It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of extraordinary acting, it was the age of annoying summer tourists, it was the epoch of ensuing hilarity, it was the epoch of exhaustion, it was the season of delicious food and eating out, it was the season of stress eating and delirious spending, it was the spring of enormous creativity, it was the winter that was coming on HBO...
A week prior to the our performance, I decided to NOT do the dishes, NOT clean the house and NOT do the laundry... and to INSTEAD... hike up to Cutthroat Pass.
Why not? Being on my feet at the bakery, late nights and early mornings, an entire two months of stress eating, probably an extra 10-15 pounds, why not hike 11 miles up a mountain?
For this picture alone, it would have been TOTALLY worth it.
:) :) :)
Man, this dog loves mud puddles.
It is utterly important that I get outside on a regular basis and connect with nature. Because when I am tired? FORGET ABOUT IT. I hate life, I hate people and I hate myself.
When I am in my mind, I am stressed about work, money, my relationships and I have a to-do list of 12,000 things that can never, could never get done. I demand of myself success in every avenue of my life-- from spirituality ("Be more loving and zen, damn it!) to a cultural success (which is a rather difficult scenario to dream up in a town of 200 where I can't even get internet). But mostly... That whatever I'm 'supposed to do,' the great reason of the gods that I was born and put on this planet, ...I am doing. I've got goals set and I'm in alignment with it. Like a great cosmic hokey pokey Panini press I put myself into.
(SIDENOTE: This is Cutthroat Lake. It kind of reminds me of the movie 'It' when Ben sees his dad in the swamp water and he turns into Pennywise. Otherwise, it's super pretty!)
When I am out in nature, all those thoughts fade away. They seem so ridiculously unimportant. My thoughts drift from making dinner to 'just take one more step'... 'just breathe this air'...'people really mountain bike this shit!?'
There is something that quickly grounds me and screams:
This is who you are.
This is what matters.
All that is important is this moment.
Tired. Exhausted. Overweight. Thirsty. Happy.
And after I've had those moments to just be, my real self begins to resonate and remembers what I love about my life, people and myself.
I connect with the inspired people that have hiked these mountains...
The John Muirs, The Kerouacs, The Cheryl Strayeds...
I begin to ponder what I really want my life to look like.
And I realize I already have it.
How often have I said I'd love to make a living doing something creative?
The bakery allows me a lot of creativity.
How often have I said I would love to live in the mountains and live off the fat of the land?
I live as close to the mountains as you can get and have a garden.
I want to live someplace beautiful where I can just be silent.
I want to be able to travel.
I live in a tourist town whose ebb and flow of guests give us a slower November and a muddy rain season in March & April, perfect for travel. My boss also encourages time off & travel, especially when it comes to workaholics like me.
If I had cultural success, won the lotto, or came up with that million dollar idea, what would I want my life to look like? I'd want exactly the life I have. So why the h-e-double-hockey-hell am I putting so much pressure on myself to 'succeed' at God know what and to constantly seek that 'thing' I'm supposed to be striving for?
"You big idiot!" -the movie 'Nebraska'
So my point is...
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. YOU MIGHT BE TOO DUMB TO KNOW THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE IT.
Now I must stop for a moment to recognize a very important personal triumph. The only other time I have ever hiked Cutthroat, was with my aunt & uncle and two cousins. At this very spot, two years ago...
...I ate... I ate...
...A TUNA FISH SANDWICH.
My aunt made it. It was a curried tuna fish sandwich. I was terribly hungry and I ate it.
Let it be known:
I AM FEARLESS.
This time I brought peanut butter covered pretzels.
In my own life, it's only in real gratitude for what I currently that I'm able to truly dream and manifest something bigger. I thought the only thing greater than what I already have is to be independently wealthy doing something creative. Hey man, I love sleeping in...
And it occurred to me, in a huge revelation of fire and lightening bolts, which is ALWAYS some ridiculous form of common sense... That if I want to make a living doing something creative, I should probably... you know...
After our 11 mile hike, even Sadie was tired.
We went back down the way we came up.
And I left feeling full in heart & spirit...
(though my feet & ego were a bit bruised!)
... with a hopeful determination to finish something.
But first? A nap. ;)
And Game of Thrones on my honey's big screen.
Because a little balance never killed anybody.
(And winter is coming).
To the mad ones...