Hiking Solo

Recently I talked with a coworker about her love of hiking. I have never really been hiking before, and thought it sounded kind of boring. Me? Alone? Trees? Why? Sounds unproductive. My brain works at a different speed than that. I need to stay busy to feel like I’m accomplishing something. But my brain also told me that I needed this. I needed to unwind, disconnect from technology, people, and reconnect with what I wanted in life and what was important to me. So I asked her for a good route here in Wisconsin and she delivered! I decided on Kettle Moraine State Park, the Zillmer Trail. I did about 5 minutes of research on what to bring, it was only a 5 mile hike after all…

img_5034

Make sure to bring:

Water, small and filling snacks, (as not to get a stomach cramp) a book to read, something to take notes down on when you have an epiphany, more AND less clothing in case it’s hotter / colder than you thought, toilet paper, bug spray, sun screen, some kind of hat, good hiking shoes, some way to communicate with the outside world in case of bears / rocks / werewolves or other dangers, and an open mind.

img_5037

img_5040

img_5055

I went hiking on the anniversary of the passing my Step-Mother who was in my family for 19 years before she succumbed to cancer. I had decided this hiking trip would be my date with her, where I can walk around the woods and talk to her, shut off from everyone, and just be me. I had a few goals going into the woods as well, so I could have an objective when I came out the other end of the trail.

img_5047

img_5048

img_5044

Hiking goals:

  1. Figure out what I want from the next 5 years.
  2. Figure out what I LOVE in this life and don’t budge on letting those things fade. Keep the things / people / places you love, dear to you. And keep them. It’s what makes you, you.
  3. Figure out what I want from the next man in my life and what I’m willing to settle for and not settle for. This is really important. DO NOT SETTLE.
  4. Love yourself first. Drill it into my head.
  5. Talk to the woods. Step mom. Grandmother. Chipmunks. A random snake.
  6. Listen to music and dance a little in the woods. This happened as well.

img_5049

Hiking lessons learned:

  1. Everything in life is about balance. Working out / rest days. Eating well / comfort food. Helping others / taking time for yourself. Social time / alone time. Accepting life / changing your future. When the scale tips too much in one direction is when life gets out of balance. You can feel it, and you can adjust accordingly.
  2. Only accept from a future partner the love you put into the relationship. Don’t settle for less than how happy you are being alone. A partner should be an ADDITION to your life, not someone that makes your life less amazing.
  3. Life is short. Grab it by the cahones. Take it. You only get this one precious chance.
  4. Your past isn’t you. YOU are you. Your past just makes you who you are today, in this moment.
  5. Accept others / love yourself. Love others / accept yourself. But love yourself first. The rest of the things you’re looking for in life will follow.
  6. You can love without expectations. Love others because you are a loving person. Don’t expect others to give you the care and generosity that you would give to them. You only get hurt when you expect. Just be careful about being taken advantage of. You’re a person with needs too.
  7. You are not crazy for talking to relatives that are passed. If you think they can hear you, they can. Who is anyone else to say otherwise.

SO it may sound crazy but when I was done with my 5 mile solo hike I was a little different of a person. I forced my overactive anxiety ridden brain to shut off for a few hours, no one could get a hold of me, and I had to think about what I needed instead of what other people needed for once. So get out there! Unplug and unwind, reconnect with nature, ask yourself, what do I love / need? What makes me happy? And then go after it!

 

10 Things that Made Me Happy This Week

Every now and then in the midst of the life of a person ridden with anxiety (everything can and will be dwelled upon and instantly thought about in the worst case scenario) I have to think of things that make me happy, so I can remember to breathe.

1. Having Brunch with my girlfriends. We checked out a new place in DePere called the Creamery, and it was amazing. Our talks always end up being over 3 hours, and include a lot of wine (or in this case, champagne) and are always very cathartic. I cherish the time we spend together. I also cherish the red velvet waffles with espresso whip cream we shared…

brunch

2. Knowing how much money Matt and I will save after we canceled the wedding and started to plan to elope instead. I feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and it feels good.

3. Re-arranging the living room, and seeing the cats enjoy the room from another angle.

cat tower

4. Just splurging and buying dairy creamer instead of almond creamer. I am trying to make healthy choices and cut back on dairy, but the Almond creamer is nutty when it gets hot and I’m not a fan. So I just got what I know I love, and don’t regret it.

5. My girlfriend borrowed me the book “Gone Girl” and I can’t wait to get started! I saw the movie already, so I know what’s going to happen, but the book will be a totally different experience.

6. I went to a Kentucky Derby themed awards ceremony last night and had the opportunity to wear this hat in public. I also saw a midget pony, and had a great time with friends.

big hat

7. Cooking pasta to the perfect al dente. I mean, yum! And with a home made meat and tomato sauce, you can’t go wrong. And BONUS, the leftovers re-heated perfectly!

8. Completing the fabric walls at the nautical restaurant I blogged about last week. I’ll do a post on how we got there, but it was 14+ hours of hard labor, and totally worth it!

jimmy seas

9. Filling the fridge with fresh groceries. I splurged and got over $150 in fresh and awesome ingredients, (as well as tea and almond oil so I can make a face mask,) and it makes me happy knowing there will be healthy meal options in my kitchen.

10. Playing with my friend’s new Boston Terrier pup, Talula. What a pleasure playing with a little 5 pound ball of excitement like a puppy! I swear you can’t be in a bad mood when you have those big eyes looking at you.

talula

I encourage you to take a moment and make a list of 10 things that made you happy this week!