Olympic Inspiration: Dreams, Motivation, and Living

The Olympics break in every two-four years and transfix a nation.

London Olympics Gymnast on Balance Beam

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

I love the Olympic Games. It is exciting, heart-wrenching at times. It is the closest many of the millions of us watching will ever get to the best in the world. It is a show of incredible athleticism that inspires young and old alike.

Inspiration and action are completely different things however, but I watch my children awed by what they see, exposed to sports and games they may not have seen otherwise, and a young child’s desire to be great at something. That is inspirational and something to be encouraged, even if they never become the best in the world. Because that truly makes no difference.

I believe in the power of the process. All of us can strive for more than what we can do already. Being the best is not always the ultimate goal, being better is.

Funny story: When I was about 8 years old my coach asked my teammates and I who wanted to go to the Olympics. He was asking to motivate us, to remind us of the hard work it takes to be the best. Hands all around me shot up as high in the air as Hermione Granger’s on her first day at Hogwarts. Mine remained down. I didn’t feel like the pressure was worth it. I wanted to compete at the college level and leave the Olympics to someone else.

I believe in dreams, but I also believe that real life is worth the same pursuits.

You all know that great quote from John Lennon. Well life is also what is happens while you are busy blogging (or other countless tasks). We spend so much time talking about change instead of living it. We spend time worrying about the state of the world and how we can make it better, while other people are living it. We spend time chronicling our lives instead of living them.

I was able to spend time at my cousin’s small organic farm last week on our travels. He admitted he doesn’t spend time worrying about the local coal mine, or GMOs, or even the future of our food supply. He just lives what he believes and that does make a difference in the world. The community of ranchers, farmers, winemakers, and coal miners can sit next to one another at a bar and then stand together when threatened with fracking is reality. They are living their principles, not politics.

I believe we need those of us who worry, who write, who research, who explore, but we need those who are simply living their work so the rest of us can follow where our passions lead and together we can change the world.

What does this all have to do with the Olympics again? Find your passion, muster your motivation, and do something that matters. We can apply that to the Go Green Get Fit Challenge or to reducing our impact on the environment or fighting for a cause near to our hearts. To change the world we must first change ourselves.

Do the Olympics inspire you to anything more?

Idaho, The Beginning of Our Camping Adventure

My first campground stop of the Great Eco-friendly Summer Road Trip is just a stopover for us.

Tip #1: Do not overestimate how quickly you will travel with three small children. It only makes for grumpiness all around.

Tip #2: Unless you plan to enjoy the attractions of a campground (ie if you have the time) of any location, don’t worry about venturing off the beaten path. This may only lead to more grumpiness.

Farragut State Park is north of Coeur d’Alene in the Idaho Panhandle. This was the trickiest site I will hopefully have to maneuver my little teardrop trailer into. It was a nice little campground though and I do wish we could have explored more of what the park had to offer.

Isn’t it cute? It is a tight squeeze for the four of us, but it offers protection (at least peace of mind) and because of its small size the reduction of gas mileage is slight, especially compared to a “real” RV.

Next stop, Montana!

Lopez Island, First Stop on the Great Eco-friendly Summer Road Trip

The first stop on the Great Eco-friendly Summer Road Trip was Lopez Island in the San Juans. The pace is slower, the people are friendlier (be sure to learn the local way to wave – at every car and bicycle that passes), there is low-income housing which uses solar energy, and it is simply drop dead gorgeous.

This is the place that has me longing to move every time we visit. This is the place that has my sensitive boy in tears when we leave and all of us leave a little of ourselves there…

Almost All The Truth - Lopez Island

How To Get There: Most people go by ferry from Anacortes. Check with Washington State Ferries for schedules.(800) 84-FERRY or (206)464-6400

Another option, especially for those arriving in Washington by plane, is a small plane. There are two options: chartered and scheduled. Check with Airporter Shuttle for schedules and reservations.

Where To Stay: Anywhere you stay on Lopez is sure to be well worth it, but Lopez Farm Cottages are a perfect match for the feel of the island. Tent camping is also available on the 30 acres of woodland and meadow. Plus, no bears!

What To Do: Biking, walking, beach combing – see if you can find sea glass, kayaking, whale watching, shopping, wine tasting, Saturday Farmers Market, and relaxing.

Where will we stop next? Idaho.

Mother’s Day: Sweetness In The Morning

Is it wake-up time, Mama? A little voice in my doorway wonders. She is so rarely the first one up. Blueberry bagel, real blueberries, not the blueberry-flavored corn syrup bits, for breakfast in the early morning quiet. Sun pours in the window telling us it is going to be another nice day.

We snuggle for a few as she explores my face with her small fingers. I awake when a sweet boy proudly announces there is something on the table for me. He has made me my own bagel breakfast, just the way he likes it–dripping with butter and warm from the toaster. There are notes and pictures on the table and two excited little boys waiting to show me all they had done.

Sunday morning acoustic music, coffee, sun, quiet, resting my lovely bones, gardening, rhododendrons?, and always, always a content mama to be able to have such a life.

Happy Mother’s Day

Almost All The Truth Mother's Day Wish

To all the mamas, to Mother Earth and Mother Nature, to those with a mother’s spirit, to all. Up for a little reading this morning?

Mother’s Day, This Time With More Meaning… My post over at SocialMoms explores how to add meaning to Mother’s Day by working to improve the lives of mothers around the world.

Groovy Green Livin has a great roundup for Mother’s Day reading!

There is still time to honor mama. Try one of these eco-friendly, fun and frugal ways to make the mother in your life feel special!

Production Not Reproduction has a short, but thought-provoking post with a link to a Mother’s Day adoption roundtable that is worth a read no matter how, or if, you have children.

Amber at Strocle.com is questioning the idea that motherhood and selflessness must always go together. Definitely read this one!

Have you finished your morning beverage and reading? Now go outside and play! :) How do you hope to spend Mother’s Day?