This truly isn’t about me. Ha! I can hear you saying that to yourself, and I’m chuckling. My hope is to share my experiences while giving you time to ponder your own thoughts and see what comes out of it for you. Hopefully there’s a giggle, smile, comforting moment, or something even bigger!
If you follow me, you know I love the outdoors. The mountains are my peace, the ocean, my sacred space. In January, I had a serious hiking injury and am lucky both kneecaps are still intact. Thank you, Mt. Jackson! My tendons and ligaments are still annoyed with me, and continue to “speak” to me, telling me I’m not ready for the higher elevations. So, I’ve done sporadic small hikes in smaller ranges, yoga, paddle boarding and walking the beach. It’s all about movement and change.
Last month, on a smaller hike, I became quite emotional. It took a few minutes to understand why. My dad died 12 years ago, mom, just 3 months ago today. I was thinking of both my parents, and feeling grateful. The emotion came when I realized I have held on to two really strong memories about each of my parents. Both memories hold the same message, and when I understood this, I stopped on the trail and shook my head.
The first memory was when I was a senior in high school. My dad quietly invited me to go out for breakfast. My dad was not a quiet man. Also, he had never asked me to go out to breakfast alone with him. We drove to a diner in Concord, NH. When we walked in he proudly introduced me to six breakfast buddies. I had never met any of them, and for an hour, I sat and listened to their stories, absorbed their wisdom, and observed my dad in a whole different element. I was allowed an audience with his “inner circle.” Talk about feeling honored! My dad shared the importance of a tribe. I didn’t even know he had one until that day!
The second memory is with mom. I was 12 years old and my dad and brothers were away on Cape Cod working the family’s summer business. Mom and I stayed in Concord. One evening, before dinner, we hopped in her car and drove to the local DQ, where she promptly ordered two banana splits. Not dinner, ice cream! Our next stop was the local drive-in. We sat, talked, laughed, ate the dessert, and enjoyed the movie. Mom always served healthy meals, so this was totally out of character for her! Or so I thought. That evening was so special to me, because it showed the side of mom who loved living outside the box, and wanted to teach me to do the same. Her gift was to throw caution to the wind and eat dessert first!
Each of these memories resonates with me. Individually, mom and dad taught me the same message, which is to spend time with your loved ones and make memories. Their lessons taught me life is not static. There will always be movement and change, so make the time count now. I love movement, and I have learned change can make memories! I also learned I can get through anything, because I’ve got my tribe and we’re having a heck of a lot of fun living outside the box along the way!