I always loved my birthdays. Well, as an adult, I actually love them more. For no particular reasons - I don't do parties, we don't do presents, and I even work as usual (including this job of mine of serving others) - yet this is the day that is MINE, and I like this definition. However, despite making some (mild) fun of Larry's last summer's turning 50 and his uneasiness about it ("It's all downhill from here"), somehow I, too, turning "only" 47, realized: it really IS all downhill. Not in terms of "no good can come out anymore", but simply in the fact that it is LESS time left on this Earth than had been lived already. And it is a slightly unsettling thought.
So, with renewed energy, the commitment to not waste any of that precious time, neither on actions, nor on people which do not bring joy or purpose, I walked out on my Massage Envy job I stayed at for the last 4 years (gasp, the comfort of ALWAYS having clients!), quit my running coaching and any inklings of yoga teaching, announced to my go-to clients I am not traveling with a massage table anymore, and even cut home business to a bare minimum of those I practically consider friends by now. With that, I focused all my work-related efforts at Myo Massage, where I am now one of the "top of the crop" thank you very much. I also freed a day off a week...
Oh, the sound of it still ringing in my ears: Day Off! In fact, last 2 weeks of October I had two of those each week (since I quit Massage Envy a full 3 weeks before I planned it initially), and yet they, too, like time in general, flew by doing things like general house cleaning, legal/business/bank visits, visiting a friend on the opposite side of Austin who broke her arm (and giving her a hand and a ride to a doctor)...but it also did include 2 trail outings, 2 girlfriends' coffee dates, and a trip to a store for one kitchen item I wanted for the last 6 months. Yep, shopping for anything besides groceries is not on my list, like, ever.
Not all of the October was flying in doing mundane things. There was a REAL birthday celebration, that came the following week. Back in August, having just completed PCT and gone with Larry to hike Pecos, I was already getting depressed on settling in Texas for the long "before-summer" season and thinking I want Fall to make an appearance. Not simply the months of Autumn come by - and nothing changes (we are still in 90's here in Austin), but have the leaves turn all kinds of colors, the temperatures drop, the air being crisp during the night, may be a frost, then the leaves fall off the trees, the sky get grey and cloudy...you know, NORMAL season of Fall. So, I was considering between CO and UT and asked my friend Ronda how is UT in her experience in October. Before I knew it, we were offered to stay in Ronda and Bill's condo near park City, in Deer Valley resort. And what a blessing that spot - and the offer - was! While not intended as such, it was one of the best birthday gifts ever - and definitely best birthday time I had in my life so far.
We arrived to the condo at noon on Tuesday the 11th, and after Larry worked a little from his computer, I inhaled all that was ours for the next 3 days!
It's the next day that we indulged in the high pristine mountains. Larry planned the hiking trip to Uintas Wilderness, a 17 mile loop an hour away, which included high lakes and granite walls and laid between 10,000 and 11,000 feet. And boy, was it cold at the start! 8 am met us with 28F and frosted ground, and we were not prepared! Dawned all we had on, and trying to generate heat, we walked first couple of miles fast and quietly, but after sun started to shine on us, and as we broke the sweat, life became what we love about it - mountains, silence, solitude, together, just the two of us. The words can't describe all that we felt - and spoke about - but I will share a number of pictures we took.
Anyhow, that was an amazing day, although being honest with ourselves, the effort and the altitude did kick out behinds. Last couple of miles we were ready to be done, and to end the day, instead of going out as planned, we bought another pizza, took a short walk around the ski lifts, and crashed at the condo. And that was good too...
Our last full day was supposed to be mellow, as we didn't even dress up for a hike, more of a walk - from the back door of the condo one can take miles of trails onto the mountains of Deer Valley ski slopes. Before we knew it, our way wound around and on single track we couldn't resist, and 8 miles later we we hungry and satisfied, yet again. The wandering provided all the gold, red and orange our hearts desired!
We did make it to Park City that evening, for yarn shopping, and another coffee place, and for dinner out, to properly (finally) celebrate my birthday, and our last push of Texas living, before we can make a move to our dream place. Having achieved a number of financial and other goals this year, we can, at last, be more optimistic and realistic when thinking about the future we wish to have. It's so close, we can almost touch it...The night ended with a bus ride back (free!!) and a hot tub included in "package" of Resort living.