Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Welcome to the twenty-eighth installment of my blog hop/writing exercise called Time Warp Tuesday!

For those not familiar with Time Warp Tuesdays, which I host on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, here is the background of how and why I came up with the idea. If you are here to participate and link up, you can do so with the Linky Tools at the end of this post (or if you have any difficulty, you can share the link to your post in the comment section).

The gist of Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives and reflect on our journeys since we wrote them.

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The theme for this month’s Time Warp Tuesday is: Heart

Note: Special thanks to Lori, from Lavender Luz (formerly known as Write Mind Open Heart), who suggested this topic! If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.

February is a month that often calls to mind heart and love related things. According to Lori: “‘Heart’ can mean so many things. It’s at the core (from the Latin for heart) of our physical being. It’ the seat of courage (another -cor- derivative. It’s our physical, emotional and spiritual center. Have you ever written about heart, and if so, in what sense?” Choose a post from your archives in which you wrote about heart or something related to it? Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.

Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might have needed some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:

Why did you pick this post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?

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Time Warp Tuesday: Heart

I appreciate when others pick the Time Warp Tuesday topics, as Lori did this month, as it prompts me to explore areas and revisit posts that I might otherwise not have found my way to for this blog hop/writing exercise. At one time or another over the past week I have considered choosing three very different posts and likewise going three different directions with this topic. In the end I picked a post that I shared here only last July, but it includes the text of a paper that I wrote as a freshman in college. The blog entry and the paper that I wrote were both called:

Simple Pleasures: A Summer Camp for the Young at Heart

At the time I wrote this I intended to do a follow-up post and ironically, Lori even asked in the comments, “Do you have any follow-on thoughts to this paper, now with a little more life experience under your belt?”

Almost twenty years after I wrote the paper, I think that being young at heart is less about getting away, in the literal sense, as I proposed in my paper and more about knowing how not to take life and ourselves too seriously.

Being an adult is more challenging and stressful than I anticipated it would be when I was a college student. Somewhere along the way I came to appreciate the idea that life is about the journey and not the destination. There always seems to be another place that we are trying to get to and thus we will never be content if we don’t learn to find peace and joy in our current circumstances.

Justine and Mel wrote posts last month that addressed how we can help ourselves to try to be happier and whether that is even necessary. I commented briefly on Mel’s and intended to return to say more, as well as to comment on Justine’s (which inspired Mel’s), but the time got away from me. The premise of their posts and the discussion that followed in their comment sections has stuck with me:

Overthinking Happiness: Mashed Parsnips (Justine’s post)

The Wide Range of Emotions Movement (or the Shit That Happened Jar) (Mel’s Post)

My parents also recently told me about a related discussion, regarding happiness and depression, that took place at one of the Northwestern University Continuing Education classes that they attend weekly as retirees. The professor apparently made some really interesting points, including comparing the desired results and side effects of taking medication daily to help with feelings of depression versus the desired results and side effects of exercising consistently. From what I understand, she wasn’t suggesting that everyone who has a diagnosed mental illness stop taking their pills and just exercise more. I get that it is not that simple. But I found the comparison fascinating, as I know that when I exercise regularly it helps my mind as much or more than it benefits my body. There does seem to be a direct correlation between my mood/stability and whether I am exercising often.

The common thread, between what my parents shared, Justine’s and Mel’s blog entries and the premise of the paper I wrote in college, that I have been chewing on is that we don’t always have to feel happy to be mentally healthy and well-adjusted people, but our society perpetuates that myth, which contributes to depression and helps the pharmaceutical companies to stay in business.

I do believe that it is okay to not always feel happy and there isn’t necessarily something wrong with us if we allow ourselves to experience the wide range of our emotions, as Mel talked about in her post. As a bereaved and blessed mother this resonates with me because I will never “get over” the death of our baby girl Molly, so grief will always be a part of my wide range of emotions, along with so many others, including immense gratitude for my husband Bob and our living children Sean and Abby.

That said, as I shared in the comment section of my post, in answer to Deborah’s inquiry about if I knew of any place like what I wrote about exists today:

Not long after I wrote this (in 1994) I found out about and eventually got to work at a residential summer camp in NW Illinois that catered to senior citizens for two sessions every year (the first and last weeks of our summer camp season)! Unfortunately that particular camp has since closed, but I would imagine it wasn’t the only one of its kind and am interested to know if there are others that exist in our country or somewhere else in the world.

I loved the two summers that I worked at Camp Algonquin in Algonquin, Illinois (in 1995 and 1996) and the senior citizens who attended the camp, many of whom were low-income and this was their only vacation (a getaway from their modest homes in the inner city of Chicago), were most definitely young at heart. I can still vividly picture some of my favorite senior campers, especially one of the gentleman who loved to dance and joke around with my fellow counselors and me.

I did an online search to try to find out if there are any summer camps for senior citizens currently in existence. I found two accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA):

Clemson University Outdoor Lab – Camp Again in Clemson, South Carolina (October 14 – 18, 2013)

This delightful program for active older adults is held each fall at the Outdoor Lab. Our beautiful location on Lake Hartwell provides the backdrop for a fun-filled and educational experience for the young-at-heart adventurer!

