Another spin around the sun is complete for yours truly. Forty-eight in the bag. Like most people, I’m grateful for every year I get to finish, especially when I’ve been so close to not having the opportunity to keep living this crazy, messy, amazing life.
In last year’s birthday post, I talked about finally embracing a sort of mantra for the coming year ahead—to be deliberate with my time and actions. The result? I did ok. Sometimes I lost sight of that but more often I caught myself and refocused. I’m largely satisfied with having honored what I set out to do so I think the year-long exercise was worthwhile.
This year boils down to refining that mindset and effort. Because quite honestly, it’s been a pretty stressful year. Launching Sierra Mountain Passes was a monumental effort. And it’s still too young to stand on its own. It takes a lot of energy to manage it and get new products out there that can fund that labor of love. But that’s the nature of start-ups.
In the process of all that distraction, Val in Real Life has languished. Not only because I broke the ever-loving-bejeezus out of it on New Year’s Day this year and I’m still working on fixing it, but also because I haven’t given it the attention it needs to thrive.
And—news flash—on top of that chaos, my dear man and I are making other big changes. We’re in the end stages of selling our house in northern Nevada. The plan is to travel through the winter to catch our breath before returning to our stomping grounds. Once that happens, it will be time to open a can of whoop-ass on the future HQ project that has just been terribly grudging and frustrating so far. Contractors. Need I say more?
In the midst of all of this, I’ve packed on a lot of weight. I’m a stress eater, pure and simple. And obviously, that’s not good. I’m feeling the impacts big-time and the extra weight is putting added, unnecessary stress on my already beleaguered Frankenleg. The good news is that it’s a fixable problem because it’s one of my own making.
Be where your feet are
In a recent visit with my utterly fabulous therapist, we broke down all the chaos and she reminded me to “be where your feet are.” There are a lot of ways to frame mindfulness and being present. But right now, I like that particular expression of the concept given what lies ahead of me and living life on the road.
When she said that, it clicked. It was exactly what I needed to hear to put everything in perspective. Because even those of us who value and strive for mindfulness every day can lose sight of it when life escalates the chaos to epic levels. We need reminders. This will be mine for now.
When everything seems too complicated and uncertain, I find myself looking at my feet and acknowledging where I am. Then I can circle out slowly to the bigger-and-bigger picture. With all the possible paths within those expanding circles, somehow one emerges as the obvious choice. And what’s too far out to see doesn’t matter.
There’s a sense of peace in that. All the intricacies of the future seem to be more manageable and clear-cut when you take notice of where you are first.
So this coming year as I tackle my 49th lap, I’ve got to embrace uncertainty more than ever. Life is filled with unknowns regardless of where we are and I’ve always been ok with that. But this is the first time I’ve danced that dance not knowing where we’ll call home from one day to the next.
I do know I need to just be there, enjoy the slow travel, and embrace the surprises. All the while using that mental space to keep moving forward and setting the stage for where I want to be. With such a crazy year behind me and another one ahead, this will be crucial to remember.
If you’re in the same life-is-crazy boat as me right now (and who isn’t, really?!?), this is your reminder, too. Be where your feet are. Embrace the beauty around you in the moment. It’s amazing what comes into focus when you do.
Thank you for joining me in my annual navel-gazing exercise. Wishing all of you another wonderful trip around the sun.
Adventure on, friends!