For me, the funniest and most telling aspect of this weekend was being told rather unceremoniously but unsurprisingly that there was another group renting the group campground at Beacon Rock in about ten minutes and that it was time to go. And why was I so late? Well, after doing most of my packing I ended up spending a large amount of the day trying to avoid the sun–I still ended up sunburned, sadly–and having some enjoyable conversations with a few people. This is something that tends to be a rather consistent trend in my life. Yes, I tend to linger too long at places, and yes I tend to socialize and have conversations and minutes become hours, and being nearly entirely packed at around 10AM when one has to be out of a place by one means leaving at 1:10 or 1:15 in a mad rush after being reminded that one has overstayed one’s welcome. This is not a new issue, and clearly I have overstayed my welcome in some spectacular ways before , but this weekend was good in reminding of how and why it happens, largely because it is as natural as breathing for me to plop myself in a seat and talk with others for hours on anything that comes up. And as long as that is the case, I will socialize long past the time when most people would be heading for the exits.
Let us not assume that I am the only person with this sort of problem, though. Delays from overstaying one’s welcome came with the territory today, and indeed, this weekend as a whole, in a variety of different ways. Some examples should suffice. Last night I was part of a group playing pinochle, although admittedly I was not playing particularly well. After getting a late start, we played well after the quiet time had begun, and naturally I did not have an easy time finding my quiet indoors voice, seeing as even my indoors voice can be pretty loud. Then there was the matter of finding my way back to the tent by the light of a flashlight, which was not the easiest thing as well to do. A lot of people got lost in the process as we were stumbling around in the dark, and we socialized far longer than we had planned when it came to some of the activities throughout the weekend, whether that meant getting up early on the Sabbath, staying up late and chatting some nights without showing concern for those trying to sleep around us, or giving a friendly self-critique on our sermonette messages as part of a learning experience .
Overall, the weekend was highly enjoyable. The fellowship was lovely, the food was good, the campground was sited in a beautiful area–those who went down to the lake to swim or climbed Beacon Rock enjoyed themselves. The four-sermonette format was an enjoyable one for both the speakers and, from what I was told, for the listeners as well. The company was enjoyable and pleasant. This is not to say that everything worked perfectly but that I would be happy to do it again when it is planned next year. The thing that did not work well at all, as a matter of fact, was the showers. There is nothing like wasting your money on janky showers that don’t work, but if that is the most annoying thing that one has to deal with, that is not bad at all. It was a pleasant weekend, full of opportunities for enjoyable reading and pleasant conversation and good food as well as games, and I could have enjoyed more had I not been particularly tired on my first evening.
Of course, there was a good reason I was tired on the first evening. I had worked five ten hour days during the week to cover for a co-worker, doing reports that are out of my usual workload, and then driving to an unfamiliar campground as sunset approached. That is usually a recipe for feeling tired, and so it was perhaps unsurprising that after having a late and large dinner that I read for a bit and then fell asleep even with all of the chatter that was going on around me. It is not when I talk a lot that people tend to notice that I’m tired, but rather my quietness is often a sign for the perceptive that something is going wrong, even if that something is merely being exhausted and wanting to sleep. Of course, wanting to sleep and getting good sleep are entirely different matters, as I and many others know all too well in life. Sometimes sleep flees from us, no matter how diligently we search after it and long for it, as we overstay our welcome in the world of the living and awake lost in our own cares and busy in our own business.
 See, for example: