Climbing mountains HELPS ME TO focus my mind. It helps me to find clarity and purpose in my life. I climbed one the other day, and it very nearly killed me.
The walk up the easiest path up Snowdon in North Wales took me five hours. Now, for an overweight being such as myself, that was a fantastic achievement. It was also the first time that both my wife and child had climbed the biggest mountain in Wales too; all in all, it was a beautiful day.
At Halfway House, Rhona started to become concerned for my well being. I could see that there was genuine concern in her eyes, and she told me that I had nothing to prove to either her or our son. The thing is, I had something to prove to myself. I needed to climb this hill, the same hill that I have climbed at least a dozen times.
Too often of late, I find myself giving up too quickly, be that with health, diet, work, social media addiction, or whatever. Climbing that mountain was a simple task to complete, I just had to keep putting one foot in front of the other, over and over again until I arrived at the top.
My mind was determined, my body, however, wasn’t playing ball. I began to suffer from a shortness of breath, causing me to stop for a breather every 50 paces or so. After a while, whenever I stopped, the muscles in the front of my thighs began to cramp, only ceasing to do that once I started walking again.
How the hell was I going to manage this? The first thing I had to do was to tell Rhona and Karta to go on ahead and that I would catch up with them eventually. It was hard watching them get smaller and smaller, the higher they went. I wanted to be able to see Karta’s face when he finally stepped foot on the top of the mountain; it was one of those father/son things that I wanted to experience. Instead, I chuffed and panted my way to the top, red faced and sweating, alone.
The one thing that I did have on that hill was time to think about a large number of things. The subject that occupied my mind the most was how I was going to change my life. I had a realisation that I wasn’t going to enjoy being a father and a husband if I was on the verge of keeling over at first sight of some steep ground. I began to evaluate everything in very fine detail, including looking within.
What I saw there, was scary, yet honest. I realised that I had to focus on three things, myself, my wife and my child. Everything else was secondary. Sure I value my closest friends and family, and I will always find the time to be with them, but I realised that I needed to cut away the festering meat of my existence if I was going to heal.
Then came another realisation; I have wasted too much time. Time is the most precious commodity I possess. The trouble is, I’d been letting it slip through my fingers, barely noticing how much of it had gone, and was never coming back.
Social media, business ideas, trying to forge a writing career and trying become an expert photographer are just some of the things I have gotten myself involved with doing. None of this stuff has come to fruition.
Sure, I’m a good photographer now, and yes, I can string a sentence or two together, but neither of those pastimes has made me much in the way of money or success. Building websites for people that don’t seem to want to pay me decent money for the work have also been a huge waste of my time. Again, I’ve learned a tremendous amount by doing those things, and yes, I have enjoyed the process on occasion. But none of it leaves me feeling fulfilled and satisfied that I have done enough to provide for my family.
So, I’m going to put all of those things on the back burner. I have a few projects that I’ve committed to and will need to be maintained over the next year or so. Other than that, I have decided that the time is right to wrap up several blogs that I’ve been working on, put my photography and web development business into stasis and to restrict my social media activities severely. I will replace all of those mothballed projects by finding paid work that fits in with my family life and getting back to becoming a much healthier version of myself.
I am at the bottom of this mountain ahead of me; I just keep telling myself that it’s just a big hill.
Until next time, adieu!