Inspiration, mental health

DO HARD THINGS

So, I did a hard thing recently: I left my kids for a week and backpacked over 25 miles in 4 days around the Pacific Northwest in Olympic National Park. None of that was easy. There were seemingly a million things in the way of me leaving:

  • The kids got shigella (parasite, sick, ew) and I missed two weeks of work, three weeks before the trip which took a toll on my work, my finances, my sanity, etc
  • I have a connective tissue disorder (just think really wobbly joints) and I’m not “supposed” to do that kind of strenuous exercise
  • There were two mass shootings in the 12 hours prior to our flight, I did not want to get on that plane
  • I have food allergies that make it really difficult to eat when traveling….much less when backpacking!
  • Due to the kids’ illness, I hadn’t been conditioning like I should have been…

I’ll just pause there, on top of all the normal stress of traveling, there were a lot of things that made it seem “too hard” to follow through on this trip. And yet, I went. There were times that I was SO tired (oddly, sleeping by a rushing river kept me awake!) and SO sore (I mean…so many miles with 30lbs on my back), and yet I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

The visual rewards were my favorite, it was impossible NOT to stay present with all that my eyes were taking in. I found that the solitude from social media and texting were a refreshing reset on my priorities. I’d encourage you to fast periodically from electronics to get clarity on what you really want to focus on, not on what your notifications tell you to focus on! Time away from your kids (or family) is also difficult (to be honest, this was my biggest struggle!) but I reminded myself that I want them to be strong independent women, and for that to happen, I need to model being a strong independent woman to them!

Please enjoy some of the peaceful moments I captured!

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Finding and developing a passion

 

I have recently been reminded of how important it is to find, develop, and have a passion in your life.  My winter passion is quilting and sewing.  I very much enjoy the process of finding a pattern, seeking the perfect fabric, and putting the product together.  It becomes quite therapeutic.  This may seem like an antiquated hobby; however I liken it to carpenters building furniture.  The resulting quilt or garments are incredibly rewarding.

As I reflected on my own passions, I remembered several others: hiking, painting, crafting, gardening and reading to name a few.  What are special to me about passions are feelings you get during the process: lost sense of time, pride, joy, accomplishment, and serenity.   The things you are passionate about will leave you feeling full and motivated as opposed to lazy and worthless.  For me a contrast would be how I feel after watching television…I tend to feel tired, lazy, and unproductive.  Those are not feelings I want to have!

What do you enjoy? What can you do to discover new passions or rekindle past ones?  What have you secretly always wanted to try?

Employ your friends, purchase discounted classes or events on-line, think back to things you’ve enjoyed and take steps toward them.   No one cares how often you do it or how much it costs except you.  This is for you.  It’s time you make time for you. 

 

 

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Flying Ace Snoopy Quilt, 2012

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Backpacking, 2013