I’m back! I had planned to return to writing in June, but that stretched to July, then August. And now here we are. September. But now, I’m back (feeling a bit rusty, but back).
We camped this summer. Not just at one campsite but multiple sites over 10 days. Unloading and setting up a tent and 4 sleeping bags. Creating a kitchen area with a 2-burner propane camp stove and bins with all the cooking gear. Moving our bags out of a truck into our temporary “home.” Exploring to find where the bathrooms were. Everywhere we camped had water and toilets, so we didn’t “rough it” that much.
Each campsite required a different set up for the camp kitchen. And each time we unpacked and repacked things moved. Things like pots, pans, spoons, can opener, spices, dry goods… they migrated from one bin to another or from top to bottom. I suspect there are people who camp a lot, who have this dance of packing and unpacking down to a science. My “dance” was much more free form and loose and… maddening.
Then we came home.
And I fell in love with my tiny-ish kitchen in my smallish home. Nothing moves. Spices stay in one spot. Pots and pans are findable. Dry goods are relatively easy to find. A kitchen I did not love and felt was too small and too cramped suddenly feels like an absolute luxury.
If I were my own best friend, and I was unhappy with something in my house (like my kitchen), I might suggest to myself to go camping for a week and live without it.
I would tell myself to whittle down what I have to what can fit in 2 large bins. I would not have a kitchen sink or easy place to wash dishes. I would cook on uneven ground that slopes to one side so food in the pots slopes too. After every meal I would recommend moving spices and spoons and can openers and anything else small to a different spot. Then, after at least one week, I would check in with myself and see if I really thought my home kitchen was all that bad.
It turns out it’s not. While it is not the kitchen of my dreams, I find I am much more content with what I have. I am more content now knowing what it is like to not have it. This could apply to so many areas of my life and it was a good reminder to be grateful for what I do have.