You Only Live Once Part Two

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This is part two of a series.  I still don’t know how many there will be but there’s at least two right now. *smiles*  Read Part One here.

Eventually, we did reach the waterfall.  It was a small but glorious waterfall, surrounded by shades of green and brown.

Banning State Park Waterfalls

We spent some time resting and hanging out in this area.  I enjoyed both the natural elements along with watching a family who also seemed to be taking it all in…just in a different way than we were.

Banning State Park BoysBanning State Park GirlBanning State Park FamilyOnce we were ready to move on, my vision was to head back the way we came as I had planned from the start but others had a different vision.

Before I knew it, we were veering off on another path that ran along the edge (cliffs) of the Kettle River.  This “trail” (I use this term lightly) is known as Lower Hell’s Gate and, around this area, the map includes notes about it not being appropriate for children.  I knew quickly that this was not the route I wanted to go.  I hollered up ahead that I was going to turn around and head back to the falls and then make my way back to the campsite and I’d meet everyone there.

I was coaxed into continuing.

Yes, I shut down.

I put my camera away…it simply wasn’t safe to have it out and I can’t afford a couple of thousand dollars to replace what I had with me at this point.

My focus became two-fold….

Where the fuck were my feet going to go next + would they land on solid ground and how angry do I have to become at myself for shutting down and not honoring my joy-filled space in this world before I speak up and insist I have the experience I want to have.  Not to take away from theirs…they could continue on their journey…I just wanted to enjoy mine as well.

I had no desire to take away from their experience.  They were happy climbing cliffs.  It’s what brings them joy.  Just like the family you see in the photos here…they were joyfully swimming in the waterfall but I didn’t find myself compelled to jump in.

All I wanted to do was to enjoy my experience.  To create memories that I would look back fondly on.

I view this hike as I view my life.  When I am so focused on all the little details and making sure I do everything right (where are my feet?  where are they going?  will they stay there?)…when I’m not in a position to see what’s around me…to see the big picture…to step back as an observer in my own life….frankly, life sucks.

It doesn’t flow.  I find myself spending too much time nitpicking…too much time focused on what isn’t working…to much time outside of the flow.

While I obviously have a ton of work to do on my life, I am more clear now about what brings me joy and what works for me…more clear than I’ve ever been before.  It’s why I’m able to work three days a week and live comfortably.  It’s why I’m able to spend time with my grandchildren each week while their parents work.  It’s why I live in a home in an area that I absolutely love.  It’s why I get to work with clients I love.  It’s why I get to travel a little.  And it’s why I have really great friends and family around me.  It’s because I’ve done the work and I continue to do the work around what I need to be happy and what it takes for my life to flow.

It isn’t my place to tell you that you need to quilt or bike ride or kayak on a calm river or spend time on a patio in the summer to find nirvana.  It’s not my place to decide what goes on your bucket list.  It is only my place to decide what works for me…what goes on my bucket list, to have the strength and courage to stand up for myself and to share my experiences in this process when I choose because I only live once and I want to make the most of it.  It’s that simple.

As important as it is to remember that your life is yours alone, it is important to remember it is not your place to decide what will bring someone else joy.  Your experiences are yours and theirs are theirs.  Do what brings you joy and do not assume it’s what will bring someone else joy.

Enjoy your journey and all it includes.

Allow those around you the space to find their own way as they hike through life.

This is post two of a series.  I am not sure how many there will be but I’ve got at least one more in me.  *smiles* When it’s ready, you can read it here.

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