Lessons from hiking

Pano at the top

I wrote this for my online paper last Wednesday. It’s hard to believe it was practically springtime weather-wise a week ago when I went on the hike I talk about in this post. Right now it’s 36 degrees and blustery. Yuck. Is it spring yet? 

On another note, Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you all have a lovely day enjoying the love from a significant other, friend or just from yourself. You deserve it!

Without further ado, my column:

Baillie in the woods

Hey there! Remember me? The girl who said she’d keep up a column here every week and write every other day the rest of the time on my blog?

Yeah, it’s still me. But I just haven’t been so great at actually keeping up with that promise.

Resolutions hardly ever stick for me unless they’re more of a silent promise I make to myself. I don’t know why, but I tend to lose interest in the ones I make aloud. I suppose it’s a quirk of mine — it seems the trend for others to keep their resolutions is to have some sort of accountability. Not for me!

Now is about the time I start to feel guilty for making promises I couldn’t keep. For me, guilt is the major reason I fall off track. Trying to save money and spend just a bit too much? Answer: BUY ALL THE THINGS!! Have a goal to eat better and cheat with a cookie? Answer: EAT ALL THE COOKIES!! Trying to write in my blog every day and miss a day? Answer: Continue to not write.

If you’re a psychologist and have an explanation for why I do this, please, enlighten me. And then tell me how to fix it.

Of course, there are a multitude of other reasons I didn’t keep up with my goal, some small and some quite large, but I think those reasons deserve their own column — or at least a blog post.

I went for a hike at Edwin Warner Park with my dog on that beautiful Saturday we had last weekend and it really cleared my head. I didn’t listen to any music and didn’t really have a plan on where to go. I just walked. My walk turned into a hike and took me to all sorts of beautiful places within the forest.

Since it was so warm and sunny, many people came out to the park, but I still was able to spend a good amount of time with just my thoughts and Baillie. And that’s when I decided it didn’t matter I hadn’t kept up with the blog. It’s only affecting me, so why should I care about what others might think?

Plus, I realized, I should focus on what I have accomplished since Jan. 1. I have been active at least three days every week. I do generally eat healthy and I’ve been keeping up with my vegetarian diet for nearly three years now. I can find a positive spin on things even when the situation seems grim. I’ve reduced my overall screen time (minutes I spend in on a computer, TV or phone) and have stopped looking at my phone before bed. Oh, and I read FOUR (!!!) books in January.

I think the ultimate thing, though, is that I’m trying. That’s all we really can do. Sure, goals are great, but just the mere fact that we can humbly say, “I think I need to work to better myself,” is a huge deal. That’s more than many people do.

How are you all handling your resolutions? Still at it? Or have you backed off? Let me know in the comments section below!

I will definitely continue striving toward writing every day, but I’m not going to hold it against myself if I don’t get around to it. I think you should do the same.

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