With rare exception, the 23rd of May has generally found me away on vacation. I could probably count on one hand, with fingers to spare, the number of times I’ve been at home on this date in the past 28 years.
My anniversary. An event we decided 27 years ago to continue to recognize as “us time”, regardless of what else was happening in our lives.
For the first 25 years, our trips generally found us on an exotic beach, sipping tasty frozen concoctions, and doing a whole lot of nothing. Occasionally we would mix things up, seeking something a bit more culturally stimulating, with trips to various European locales.
2 years ago, having made a commitment to leading a healthier and more active life, I started to plan vacations around the physical adventures my body had grown to crave.
Anniversary #26 involved climbing the 2nd highest mountain in Southern California, Mt. San Jacinto.
Having to one-up myself, #27 last year saw us hiking The Bright Angel Trail. You all remember that one, don’t you? We hiked from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, down to the Colorado River and back. And my profanity-drenched YouTube video captured the event in all it’s painful glory.
May 23, 2015 loomed ahead of me in flashing neon: IT’S YOUR ANNIVERSARY! YOU NEED TO PLAN SOMETHING! YOU NEED TO GO SOMEWHERE!
In a perfect world, absolutely, giddy up. I’d be all over it. I already had a list of 10 places, with challenging hikes, fully planned.
But sometimes the universe has other ideas.
I spent much of the month of April in a cage match with my killer gallbladder. Work took the brunt of that battle. Could I have taken vacation? Yes. Would I have felt good about it? Nope.
So, May 23rd rolled around, and I found myself at home.
I felt a twinge of sadness that I couldn’t do something grand that day. Pouting seemed a shitty way to spend my anniversary, so I laced up my hiking shoes and took my husband of 28 years to the forest.
Turns out, life is pretty grand, after all.
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from. ~ Seth Godin
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. ~John Muir
I’m always astonished by a forest. It makes me realise that the fantasy of nature is much larger than my own fantasy. I still have things to learn. ~Gunter Grass
But I’ll tell you what hermits realize. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected with everything. ~Alan Watts