clarity, peace and joy

Last week was a challenge. I found myself being pulled in many directions, by competing priorities, and a desire to do it all.

In a previous life I would not only have succumbed to feelings of helplessness and anxiety, but I would have embraced them. I wore my stress as a badge of honour.

People would either respect me for taking on so much, or feel sorry for me having to deal with that much, or both. And I fed off that.

This is hard for me to admit.

More than anything else, last week served as a test to see if I would fall into my psyche of old, or if I have truly grown and evolved away from that person.

I faced a series of choices, with one non-negotiable: I was determined to be fully present with my family. Work is now a reality for me, but I am lucky that because I’m still in on-ramp mode my current workload is not very taxing.

This certainly helped me to focus on my top priority: Soaking in every minute with our houseguests: my son and his girlfriend.

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Can you blame me? How cute are these two???

Did we do everything on my sight-seeing wish-list? No.

Would this have stressed me out beyond belief a year ago? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Did it stress me out last week? No.




I took it in stride when they decided they’d rather shop than see sights. Okay, I get it — the deals are waaaaaay better in the U.S. And they are starving university students.

I even laughed it off when our plans to spend the final day of their visit hiking in Red Rock Canyon were derailed by a couple of Olympic-quality hangovers thanks to their solo night on the town the day before.

A lovely drive through the area would have to suffice. And it did.

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Aww, poor Nick. Free drinks were his undoing. 🙂

I am so grateful for last week. Not just because it showed me how far I’ve come, but also because it caused me to reflect on why I am now able to just…


I think that all my time spent in nature has a lot to do with it. Maybe it’s the act of exercising, but I suspect it’s the combination of pushing myself physically, while being out in nature’s beautiful and humbling gym.

I love how hiking forces me to get out of my own head; how it enables an almost meditation-like state.

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In those moments when it’s just me and the mountain, all things are possible.

And I don’t question how it is that I’ve come so far. It just makes sense.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Albert Einstein

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy


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30 thoughts on “clarity, peace and joy

    • Just call me Madam Zen… 🙂

      And, absolutely, that was the point — but it’s amazing how that point was lost on me in times past. Perfection and ticking off every single box took priority over the thing that was “the point”. Glad to have made progress in this area.

  1. That is an amazing gym, so much to be learned just by being outside…it breaks us out of our egocentric bubble. I need to take advantage of the beautiful beach I live near. Love the hat!! And nice job taking it’s advice 😉 xo

    • I first saw the saying on a t-shirt worn by a young guy passing me on the street a couple of months ago. I nearly wet myself laughing. 🙂

      Nature’s gym is great for many reasons, not the least of which is how humbling it is to realize that you are so tiny…so insignificant…in the grand scheme of things. To your point, it forces us out of the egocentric world we live in. It’s not all about me after all. 😉

    • That’s exactly it, Kate — perfect and pre-planned need not be the only measures of success. It has taken me a loooong time to get to that realization, but I’m so glad I did!

  2. Yay! congratulations! I agree that it is a combination of being out in nature a lot AND exercise. Both are a winning combination….oh, and through in a little wisdom as we age and you’re set! Have an awesome week! ~Kathy

    • It really is a gorgeous place, and just 10-15 minutes from my home. When people ask why I bought a place in Vegas, I try to explain it’s not all about The Strip. Most people don’t even realize their completely surrounded by mountains on all four sides when they visit.

      I’m very lucky to have so much natural beauty all around me. It makes for a great gym (and personal therapist!).

  3. It’s nice when we can be more at peace with our expectations. It used to be when I traveled, I had to know where everything was and be sure to see it all. Now I go with the flow. And guess what? Even if I only see a quarter of the things, I enjoy myself just as much–if not more–and the memories stay with me better. I’m far from zen in all areas of my life, but I’m much better about saying “Eh” to the things that aren’t life or death. Which are most things, thankfully.

  4. Pingback: Tuning In | eat less sugar you're sweet enough

  5. You wrote “People would either respect me for taking on so much, or feel sorry for me having to deal with that much, or both. And I fed off that.” You could have written about me a few years ago. I’m so happy to see how you’ve grown and how you’re handling it. Little proud of myself too, but I’m a “too late bloomer” in that respect 🙂

  6. LOVE this post! And this:

    “In a previous life I would not only have succumbed to feelings of helplessness and anxiety, but I would have embraced them. I wore my stress as a badge of honour.

    People would either respect me for taking on so much, or feel sorry for me having to deal with that much, or both. And I fed off that.”

    This was also ME. I really get this. Well done on all that you’ve achieved in changing it. I’m sure that you agree that life is SO MUCH EASIER this way. It takes effort but it’s totally better. Go you!

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