Reflections on Mighty things

Dude. I totally don’t even know where to start.


Friends have asked endlessly about my Camp Mighty trip. Did I have fun? What was it like? Was it worth the money? What did we do there? It’s soooo hard to articulate. All these feelings that make me feel things. And think things.

I came back to Oklahoma City a little heavier. A lot heavier, actually. Literally and figuratively. I blame carbohydrates and feelings.  It was a bit of a surprise since I had assumed I’d come back ready to light bare earth on fire and scale tall buildings in a single bound. It wasn’t like that. I came back changed. Introspective. I’m still thinking about it all.

I've got 5 things to #nail. #campmighty #gobing

I’ve got my 5 things to work on for 2013. One or two of them are cheater-type items. I want earn all five of those rings and there’s no better way to sabotage that than to add something to the list like, “Lose 50 pounds and run a double marathon” because I tend to shoot for the moon then instead of landing in the stars, I land in self hate and haunting failure. Instead, I shared a collection of slightly to very realistic things. They weren’t super ambitious but I knew that completing those items will bring me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

  1. Read The Hobbit out loud to the kids.
  2. Attend BlogHer Food.
  3. Present a talk at IgniteOKC.
  4. Establish a Sunday night social at our house.
  5. Transform our bedroom from a gigantic dirty clothes hamper into a beautifully appointed, Pinterest-worthy retreat despite the super-wonky layout.

I was talking with my friend Katarina Charm yesterday about camp and tried to distill the experience into as simple, honest bits that I could. I told her that almost all of the speakers were fantastic and inspiring. I met amazing women and forged friendships. I have continued to forge friendships on Twitter and through blogs as us campers get home and start seeking ways to stay connected (which is super cool…it’s like an extra camp!).

But the heaviness I first mentioned is the continued reminder I’m getting from the universe that I am not doing enough for myself. I was in crisis a few months ago and, eventually, marched my sweet self back into therapy to unpack all these bags, purge and reorganize. One of the most memorable moments was my therapist handing me an article he’d copied out of a magazine. It was about how people need to work on themselves instead of constantly trying to help or fix or figure out everyone around them. I didn’t even read it until later in the evening but I think I giggled. Yep. That’s me.

I returned from camp with a LOT of ideas on what I want to do, though they aren’t all doable for now. What I can do is work on myself. Find ways to be kind and give back to me. This isn’t entirely Camp Mighty induced but I did discover things to help me along the way.

I told KC, “I need to write. I need to make things. I need a space of my own.” Blogging helps me write and hopefully I’ll soon get back into writing articles. I started an inspiration board on Pinterest and am commandeering our sitting room into a Sheri retreat. The personal space, I think, is crucial and something I hadn’t given much thought to until I heard Margaret Stewart talk about her space. Then I was all, “Yeah! I need a space!”

Making the space won’t remove this heaviness, but it’s a start. The room will at least be pulling quintuple duty as it will be part writing den, banjo workshop, crafting corner, yoga studio and place-where-I-can-hang-that’s-nice-n-far-from-the-kitchen. And I can decorate it.

More on camp another time. (Yes, really…I’m still not done.)


What is Camp Mighty? These are the basics.

My travel mates and I and I arrived at our hotel after dark (which is anytime after 4:45 in Palm Springs) and found our rooms. I noticed that my roommate had already arrived (her gear was there brushed was not) and that the room was hipster paradise.

*photo from Ace Hotel’s website

The whole dang hotel was hipster paradise.



The Ace Hotel is a mid-century, modern rustic hotel was converted from a retired Howard Johnson and an adjacent Denny’s. It is impossibly cool from top to bottom, inside and out. The Ace Hotel makes you feel cool like a rock star. It’s the perfect setting for Camp Mighty as you may need to pretend you’re a rock star and really good at everything to hang in a room brimming with (mostly) women who are rock stars and really good at everything. Bloggers, business women and/or badasses stacked to the rafters.

The first night brought a welcome party with nerdy pizza and salad. Team Mighty gave us a little ice-breaking Life List Bingo game to play. And open bar…which went a long way to making sure the evening was epic. It was totally epic. I think. It’s all a bit hazy. I do remember it ending in a nice, drunken soak in the Ace Hotel hot tub.

Good morning!

The next morning we gathered on the sunny, crisp patio for breakfast and more conversation. This patio was packed to the gills with beautiful, fashionable women of all sizes and ages. And styles. There was SO MUCH STYLE, y’all. It was like stepping into a live-in-person Mighty Closet on shuffle. Then we headed to the Commune to #gomighty and #gobing our faces off for two days.


The speakers delivered messages of confidence, overcoming adversity (whether that be external or internal), perseverance, personal bravery, risk taking, and all sorts of other things to get us inspired. Afternoons contained workshops and I even got to do a craft! The camp contained TWO Sheri’s, both with one R. The other one wrote a great post on Maggie Mason’s talk. Camp also contained lots of lovely ladies (and a smattering of men) with whom I had not only a good time but also forged friendships. And thank heavens for Twitter so that we can have some regular contact and interaction. I’m eager to see where we all are a year from now (besides, you know, at camp).

In the evenings there were social functions. The final evening was a nice, sit-down catered dinner with endless wine and endless conversation. The evening before, Friday night, was Space Camp. Oh, Space Camp…you were a good time.

And we danced. #campmighty #gobing

Festive decor, Tangtinis and dancing happend. So, so much dancing.

Dancing! #campmighty #gobing

And an animated gif photo booth. Because when there’s a Space Camp party, still images just won’t do.

The next camp post will be more specific and full of feeeeelings. Lots and lots of feelings. You’ve been warned.


Yesterday I jumped on a plane BY MYSELF like a TOTAL GROWN UP to head to Palm Springs for Camp Mighty. Can we have a moment for that sentence?

Flight #1 to Dallas was just like every other of the dozens of flights to Dallas I’ve taken. Ascend then descend. Over before it starts. I had *just* enough time to leave the plane, grab a sandwich and head to my gate to await boarding for flight #2.

So, there I was. Grabbed a sad looking hummus wrap and water from Starbucks then headed to the gate area to scarf it down in a certain level of shame that comes when you’re eating a Starbucks food product, which is about 2 steps above pushing 8 quarters into a vending machine for a cheese sandwich. I glance to my left and right to see if anyone is judging my hummus wrap, then slowly unsheath it from its crinkly packaging. I take a bite and realize there’s no hummus in this delightful ‘meal’ from the nation’s leading legal drug dealer. Oh well. I don’t have time to dispute the sadness in my mouth and at least the dang thing has pesto and gobs of arugula.

I tuck into another bite and look across the aisle where I’m sitting in the airport lounge. Not two feet from me, engrossed in a book on a tablet, is Jenny Lawson.

I texted the three closest friends who know who she is and said, “Holy shit. I just sat down to wait for my plane & Jenny Lawson is sitting across from me. #panic”

In return I got:

“Say hi!!! OMG”

“Go. Talk. To. Her.”

“Stfu!! Tell her you’re our friends! You have a shared love of dr pants ;)”

“And… She has a severe panic disorder, so she is way more panicky than you.”

Those last two are from a woman for whom I’d had a similar reaction 3 years ago.

“OMG. K.C. Clifford just called me ON THE PHONE to ask my advice…” It was sort of a full circle moment for me.

I snarfed down the rest of my lettuce sandwich while sneaking glances of The Bloggess and digging up some courage to say hi. Or anything. Our flight would board any minute and I would miss this chance to say hello to a woman who I greatly admire.

Finally, I looked up long enough to catch her eye. Probably like a creeper. And said, “Hi!” while I’m sure she thought, “Shit. This nice lady seems to know me and fuck all if I know her name.” My opening line was i m p o s s i b l y awkward. I know I said something about Camp Mighty. And something about having mutual friends. And that my friend played in her bathroom earlier this year. All the while she’s probably having that moment in her head of “Oh shit, where’s my pepper spray?”

The painful awkwardness was rescued by an overhead announcement that our flight was delayed. We chatted for a few minutes and in the middle of convo I got this text from a Team member with whom I was planning to share cab at the Palm Springs airport:

“Hi, ladies! I am stuck in Texas right now. Something about the de-icer on the plane. Maintenance will tell us if we can go anyway. ?!?!?! I’m trying not to think about that. Anyway, I will let you know but I might be late getting to PS. You might have to carry on to the hotel w/ out me. See you there. Eventually.

On the bright side, Jenny Lawson is also on my flight. Maybe I can taxi with her. LOL!”

We quickly realized that Anne Marie was literally sitting behind me. And once where there were two strangers chatting in an airport lounge, there were now three. And three is a party.

Good thing. Because, in the end, our flight was delayed for over three hours, including a false start in which half of the flight boarded before realizing that the repair to the plane uncovered another issue that put the plane out of commission. The three of us Mighty campers hung out and chatted for a few hours. We lamented many times at the frustration that the flight was delayed in 1/2 hour increments so we never knew if we had time for a beer.

Or maybe that was just me. I forget.

All I know for sure (besides how nice Jenny and Anne Marie are) is that when American Airlines derails your afternoon, there’s free wine and warm nuts on your plane.



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