Descending from the Summit: Final Thoughts on Timpanogos.

While sitting on the top of the mountain I felt alive and accomplished, I had made it to the top and nothing had stopped me. I had worked through doubt, tired muscles, and a small bit of pain but I was her and nothing else mattered. We spent around 15 minutes on the summit before we began our journey back to the car. As many know the ascent is only half the journey, you have to make it back to the car and back home. So we began heading back down the mountain talking about the epic meal we were going to eat once we arrived back home. 

As we walked we passed people who were on their way up, they looked tired, with doubt in the eyes of some and a fire in the eyes of others. Had I looked that way? Could you see my discomfort on my face just an hour before as I trudged my way up to the summit? I believe so, because that was a challenge for me to complete. Yet, I had made it and now was on my way down so I was in better spirits trying to send encouragement and a smile to those going up because I felt that anyone could summit at this point. 

What is always interesting to me about any descent is how often I seem to slip or stumble. Sometimes it’s because my tired feet don’t move as they ought to be and other times I just don’t choose the best place to step. On the way down my friend and I both stumbled and slid about because the trail down seemed a bit more slippery than the trail on the way up. I have hope that others besides me experience this a little here and there. I also think that it makes the journey back to the car a bit more enjoyable or unpredictable for tired bodies and minds. 

Our dogs did extremely well on this hike, they kept going and never failed to find fun along the trail. They helped us to laugh when we needed it, and made friends all along the way with other hikers. Time spent outdoors is only enhanced by dogs and their personalities to me, ever since my dog started joining me on hikes my outdoor adventures have been more light hearted and cheerful despite the struggles. 

As you may have already guessed we made it back to the car in good spirits and grateful we had spent a few hours in the wilderness on a grand adventure. Our dogs too felt the relief when they climbed into the backseat and were sleeping in a few short minutes.

I learned that day that even if I am not always prepared to accomplish a task that I still have the ability to do that task in my own way and find success in doing so. We were not the fastest along our journey but we still made it to the summit and back to the car in good time. If you are not sure what you can accomplish pick a goal that stretches you a little outside of your comfort zone and go for it. Find your Timpanogos and summit it. 

Perception of a hard day.

Each of us perceives the world slightly different from the other, this is what causes our realities to be different. The good things some see in the world could be seen as just okay or not noteworthy by others. Stressful situations for some might be someone else’s comfort zone and so on. The way each of us perceive the world is what makes life unknown in ways because we never know what someone might do or say when experiencing a situation.

We can all admit that there are days when we struggle to see the good in anything. When work sucks, our car sucks, our relationships are bad, or life just isn’t great at that moment. These days happen to everyone and can happen anytime. Sometimes life is just unpredictable. There are a few ways to combat these days when our perception of the world around us is abnormally harsh.

Take a little personal time and write down everything that is poisoning your day. Just write it down, get those terrible feelings out of you as quickly as you can. Writing these things down can be difficult because you may not agree with what you are writing, you might feel torn between how you feel in the moment and how you feel in general. Feeling this way okay, its the process of writing the rough moments on paper that help you think through the reality of life at the time and move forward. Give it a try.

Another great option to help adjust your perspective on a challenging day is to talk it out with a friend while doing some type of activity. Perhaps a walk around your office just to vent, working on a puzzle, playing laser tag, hiking, throwing axes, or boxing could be the best way to talk it out and work the challenges out. I have tried all of the ideas I wrote above and they’ve helped me personally, just tailor your activity to you and see how that works for you.

Escape.

Have you ever needed a little time to escape? To have peace and quiet, just to disconnect from the world around you and just hear nature? As I mentioned last night I needed that time and space just to reset and breathe. It’s never easy to admit that we might be experiencing a little burnout, that has led to us being a little down for a period of time. I took the past month to escape a little and these are a few things I used to escape.

Reading has always been something I have tried to enjoy and use as an escape. I used a little time each day last month to read a few books, my favorite being “How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1: An Unorthodox Guide To 21st Century Success from the World’s #1 Fake Restaurateur and Paris Fashion Week’s #1 Fake Designer” by Oobah Butler. I have watched his videos online and felt I related to his style and sense of humor. His book was an easy read that helped me better understand how to stop bullsh*tting myself and to start being better at committing to ideas and finding success.

There are indeed times when I have thought that I have great ideas that are destined for success that have fallen flat on their faces because I let the doubts of others around me hold me back. That was something that had been grinding me down over the past months was the voices of others who didn’t see the whole vision I had and believed in. I let their doubts drown out my belief that things would go well on stormy seas.

Walking my dog without headphones in my ears sounds like a silly thing. I don’t really want to get to know my neighbors after all (wink, wink), nor do I want to hear the sounds of birds, horses, cows, and sheep. Just kidding, I love hearing all of those things along with the simple interactions with my neighbors. It’s just easy to plug in and be distant. This past month I just took my headphones out while e walked the dog and that changed things up, I was more connected to real life and all the goodness that is always surrounding me.

It really helped me out with feeling better about my day to day life, disconnect from the digital and live more in the physical. Living here and now can often be a great escape for some and indeed it has been a great escape for me. So take some time and read a book, any book will do. Take the chance on walking without your headphones in your ears and just listen to the present around you and soak up the big moments of today.

Act.

