With the exception of hike days, I have turned off all alarms and stopped wearing my fitbit. Somehow those boundaries and the measure of time seem intrusive. I’ve begun a natural rhythm that involves sleeping when I’m tired, eating when I’m hungry and rising when I awaken. It is liberating as hell.
People ask me how it feels to have retired from my job. It feels like it never happened. Like a dream that begins to fade upon waking. That’s how it feels. Like a slow motion reel of someone else’s life. And now here I am, nearly 58, and I’m starting from scratch.
At night, if I can’t sleep it isn’t because I’m worried how the morning will feel. (Creaky bones, stiff joints. I used to hold the banister and come down sideways because my feet wouldn’t have anything to do with navigating stairs.) Now, I sometimes lie awake and wonder about new projects, or how to elevate an old one. My head dances in colors and swirls in patterns …
In the most complicated emotional month I am moving into the final stretch full of gratitude. My birthday this year falls ON Thanksgiving. It’s a super-charged day of thanks. As a child, when it happened that my birthday fell on or so close to the holiday, I felt cheated. It got folded into Thanksgiving Day plans and didn’t feel like it was my own. Now, I am thrilled to know that it lands ON the day. My day. A shared-with-everyone day of celebration.
This morning I plugged back into a familiar outlet. People, a good walk and fresh air. The snow is falling in the mountains and we enjoyed the clear skies, cold temps and the beautiful forest quiet. It was my 47th hike this year. My goal was 52. That gives me 32 days to get my last five hikes in. May the force be with me.
This is a beautiful hike to Talupus and Ollalie Lakes. It’s a bit over 6 miles round trip and today there was a blanket of snow across the entire length of the trail. The lakes were both frozen over (mostly) and I’m guessing it never made it much beyond freezing. And the light… Oh my, it was glorious and continues to be one of my favorite things in the world.