Happy 11th Re-Birthday to Me!
Eleven years ago today, I said goodbye to my old life and began living anew. I stopped mindlessly swallowing what society had been spoon-feeding to me. I quit my job and began living intentionally.Here are some highlights from the past year:
- I found a new creative outlet, making art from old postage stamps.
- I mourned the death of my 12 year-old nephew, Jackson.
- I learned to bake bread.
- I volunteered with the Whatcom Literary Council teaching english to a refugee from Afghanistan.
- I began working with Dirty Freehub, a nonprofit organization that provides resources for gravel cyclists.
- I took a week-long solo van trip to bike various gravel routes in Washington and Oregon. Ah, my happy place!
- I cycled Highway 20 before the pass opened to vehicles. (This had been on my wanna-do list for more than 15 years.)
- I returned to Alaska for a two-week bike trip.
- I travelled to Vancouver Island for ten days to bike gravel routes out of Port Renfrew.
- I met up with my family for a week-long trip in Colorado during which we visited Garden of the Gods, toured Bishop's Castle, and jeeped Medano Pass to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
- I spent three days bikerafting the Skagit River.
- I enjoyed a brief me-vacation at Lake Kachess where I packrafted, hiked, and enjoyed my solitude.
- I combined my love for books and bikes and developed a Read & Ride program for Dirty Freehub. For the inaugural Big Lonely Doug project, I had the great pleasure of talking with author Harley Rustad, Big Tree Hunter and photographer TJ Watt, and Ancient Forest Alliance co-founder Ken Wu.
- I hiked new-to-me trails near Mt Baker.
- I had a huge breakthrough at my favorite place on Salt Spring Island.
- I spent a week Rafting the Lower Salmon River in Idaho.
- I learned to appreciate salmon, watching them spawn over a course of multiple days on Diosbud Creek.
- I passed some days exploring new gravel routes near Darrington.
- I visited my family for two weeks in the Chicago area.
- I signed up for a trip with my Mom to Africa to see the Serengeti. (We head to Africa in January!)
- I designed three new tours for Discovery Bicycle Tours: Wisconsin Trails, Florida & Georgia Islands, and Le P'tit Train du Nord in Quebec.
- I continued to work on my memoir, coach students in business communications, and housesit my favorite kitties in the Pacific Northwest.
On my 10th re-birthday, I reflected on my desires to put down roots and my struggles to embrace a stay-in-one-place lifestyle. A year has passed, and my desires and struggles remain. As I've explored other options, I'm reminded that all choices bring with them desires and struggles. The truth is that I have a pretty sweet life right now. As long as I continue to live with intention, and as long as I decide how I spend my days, then I'm in a pretty darn good place. For this, I am grateful.
Happy eleven years to spending my days as I so wish!