Lake Louise – R3 – Refresh, Renew, Rejoice in Boyne Falls, Michigan (August 9 – 11, 2013)

Refresh, Renew, Rejoice is a spiritual formation retreat for adults that includes relaxation, recreation, learning, reflection, and worship. Step back to enjoy God’s creation and God’s people through Bible studies, mission speakers, music, and fellowship. Speaker Rev. Dave Gladstone will explore “Living the Questions”.

I imagine there may be more in existence that are not accredited by the ACA, but having co-chaired the re-accreditation committee for summer day camps at a park district that I worked at many years ago, I know how important accreditation is for a safely run and well-organized camp program.

I do know that there are many family camps that exist, including at YMCA Camp Echo, the residential summer camp that I attended, in Fremont, Michigan, for many years when I was a kid and went on to work at as a teenager. I hope to bring my family there someday to get a taste of the simple pleasures I experienced there back in the day.

Though these days I believe that being young at heart has more to do with our mindset than with being able to get away for a vacation, whether that is to a summer camp or somewhere else. I still appreciate what summer camp can do for a person’s mind, body and spirit of any age as I talked about in my paper.

Thank you for reading and for doing the Time Warp with me this month! I look forward to your feedback about this post, as well as reading and commenting on all of yours.

Please feel free to comment even if you didn’t write your own Time Warp Tuesday post. It is not too late to participate if you are interested, click here for the details.

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The topic for the next Time Warp Tuesday (on March 12th) is: Luck

March is a month that includes St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, especially in the “South Side Irish” neighborhood where my family lives here in Chicago. The symbols associated with the holiday, including shamrocks and leprechauns, are often thought of as lucky. Choose a post from your archives in which you wrote about your experience with or perspective on luck. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since.

Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might need some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:

Why did you pick this post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing your post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote your original post?

Note: If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.

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For those new to Time Warp Tuesday, here is a quick recap of how it works:

1) Browse through your old blog entries to find one that fits the topic for the given month. The topic is shared at the end of the previous month’s “Time Warp Tuesday” post here on my blog (see above for next week’s topic).

2) Write a new blog post in which you introduce, link to and then reflect on your journey since you wrote the older blog post and put it up on your blog on Tuesday. Please include this link http://bereavedandblessed.com/projects-regular-series/time-warp-tuesdays/ in your blog entry, so your readers can find their way to my post with the list of other participants, in case they would like to read more or participate themselves.

3) Share the link to your new post here on Tuesday and then visit, read and comment on the other blogs.

4) After you have done all of these things, you are welcome to grab the code for the Time Warp Tuesday button by clicking here and put it on your blog. The link will take you to a Google Doc where you can copy the code. If your browser does not allow access to your computer’s clipboard, you can use Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste, or use your browser’s Edit menu.

5) Check back here on the 2nd Tuesday of the month to find out the new topic, theme or question for the next Time Warp Tuesday (I welcome your ideas and suggestions) and then return to Step 1 of this recap to participate. Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you back here next month: Tuesday, March 12th (the 2nd Tuesday of the month), when we’ll “do the time warp again!”

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Thank you again for reading, commenting and participating in my Time Warp Tuesday blog hop. Link up below and click through to visit others who are doing the Time Warp! (If you have any trouble with Linky Tools, please share the link to your blog entry in the comment section. Also, please don’t forget to comment on my post here, as I do not have a link to this (my own) post below, but I would still really appreciate your feedback. xoxo


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hilary February 12, 2013 at 5:51 am

I never heard of adult camps… they sound amazing… I can see why the memories fill your heart!
Hilary recently posted..Recovery Room No More….My Profile

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2 Lori Lavender Luz February 12, 2013 at 1:50 pm

It’s an important point you make: that to be happy isn’t the same as being well-adjusted.

No wonder you liked my recent post about the Y! Someone asked about it so I replied with a comment: find your own Y camp: http://www.ymca.net/find-a-y-camp/

Besides the exercise, I think being in Nature can be so healing, for the body, the emotions, the spirit. Great post, Kathy!
Lori Lavender Luz recently posted..Core, courage, heartMy Profile

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3 Justine February 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Oh … and I didn’t do the TWT this month, either. 🙁 Thanks for the shout-out, though!

It’s funny … since that whole happiness jar post, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I’m happy enough … and while I think that we really ought not to buy into the “culture of happiness” a la Pinterest, I agree with you that it’s important to have a barometer of our adjustment, our coping mechanisms. And that young at heart isn’t necessarily “happy” in the way that our culture perceives happiness, but able to handle the curve balls that life throws at us. I suspect that kind of support is welcome even in old age, among people who have been at the practice for quite some time. Lots to think about here!
Justine recently posted..More Greens, Served Cold: Envy, Energy, and Arugula and Pear Salad with Maple DressingMy Profile

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4 Viola Saldanha February 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Kathy, you’re right, age is in the mind, especially in the present times and I also agree we don’t always have to feel happy to be mentally healthy and well-adjusted people,

That reminds me, I too have to do some ground work and check out for some fun places this part of the world for elders.

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