Can’t I Just Hurry Up and Relax Already?!?!
To get outside and disconnect is one of the biggest joys of the Summer. Feeling the warmth of the sun, high in the sky and long on my skin, watching as it brings out my freckles, breathing that amazing non-city fresh air, thick with pine needles and wildflowers, hearing nothing but the sound of my footsteps hitting the dirt, the leaves rustling in the breeze and the harmonic song of that bird that I really should just learn the name of already. These are the moments I yearn for when I’m tied up, sitting behind a computer, answering calls and emails and walking no farther than down the hall to the bathroom from my work-from-home office. And this is why I love Maine and am stoked to be back here right now, embarking on a trek in the 100 Mile Wilderness.
Planning a big hiking trip gets me so excited to get into nature and leave traditional work behind! In order to do so, it also requires a ton of forethought, tying up of loose ends and considering all the potential mishaps and questions that could arise in my absence. It’s setting up auto-responders, transferring money, pre-paying the credit card and the mortgage, ordering enough cat food, doing laundry… not to mention, buying a replacement water bottle, purchasing enough food for 10 days in the backcountry, mailing half of it ahead, collaborating with friends who are meeting me part way, booking campsites and hotels… the list goes on.
So all of this motion, all of this energy – it doesn’t just turn off once your feet hit the trail. It’s like there’s residual adrenaline left coursing through your veins and it takes a while to work its way out. Even right now, I’m in Maine, one day into my trip and my brain is still in hyper-mode. (Of course, after one day of hiking, I am back at a hostel with full connection to the interwebs, so...) But I leave for reals for the woods in a couple of hours and I know that for the first few days out, it’ll take a while for my brain to catch up with the fact that I only have to take in the sounds and the sights of nature, not the call of the telemarketer or the email notification.
What I’m going to try this time out is to get to that relaxation faster. I know this adrenaline will naturally run its course, but if I think back to all those days at the desk when all I wanted to do was watch a waterfall – then I think the natural solution is to simply sit and enjoy watching a waterfall out in real nature. I’ll go ahead pick out and individual splash, follow it as gravity takes it downhill, loose it in the mist of the pool at the bottom and start all over again with another bit of water. I’ll lean my head against a tree as I’m sitting for a break and just feel the breeze, cooling the sweat on my skin and appreciating my body’s natural cooling mechanism at work, looking up at the leaves above my head dancing in and out of the sunlight and be grateful. To simply appreciate this moment in time and in space for what it is and no more – that’s how to get there.