As a young sixth grade student in rural America, I wanted to be a part of the yearly school musical. In fact, little did I know I wanted to be a part of my middle schools first play / musical. I auditioned for and got the role of a cabinet member in the Annie musical. I had exactly one line and I performed that line near perfectly as I can remember. My acting career was off to a good start and a great finish as I have never acted again since that play.

I look back fondly on my time as a cast member in my school play. It was a simple goal to become an actor in a play and I took the steps to join the play and act. That’s the main message of tonight’s writing, think it and start to act. I have always enjoyed being a person who is known to act, to set their mind to something and get it done. These days one of the most important things that we can do is set a goal and get after it.

I was recently listening to a podcast that touched on the best thing we can do is take opportunities to learn a skill and act on that newly learned skill. That is the best way that we can learn mastery of the skill, just by doing it and seeing the outcome we can better learn the subject matter and improve the ability we have to reach the desired outcome we seek. Just by doing we can become masters of the skillsets we desire to have.

Once we feel competent in these skills we can then teach others how to do them and improve our skills as we go. The best way to learn and retain information is to teach others what you know and how to gain results, Whether that is creating a podcast, woodworking, or sewing a skill learned and shared is a benefit that comes around full circle.

Starting today, take the opportunity to act on your vision and get things done.

Detours.

Tonight on the drive home we took a different route than we normally do. We took a detour that was a little slower than the normal route up the interstate but it was something new that yielded the same outcome meaning we made it home. Life is filled with detours and alternate routes that can lead to the same destination you originally set out on. Many of us have been taught that there is only one ladder to success, there is only one path to follow and this is incorrect as there are many ways to reach the same destination.

I love going on road trips and finding the most unique way to reach the desired destination I had planned. These routes often have a random assortment of stops that can be educational, entertaining, and satisfying. Whenever we take a detour we take every opportunity that sounds entertaining without any debate we just say let’s give it a try and pull over. We’ve had some good, great, strange, and not repeatable experiences that have helped us tell better stories after our adventures are over.

Day to day life is very similar in the fact that we are always able to choose to take the opportunities that are presented to us potentially seeing a different route to success. What holds us back? Our fears of stepping outside the status quo, failing, or embarrassing ourselves. Being able to look at an alternate way of doing things isn’t something to be afraid of, sometimes the detour is the best door. People are remembered for the things they’ve done that stand out and the risks they take.

Looking back on the detour we took on our return home we were presented with less traffic, more wildlife, better views of the mountains, and a new way of getting home. We are grateful for taking the chance on new route home and look forward to taking chances in our day to day lives as we look forward to successful detours.

Barber.

I have strange hair that has multiple cowlicks and tends to act how it wants. When people have cut my hair in the past they have mentioned how challenging my hair was to cut for them. Four years ago I walked into Ray’s Barber Shop in Salt Lake City and had my haircut by my current barber, that haircut has turned into four years of haircuts and friendship.

When I originally selected my barber I asked around the office I was working at to be recommended to the downtown location for Ray’s Barbershop. I jumped online and booked an appointment with a barber with good ratings and drove downtown. My first experience set the bar high with good conversation, good laughs, and a great haircut. After that, I started stopping in monthly and became a regular customer and have since followed my barber to his new shop the Bureau Barber + Shop and continue going in monthly for a fresh cut.

What makes a good barber in my opinion? Someone who can provide a quality experience that isn’t just a haircut. A quality haircut is obviously a key component to the real experience during and after a visit to your barber. The ability to suggest a type of haircut that is stylish and fitting to ones face is a huge benefit to having a barber who knows you as a customer. Finding the right barber and sticking with them pays off as familiarity with the canvas creates better work and consistent quality of good haircuts.  

Another thing is the quality of conversation and the ability to keep conversations flowing without many if any awkward moments. I enjoy sitting down and having a great conversation with my barber, we keep up on the little things family, hobbies, sports, history topics, and much more as we talk monthly. It creates a friendship that isn’t just a exchange of haircut for money, it creates a quality experience that is worth repeating monthly.

If you have hair on your head that needs to be groomed and managed by skilled hands take the time to find someone who can help you manage it. Not just manage it but keep it looking sharp so that you look your best wherever you go.

Blank.

Today I sat down to write and drew a blank at what to write about. My mind shuddered and my thoughts became incoherent strands of incomplete ideas and thoughts. I started glancing at memes, revisiting old ideas, and procrastinating putting thoughts into digital text. Nothing came to mind I drew a blank. I sat here and reviewed my day and wondered what caused my absence of thought tonight?

Was it the four walks I took my dog in today? Where I played tug a war with an eight-month-old puppy who wanted to befriend every dog, cow, and pig we passed today as we walked? Was it my frustration after toiling around the yard today and not feeling that enough progress has been made in my desire to redesign our greenspace? Were the blank halls of thought a side effect of revamping my eBay store and shipping out orders from the weekend? Where was the lack of inspiration coming from? I still don’t know.

Perhaps it is stemming from the change in the air, two major changes are happening this week a new shift for me and a new job for my wife. Both are extremely exciting because they are putting us both closer to where we want to be in our professional careers. Change can be a challenge when there is a lot of motion in a short time, for me this feels like a lot of motion.

Life is a juggling act for most everyone where we are figuring out what is happening, how we want things to happen, and how they actually are happening. Along with a dozen other things tossed into the said juggling act we are often life like a spider in rollerskates, attempting to find our footing as each foot slips out from under us. Life is in constant motion and we know that motion will always be happening around us. Our best option is to join the locomotion and continue doing our thing the best we can.