Sunday, December 4, 2016

Unplanning

I'm a planner. I'm not as much of a planner as some of my hiking buddies are. I don't plan ahead on how many liters to carry from each water source or where I will camp every night. But I do like to have a basic plan in place. Unlike the guy we met on the PCT last year, who cheerfully admitted to "winging it" (and thus accepted our gift of Wing It as a trail name), I like to have a general idea of what my life will look like a few months down the road. I think this springs from being a seasonal park ranger for years. We boomeranged across the country every few months, enroute to a new bunkhouse, never certain exactly where we would end up. It was fun, but definitely had an expiration date.

So since I now have no idea where I will be living in six months, I can drive myself crazy with Zillow in selected cities, gazing in terror at a house I might have to sell, or backing away from obligations. That's not a good path to take. I am practicing living in the moment. It's not an easy thing for a planner.

Fortunately, winter arrived, bringing with it activities I had not done in a long time. I met T slogging up the ski track I had laboriously punched in after we got a foot of snow today. "I forgot how to ski," she moaned. I feel the same way. It is always learning things over again.

 One day I snowshoed up to the politically incorrectly named Papoose Lake, carrying my skates in a backpack. Though a few inches of snow covered the "lake", the skating was fine! A multi-sport day is just the thing to remind you to stay in the moment.
Okay, so it is more of a pond, with a few obstacles.
 Another thing that helps is to have a puppy. Dogs truly live in the moment. They don't ponder the possibility of life changes. They are just happy to experience what is going on now.
Ruby is six months now and getting very dark. I tell her not to get any darker! But it is interesting to see what she is becoming.
I was deliberately vague in the last post about why we are going to move. It is a result of the declining budget for the land management agencies--apparently people are recreating even more but Congress does not recognize that fact. I will extend the same invitation I have for years: President Trump, come backpacking with me for a week. No cell service, and yes, you have to carry your own stuff. See how changed you are when you come out. Strangely, no presidents have taken me up on this. I wish they would. Not that I would really enjoy spending a week with a politician, but because I think they are so removed from nature that they really need to be reminded.

But I digress. I will continue to unplan as much as possible. A big snow dump? Grab the skis, even though I had been planning to hit the weights. My friends are going to the Grand Canyon after all? Maybe there's a way to meet up with them. Eat kibbles with abandon! Okay, maybe that is going a bit too far. But you know what I mean.

10 comments:

  1. Sorry Mary,
    I have always hated the fact that not enough money is spent by our goverment to fund and pay the very people that work to protect and insure our wilderness and public lands are kept safe for us and generations to come. Not enough profit for them I guess and I will not even begin to express my thoughts on our up coming administration, It just makes me sad. Wish there was something I could do or say, if there is please let me know.....

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    1. People need to start voting with this in mind. It's Congress that controls the funding that goes to our public lands. It amazes me when people who love being able to hunt, fish, etc on public lands vote for those who want to privatize them.

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  2. Your puppy is so cute! Sorry about the uncertainty in your life...that really sucks. Yeah, sadly it seems funding our public lands seems to always end up at the bottom of our government's priorities.

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    1. Ruby is just the most adorable, stubborn puppy ever! It's been good for me to have her. I am hoping not to have to leave the PNW.

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    2. Well, if you end up in the Northeast, I'll show you some nice trails.

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  3. I am sorry you are having to face such uncertainty right now! I do hope the journey through this uncertainty is not too much of a rough rocky road.

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    1. I am contemplating a migration to Canada. Then again, a lot of us are. And I doubt Canada wants us either.

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  4. Yikes! Hope things work out with you job. Especially reading how much you love your home.

    Tough not knowing. I guess we never really know what's gonna happen, but sometimes we can get away with the illusion of thinking we have a plan and know what's going to happen. I just keep telling myself that whatever happens, there will be more hiking. Just don't know what trails it'll be or for how long... but will get out no matter what.

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    1. That's a good attitude. Honestly it is just hard to unstick yourself after this long (7.5 years, longest I've lived anywhere). If it happens there will always be hiking and in new places (I hope. Fingers crossed it isn't one of the places I have seen that are hiring. New Orleans, just. No.

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