|They're all great people. No better on earth. But there's|
more to life than cold wilderness, I've heard. Mark Smiley photo.
My point here, though, is to acknowledge and embrace the slowed pace I've adopted this late fall. With all that mountain time other aspects of life have suffered. I've isolated from friends. I've neglected to make new ones. I've had precious little family time. I've been asked a couple times recently what my favorite part of guiding is. Unequivocally, the answer is "the people." All summer long I spend 2-4 days at a time in an inspiring environment with happy and motivated people. And I get paid for it. Between work binges, my friends want to go to the mountains too. Mountain time is social, its true. But it's different. We're dirty, out of breath, and facing hazards. We have agendas other than bonding and getting to know one another. I need some social time that isn't on the go. I need social time that isn't stressed by external factors.
|Ski touring in British Columbia's coast range. April 2013.|
I have basically no schedule. Some days I wake up at 4 am, some days (like today…) at 11am. Some days I wake up in my car, some in a tent, some on a friend's couch, and some in my own bed.
None of this is to complain. In fact, I couldn't be more happy. This has been one of the most accomplished and memorable years of my life. I live well. And I have the luxury of being able to tweak my schedule and priorities. I'm an adult, after all. I'm in control of my own path, and when everything says, "go easier on your body and spend more quality time with people", its an easy voice to heed. So, what am I doing?
|Indian Creek vista.|
I went to the Utah desert. In most cases, I feel isolated when traveling away from home. I miss parties, dinners, and impromptu encounters with friends. However, if anything, Indian Creek this year was more social than staying home in the Eastern Sierra would have been. I've already documented the nature of 'Creek socializing.
|Owens Valley running.|
I am being more social. Even in my new home town, the relatively-quiet-for-now, shoulder-season-deserted Mammoth Lakes, there is just enough action to keep me out of my shell and engaged in the scene. I'm talking with girls, bs'ing with dudes, and remaining up to date on the couple gossip. I have only attended one board game night, but I hear that's what all the cool kids are doing now. I even did yoga.
|Deer meat and dudes in the grungy Red Fir cabin. Mammoth Lakes, CA.|
|Timely FaceTime with laughing faces. Shooting the shit with Mom and Dad.|
There are times in life to live, and there are times in life to work. I'm in a "life work" phase here. Building connections and fitness and health. I am resting, recovering, and processing. I have comfortable patterns and habits. Some of these, regardless of how comfortable they are, need to change. I need to isolate less. I need to embrace commitment and maturity and what it is I want. I need to work towards what I want in deliberate and organic fashion. I need to structure my fitness and activity to better honor my body. And I'm on track.