Sunday, October 16, 2016

Falling Forward

California Color

Where did the time go?
 2016 has seemingly slipped out of my control and threatens to come to an end soon. Seems like a blur and in reality, so much of this year was spent dealing with the fallout of the previous year.     

A backpacking accident, a serious career change with new digital technology, life is a constant learning curve.  A year flew by and left me craving a much simpler quieter life.

I tried to handle all that came with a sense of grace and patience. Always trying to keep in my mind that compared to others and in the big scheme of things, my life has been a gift and I try to find joy and humor even in the days that seem challenging. 

"If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all." Author unknown

I read the above once and thought about putting it all in perspective, compared to others, my travails are minimal. 

 Alas, I am human and I remember one day, in mid transition, I just didn't know how much change I could take and I needed to go sit under my beloved tree and just go think. It goes something like, take a deep breath, everyone survives stuff, I miss my mom. Now I made myself cry and wow that feels better.  Done crying, now think your way to a better place. Oh, and don't look back. Fall forward. 

No one hates change like I do, but these series of events, teach me that I have the emotional resources to take changes and even benefit from them. Makes the unknown much less scary, I think. 

I just didn't know that in time, my life would morph into something so different, so good. 

In a very short period of time, my life came full circle. 

New job, new digital technology at work, new friends and co-workers, new routines, new priorities.

 More freedom to travel and explore new landscapes.

I tell people it's as though, some energy came along and picked me up out of a bad place and dropped me down in a brand new life with  an optimistic vision. 

“The journey of reinvention is one of raw emotions emerging from dormancy.
Surprising as a paper cut, 
Overwhelming as a hailstorm, 
One part vulnerability, 
One part rage, 
One part surrender, 
Uncomfortable, Unfamiliar, Unsure, Fearful, Alone, Damaged, Broken
And finding a new Self...
Slowly, Different, Healing, Humble, Present, Open, Longing, 

With the new job, came the ability to schedule and plan time off. Something I hadn't been able to do for the past 6 years. So after my official 90 days to the day, I scheduled time off and I knew where and when I wanted to go. The Eastern Sierra Nevada in Autumn.  I studied photos and dates and had to hope that nature would be on a similar timeline as I booked my trip.  New job transitions can be stressful, but with the planning and detail work,  the impending fall adventure made it all tolerable. 

Finally, six months later the planning became a reality and on the road I went. I thoroughly enjoyed this trip, the landscapes were more than I'd imagined and the color and timing had been nothing short of perfect.  I was able to relax and take my time. I explored the surrounding areas as well, Yosemite National Park (didn't take one photograph), Devils Postpile, Big Pine, Bishop, Mono Lake, Mammoth  Lakes.  I surveyed the breakfast joints in search of the best French Toast  and enjoyed the quaint small towns and coffee shops.  Rounding off the trip with a quiet and comfy visit with my family in Orange County. 

Another Autumn passes and the leaves fall to the ground as I edit my images and remember fondly the journey.  As the fleeting beauty transforms before my very eyes, it seems an inevitable part of the year to take inventory of my own transitions and prepare for the next season.

Most likely, I won't take another long trip while Halo is alive. I missed her terribly on this trip and I heard she cried while I was gone. Way to rip my heart out dog! She's 12 now and unable to travel with me on the longer trips. 

Leaving her behind this time was a bit heartbreaking.  I've decided to hold off on my longer trips and just enjoy my day to day time with her while I have it.  The weather is now perfect for our weekend hiking trips and I'm ALL ok with putting her first. 

Life is good.