When I was about 18 years old and left camp, I started to develop a tremor in my hand. It wasn’t very serious, so I ignored it. But as I got older, it became worse. My tremor got so bad that I couldn’t dress myself. In particular, I couldn’t button my shirts. Then I discovered that my younger sister, Cindy, who never went to Camp Shasta, had the same tremor.
Perhaps only a few can appreciate the difficulty I experienced in the essential function of getting dressed. Confronting this, my sister Cindy and I adapted different methods. She bought slip-over shirts. I sought a simple machine to help me with buttons and found one on Amazon. It takes a while, but now I can button my own shirts.
As we age, we can face intellectual and physical challenges. There are always ways of approaching them. For example, I was driving in Oakland a few weeks ago and found myself lost and in a lot of pain. I pulled over to the side of the road and addressed my pain with meditation. When I said, “Siri, take me home,” my phone guided me home (Android phones have a similar virtual assistant). What I’m suggesting is there are ways to solve the problems that may present themselves.
What does this have to do with camp? Sy always brings up the incident when he cut down a tree that crashed onto my cabin, destroying the A-frame. Sy worked really hard to put the cabin in livable order before our group returned from our hike. Sy always remembers this, yet I hardly do. It occurred to me that it disturbed Sy more than it bothered me.
I wasn’t bothered because I felt safe. My group and I were determined to figure it out and knew we would be OK. Looking back, Sy felling that tree on my cabin was a good thing! It taught me that I could overcome just about anything. Sometimes, I might need help, but I can always find a way.
That was my short course on how to take lemons and make lemonade. It might take some problem-solving and the help of others, but for the most part, I’ve made it work. We can overcome many of the challenges we encounter at every stage of our lives. I suggest that we can all figure out ways to get past them. No matter how bad they appear in the moment, they’re not unlike all of the challenges we’ve faced before.