One night on my last river trip, I was c-r-a-n-k-y (which I also sometimes spell p-i-s-s-e-d). Why? It was windy. Really windy. I had just washed my hair–because we had just seen our first glimpse of the sun on a cold and rainy day–and I had just changed into my nice, comfy camp skirt. I was ready to relax and soak up the last few minutes of fading sunshine. I was trying to enjoy some delicious appetizers–prepared, in the same wind, by our uncomplaining guides–and the stupid wind kept blowing my stupid wet hair into my stupid mouth every time I tried to take a bite, and it kept blowing my stupid skirt up around my ears every time I tried to stand up, and it kept blowing my stupid tent with its stupid sticky zipper all around and I had to keep stupid tying it down again and stupid sand was getting stupid everywhere and everything was stupid.
It happens. It’s probably going to happen to you, on your river trip. It’s going to be really cold one day. Or really windy. Or really hot. Or there won’t be the least bit of a breeze. Someone is going to drink the last Diet Coke. We are going to run out of Snickers bars with almonds, and you’ll have no choice but to eat a Snickers bar without almonds. Someone or something is going to absolutely demolish your zen, at some point.
You have a couple of options. Your first option is to bring your dilemma to the attention of the guides. They are really good at fixing sticky tent zippers! They are magicians when it comes to procuring tasty snacks!
Your second option is to take a deep breath–maybe change from your comfy camp skirt into your big girl pants, which is what I decided to do–and take a look around you. You are in one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring places on earth! There is a very good chance you could be holding a cool beverage in your hand, on a beach, in the Grand Canyon, right this very moment! You could take yourself on a self-guided hike through Nature! You have somehow managed to get yourself into the very heart of a truly wild, untamed place–a place only a tiny, tiny percentage of folks will ever experience firsthand–and you are here, now. Take stock.
And then go do whatever self-care routine you need to do to get your mind right. Go do a little yoga on the beach. Enjoy that cool beverage. Have a sit-down and breathe it all in. Take care of yourself, so you can get back to appreciating where you are, and why you’re here. You did not come on this whitewater raft trip for the Snickers bars. You came for the adventure, and that is what you are experiencing.