Over the weekend Riley and I packed up our camping gear and headed for Crater Lake. We had tried going there when we road tripped from MI to CA last year but the roads were shut down from a snow storm. It felt really exciting to finally go back and see what we had missed. The temperature here in the bay area was also suppose to be over 100 degrees at that time. No thank you. We were ready for a weekend away.
The drive was about six hours, we stopped for a delicious lunch in Redding, then carried on. I looked up hikes that we wanted to do, and viewpoints for specific pictures I had planned to take.
We noticed that the views on the way were hazy, white clouds seemed to be blanketing the scenery. Mt Shasta looked like something out of a sci fi film.. a snow covered mountain "floating" in the sky on a 110 degree day. We realized at this point that the views up at crater lake may not be what we were hoping for, but we drove on.
When we arrived, we were able to see some of the lake but our earlier suspicion was correct. Oregon forest fires near the coast were affecting the air quality all over the state and the views were very hazy. We were a little bit bummed but eventually realized how good this actually was. The entire focus came off of what we "had to do" while we were there and fell completely on relaxing. We lived at our campsite, cooking over the fire, napping, laying in the hammock..It turned into a weekend of complete relaxation. One of those unplugged getaways that you didn't know you needed. Sometimes it is good to sit in silence and actually listen to the unprompted thoughts that come to mind.
I realized how much I think about our future, and hope that we can live our dreams. I realized how much I think about other people, and how I want to help them on their journey to wellness. I realized how much I think about life, and how short it is. We are only here for "a couple" of years in the grand scheme of things. What kind of memories do you want to have? What kind of time do you want to sacrifice for work, especially the 9 to 5 type work? I realized how much I reject this lifestyle, I always have. For example, I spent a lot of my money on three large trips that I took between 2013-2016. Here's the truth: objectively, I should not have spent that money. Anyone doing things "normally" would look at my income and tell me I am not saving enough for retirement and that the trip money should have been invested there. But I chose to spend it. I spent a month in Africa, one in Europe, and 1.5 months in New Zealand in those three years, I spent money that I probably shouldn't have. I also job hopped and started travel nursing to see more of our country, and have more time off. I have made way less money than I could have these past years, and I have never regretted it. I saw parts of the world and met people that I never would have if I just focused on the perfect retirement fund. Guess what we aren't guaranteed? To live long enough to retire. It may sound ridiculous to you, and I completely understand that, but I would rather live now, than hope to live later. There is so much opportunity outside of the 9 to 5, and I will do whatever it takes to get us there. That is what I laid in our hammock and thought about... how I will sound crazy to others, how I won't care, how I will keep pushing for wellness, and freedom from the life that everyone accepts. I will not work to pay bills in a circle, for the rest of my precious life. I realized that there is a way out, and I am taking it. The trees above me stood in silence, like any good listener would, and I heard my hearts desires.
In in the midst of the haze, I gained clarity this weekend, and for that I am grateful.