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.
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.
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.
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