There is a wisdom and art to aging gracefully. Perhaps it is my discovering this wisdom that keeps me coming back to the same themes as I sit down to write my blog. Getting outdoors, finding balance in life, and spring cleaning my mind.
Another beautiful Colorado weekend was at hand as well as an extra hour of sun light on Sunday compliments of the beginning of Day Light Savings Time. I had decided several weeks ago to make hiking a priority this summer and knew I needed to make time to spend several hours on a trail.
I had the day planned out in ensure I would have plenty of time to hike as well as plan for the upcoming work week. Well, I did have a plan. I ignored my alarm and barely made it to church by 10:00. I had a plan to head to Devil’s backbone outside of Loveland right after church but I ended up staying and having a much needed talk with my priest and friend, Father Brian, instead. Better late than never, I headed up to the hills about 1:30. When I arrived the parking lot to the trail head was full. Up to this point I had been going with the flow. This was my first flash of frustration for the day. Fortunately, A car left as I was was being turned away and I was allowed in at the last minute.
Running late and almost being turned away from my hike finally caught up with me. Somehow while enjoying the fresh air and sunshine my brain soon returned to the familiar habit of worrying. “Will I have time to go to the store? Should I try to pick up cat food? That’s an extra stop. I need to finish grades first thing tomorrow morning. Don’t forget to get the pictures from music classes approved so you can upload them to your music page. You have to talk to Steph about the showcase before you go back to Hudson. You only have two weeks to practice. ” Blah, blah blah.
Just as a realized my mind had slipped into overdrive worrying about very mundane things, a lady hiker smiled and said ” Do you see the herd of deer over there? I looked down into the valley and there was a herd of about 20 deer peacefully grazing. I had almost missed it. What else had I neglected to notice? I was in the foothills of the Rockies on a glorious day worried about picking up cat food. “Enough of this nonsense!” I thanked her as we watched the deer for a few moments before hiking off on our separate ways. The rest of the hike I enjoyed the beauty, exchanged pleasantries with dozens of hikers and runners, and embraced an afternoon of hiking and relaxation.
Once I realized what I was doing in my mind to sabotage my enjoyment of the day, I decided to shift my perspective.
- I overslept because I was exhausted and needed some sleep. I am more refreshed for it.
- I left church late because I chose to have a much needed conversation with a friend.
- A parking space opened up a just the right time. What good luck.
- I was open to the people around me on the trail showing me how to get back on track. I had lots of positive encounters with humanity today.
As I write this I can happily say I had a relaxing Sunday. I was able to clear my mind of negative thoughts and emotions, and get some much needed fresh air and exercise. I added a mile from my last hike ( 5 miles) and my knee feels great. In addition, I enjoyed an unplanned rest and and a much needed conversation with a friend. Going off plan actually gave me more than what I had planned for.
Perhaps a part of wisdom is not just knowing what is important in life but knowing how to adjust as things start to veer off course. Sometimes the unplanned twists and turns in the day work out better than what we had planned for ourselves.
As always, I would love to hear from you!
Have you ever had things veer off course just to find things not only work out but turn out even better than you expected?
Until next time,