When I started this blog in April 2014, I regarded it as a quick and easy way to update friends, family, and colleagues about husband J’s and my plan to climb Russia’s Mt. Elbrus (the highest mountain in Europe) that summer. I figured the blog would be, at most, a six month phenomenon. Little did I realize – that some three plus years later – I’d still be writing it.
It doesn’t really matter how many people read it. But the fact any read with interest is more rewarding than if I just scrawled my entry into a spiral notebook and placed it under my bed in the hopes that someone would possibly discover – or reject – it after I’m dead.
Because the truth is – I always wanted to be a writer. In the second grade I announced with great conviction to my teacher that I wanted to be a poet. (I was definitely one of those weird, creepy kids.) Mrs. Bell, my second grade teacher, gave me a special lined note pad on which I could memorialize my 4-6 line rhyming poetry, much of which had to do with fish because so many words rhymed with it.
Somehow this all has related to the summit and mountain climbing theme that led to the tag, “steps, stairs and summits.” The reality is that my life isn’t interesting enough to have a steady stream of fascinating travel and climb blogs. I have to spend an inordinate number of hours at a tedious and stress filled occupation to be able to afford just a few weeks of all that each year. And believe me, that is nothing you want to read about on a regular basis. But somewhere and somehow I’m trying to find that summit high and dopamine filled place each day, whether it be a yoga class, planting the garden, or climbing up and down the fire staircase in my office building.
The last few weeks have been particularly revealing. I have had up to three days a week where nary a bit of training takes place. And all I can think about is how the hell am I going to get up a 20,000 foot mountain at what will then be age 57. But in the midst of this I do get to experience some new world orders that are summits of their own. Professionally, a career that’s become a 24/7 calling due to the wonders of technology, where social media casts its shadow of surmise over nearly everything. Personally, the wonders and perils of modern medicine and relatives and friends who grow ever older. And contrast that to the statement of one of my daughters who proclaimed I couldn’t possibly understand something she said simply because I wasn’t a millennial.
These things aren’t particular to me. A lot of us face these and graver issues this Tranksgiving Day. There are summits somewhere in all of this; I just need to learn where to find them. And yes, that is a photo of Mt. Everest, taken from Kala Pattar, at the top of this post. There’s plenty to be grateful for.