Monday, August 8, 2016

Field Editing & Musings on Love

Charlie and I have been staying close to home and hiking our "usual" trails for most of the summer. I've been busy with work and Charlie's getting a bit older which means she doesn't require the long, vigorous hikes that she used to.

But I've felt my confidence and sense of adventure slipping away lately... letting the responsibilities of being an adult overtake my need for connecting with the wilderness and testing my strength. Forgetting about creating balance between work and life.

I've let my unnecessary need to find a relationship take precious time away from my family, friends and hobbies. And the result of this constant search has left me feeling empty and more alone than when I was single by choice.

When I'm in a relationship (or trying to be in a relationship), I lose myself in the other person. I give them everything at the expense of what I want or need. My life begins to revolve around them. I become oversensitive and needy... giving enormous amounts of love and wanting it reciprocated. And while all the guys I've dated have told me how amazingly wonderful, giving, passionate and truly special I am, I've yet to find a guy who sticks around. 

So after another disastrous let-down, I decided that I'm really more happy when I'm single and I kinda like myself better when I'm single. So I'm consciously staying single for now.

After all the dating crap I've been through in the last year and a really recent loss of a truly special guy, I needed to find something to take my mind off all the chatter in my brain.

Which was actually great timing, because I remembered that I volunteered to field edit* the Rib Lake Segment of the Ice Age Trail back in April... and now it's August! Yikes. My deadline is September 1st. Talk about cutting it close.

So Charlie and I went on a road trip this past Saturday and did our duty of field editing the Rib Lake Segment. I had thought it was going to be more work than it actually was because the trail addition that was supposed to happen this year wasn't finished yet, so our task wasn't as daunting as I had first imagined.

The weather was absolutely perfect this weekend and it was great getting out and exploring new trails and navigating through the highways and back roads of our state, seeing new sights and feeling capable and strong again.

While the trail wasn't very long, it was the refreshing start I needed to find myself again.

I had forgotten how a day spent in nature, finding new challenges and getting away from all the brain-noise can really help center your mind/body/spirit and help you think more clearly.

Suddenly life doesn't seem quite so sad and depressing. I actually feel like I can totally rock the single life.

*Every few years the Ice Age Trail Alliance publishes new guidebooks with the most current information on the trail. Field editing is a necessary step to update the trail descriptions and amenities. Volunteers are selected to field edit a specific segment prior to the next publishing date. Watch for new guidebooks in 2017... I will be listed as a field editor! And make sure to check out the Ice Age Trail webpage for volunteer opportunities and any other information related to the trail at