenient for us, and a great reminder to find joy in the ordinary. 

It doesn’t take a multi-day river trip down the mighty Colorado for me to find enjoyment. Even though I talk a lot about our adventures, you have to remember that many of those are everyday pastimes for us. And, even when I’m not out on a trail or a river, I’m able to find happiness in plenty of other mundane things. (Admittedly, cleaning my house is still a very joyous activity, likely because I’m grateful we were able to buy it two years ago.)

Joy is very much in the eye of the beholder. How can you see your daily activities differently?

5. Splurge on an Indulgence or Two

I made the wonderfully terrible decision to pack gluten-free, dairy-free “take-and-bake” cookies in the cooler for this river trip. One of the nice things about the river is that you have a boat, and a bot can take lots of stuff, which means campfire cooking goes to a whole new level. 

Let me just tell you this…next time you’ve got a camp stove out, heat up the griddle and put a few of the aforementioned cookie blocks on it. Cook them for 2 – 3 minutes a side, covered in foil, and you’ll love me more than you do now.

Next time, we’re going to make river-side homemade ice cream – you know what I’m talking about; the old-school shake in the bag with salted ice – to go along with them. 🙂

Allow yourself a little treat (food or otherwise) from time to time to reward yourself for a job well done. This whole living-as-an-adult thing ain’t easy! 

6. Email Can Wait 

Do you obsessively check your email? #askingforafriend

One of the things I love about our #getoutdoors lifestyle is that I am forced to be away from my phone. Sometimes that’s because it’s in a hip-pack while I am grinding up a mountain on a bike, but in this case, it was because we didn’t have internet for three full (glorious) days. 

Yes, there are still places in this country where you can be without service for that long! 

It was so nice to sit around the non-existent campfire (banned due to fire danger) and chat with friends, listen to them play guitars and ukuleles – hey, it’s a boat – everything comes along, and connect without the constant distraction of absent-mindedly picking up the damn phone. 

I’m going to challenge myself, and encourage you to do the same – to take regular breaks from emails, social media, and phone notifications on a weekly, or even daily, basis. The world will not catch on fire if you don’t respond to that message in negative three seconds. 

Disconnecting from digital can lead to increased productivity, mental clarity, and deeper personal connections.

That’s way worth missing that Instagram story if you ask me. 

7. Different Views (Perspectives) are Cool

The stretch of river we floated (Ruby Horsethief) flows from Loma, Colorado across the Utah border, and a section of the river parallels a mountain bike trail I rode earlier this spring. 

It was so cool to see the river (and see that bike trail) from a new vantage point! It gave me a new appreciation for the terrain, the beauty of the desert, and the dramatic depth of the canyon we were traveling through. 

We’ve all heard the saying: walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, which is all about looking at things differently. Seeking out different viewpoints helps us gain valuable insight, innovate solutions, and most importantly develop empathy for others’ experiences and perspectives. 

Whether it’s through conversation, reading, or exploring new places, enrich yourself with a new experience and a new vista. You’ll be grateful for it!  

Here’s to a great week!

Your Friend and Coach,

Angie

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