Awhile back, to counteract the horror of growing old, I decided that each big year--those ending in zero or five--would be marked by a Big Event. For my last zero, I ran my first marathon. For the five, I backpacked the Overland Track in Tasmania.
I could wait five years back then because my life was a daily adventure. On any given day I was kayaking along the Alaskan coast, flying in a floatplane over untracked mountains, or fighting fires in some remote mountain range. Each day was an intoxicating dose of adrenaline and beauty, organized terror and breathlessness.
|A day on the job as a kayak ranger|
|The helibase at Yellowstone|
|Look, there's my ride!|
Now those people reading this who are lucky enough to hold down an adventurous job or who somehow don't need to work won't get this. But my fellow computer punchers will. Most of us are not the faceless softies you may envision. We labor on because our eyes are on the prize. In my case, my plan is to retire outrageously early. So I work on, and think up Big Years.
This Big Year is hiking 230 miles plus change on the spine of the Sierras. Yes, we got our JMT permit, through a semi-back door route that adds on a few miles, but who is counting? Yes, the trail is well-trodden, definitely not a slog through the jungles of New Guinea. But who cares? It's my Big Year. And next year? There are some ideas in the hopper. That is the beauty of a Big Year. It doesn't have to conform to any rules. It doesn't even have to be a trip. It could be finishing a novel. It could be getting married. (Wait. I've done both of those.) It just has to be something spectacular in your own mind, something that gets you through the rest of the year.
In the meantime I will work on finding the adventure in little things.
Anyone else have Big Years? What are they?