Letter to 16-Year-Old Me

Letter to16-Year-Old Me

Dear Younger Me,

You’re going to find this a little hard to believe right now, but you’re going to be okay, in spite of the pain and heart-ache you’re suffering now at the hands of she who has been granted the privilege of raising children. I wish I could tell you that things will get better soon, but, alas, things will get worse before they get better. You’ll continue to move along through self-esteem-crushing situations, but will, eventually, come out on the other side where there is a lot more light. I promise.

Remember reading in a school textbook about scanners being used on the East Coast to buy groceries and about that thing called an IBM computer that was predicted to be in everyone’s home? And, remember the “picture phone” you and your classmates saw in the museum in Canada? You were fascinated by the very idea, and couldn’t imagine anything like that being in anyone’s home in your small town in South Dakota. This may be hard for you to believe right now, but you’re destined to stare at a computer monitor for hours on end, day after day (and love doing it! Really!). You are going to carry around your very own personal phone that can give you answers to questions at the swipe of a finger, and you’ll wear a gadget to monitor your fitness activity! Honest! It’s a thing!

As you suspected, there are no flying cars yet, but they are developing cars that drive themselves. I know! Right!?!?

You’ll actually watch the evening news—willingly! There are multitudes of television channels instead of the single one you have now. It mesmerizes people and, in some cases, dumbs them down. (Remember the name, “Kardashian.” You’ll roll your eyes like you’ve never rolled them before!)

You’ll do grownup stuff—some mundane, some stupid, and some grand. You’re going to like a lot of things you dislike now. You’re afraid of leaving the area right now, but you’ll soon learn to love traveling. And, best of all, you’re going to marry a terrific military man (in spite of your current distaste for the military). Trust me, he is the right person to support you and help you grow.

You started writing a couple of years ago. I know why you slowed down, but I wish you’d write more once again. Beware of Dusty’s sister—she will steal some of your original work. However, this experience will lead you to take an interest in copyright law. (Sounds boring, doesn’t it? You’re dropping your head on the table right now, aren’t you? Believe me—you’ll enjoy it like so many other seemingly boring things!)

I wish you’d take more of an interest in school. Yes, you understand what is being taught, do the work and get good grades on tests. But you’re only going through the motions. Take more time to research and find out more. When you’re older, there will be great technologies available at your fingertips that will allow you to do so much research. Imagine being able to “go” to the library without actually going to the library! For now, you’ll appreciate the effort you made if you spend more time in the real library. (And, that cute guy at the last table to the right is really nice! His name is Daniel.)

You’ve already dated two guys named ‘Larry.’ (Small town—how is it that so many parents named their boys ‘Larry’?) There will be another ‘Larry’ coming along. RUN AWAY!!!! (You’re going to ignore this advice, aren’t you?)

The high school principal will relax the dress code for girls soon. (Yes, I know. This high school is SO behind the times!) You’ll want to purchase some new school clothes. And, buy a fashion magazine, for goodness sake! Your color sense and fashion choices are questionable! (This gets better, too.)

There is more, but that’s probably all you can handle now.

Oh, and stay weird. It suits you. (And, cat ladies come in all forms. Enjoy it.)

Hugs from your older self.

~J

Only 95 Miles to Go

The day began a bit cloudy, but soon the skies became a most amazing shade of blue, as it often does in Colorado. The temperatures hovered in the mid-40’s, yet the air felt fairly warm—a perfect winter’s day. My husband and I started the Castlewood Canyon 100-Mile Challenge a couple of weeks ago, so we donned our hiking gear and headed out to enjoy the scenery and add to the mileage log.

trail beginning
The weather was beautiful as we began our afternoon journey.

 

Castlewood Canyon State Park’s approximately 14 miles of intertwined trails allow for short or long hikes. A creek trail follows Cherry Creek at the canyon floor, providing grand views of fascinating rock formations along the canyon wall and large boulders on the canyon bottom broken off from the caprock millions of years ago.

 

 

view
View from Lake Gulch trail just before descending into the canyon.
trail
The Inner Canyon trail was a combination of dry, muddy, slushy, and icy. We saw a few signs of wildlife having been in the area, but didn’t see any animals.
stan waiting
My husband patiently waited for me to finish taking photos along the way.

bridge

trail again

trail 4

trail 2
We found several spots on the trail “where the sun don’t shine.”
bridge 2
We could hear the running water beneath the ice along Cherry Creek at the canyon floor.

creek 6

creek 3

creek 2

creek 1

creek 7

Yes the sky was that blue

canyon wall 1
The canyon floor was so fascinating that I almost forgot to look up along the canyon wall.
bench
A few benches are strategically placed along the trail. I do like these better than the ugly metal ones frequently seen along trails. While these require more maintenance, they don’t detract from the natural beauty of the area so much.

trail 1

trail 3

Steps slippery
This was the most treacherous part of the trail. As another place “where the sun don’t shine,” the steps were encased in ice and firmly packed snow. The handrails were no help as the steps were an icy slide. We carefully scooted along the boulder where the snow was less packed.

Next time, we’ll try hiking to the dam ruins in the park
because we have 95 more miles to go.
More to come!

~J

 

Resolutions and a Neon Arrow

new year resolutionsMake resolutions; modify resolutions; break forget resolutions—a fairly unsatisfying yearly ritual for many of us. With its beginnings in various ancient cultures and religions requiring reflection upon one’s transgressions in the previous year, the tradition has evolved to what it is today; whatever that is. Do we continue to perform these rituals because of social pressure? Aren’t we only responsible to ourselves if we break the resolutions? Or is it merely a bit of New Year fun? Do I have any transgressions from 2015, and, if so, does anyone else know about them?

neon arrowI stopped making resolutions years ago. The word ‘resolution’ placed a giant neon arrow pointing to me from above my head whilst blinking “Failure!” Doomed from the start. So, I make New Year Goals instead. My left-brained mind appreciates attainable goals, with action steps to help guide me in the right direction. (I’ve noticed many people call them anything but resolutions. Maybe they wanted rid neon signs as well.)

 

My Goals for 2016:

  • Post on the blog at least once a week. Good quality may or may not be present. 😉
  • Learn something new once a month on any subject. This one is a bit vague, yet flexible enough for my whims! (Collecting toilet paper rolls now.)
  • Incorporate more spontaneous husband-hugging into my routine. I’ll enjoy the action steps with this goal.
  • Complete a 5k walk/run at least three times per week. This is probably the most tiring goal for the year! Keep moving, feet!
  • Schedule time for reading. If I don’t schedule it, it will never happen. Darn left brain!

Today, at the time of this posting, it is five days into 2016, and I’ve started on all but the second item of my list of my goals.

Do you make yearly resolutions or goals? Are you successful at completing them?

~J