I’ll admit that, when I was on the PCT, much of my thoughts were directed to mundane issues. I would, for instance, spend literal hours thinking about the different kinds of fermented foods I wanted to make when I got home, or what I was going to get each of my siblings (and siblings-in-law) for Christmas, or fifty different ways to cut and eat a watermelon.
But along with all that musing, I did get a chance to examine my life, think about what life would be like when I got home, and reassess my priorities. So it’s good to know that five straight months of doing nothing but walking and thinking paid off in some way.
It was hard to reintegrate my ideas when I was in Portland, but since I’ve gotten home to St. Louis, I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to follow through in the things I was thinking about. This has manifested itself in many ways, some small, some large. Here are a few of them.
Less Facebook. Much, much less. It used to be that any time I needed a break from work, I would scroll Facebook for a while. On the trail, when we’d get to a town, I did it obsessively, desperate to hear any news. But something I’ve realized more and more is that Facebook makes me feel awful. Sometimes it’s because people post things that make me upset, but mostly it’s just brain-numbing to scroll through a hundred statuses of people I don’t even really know anymore. Now I go on Facebook just to post my blog, answer notifications, check messages, and keep on the loop with event invites. I have stopped scrolling through the news feed. I’ve missed some news, but I’ve also been much happier for it.
Less sugar. Actually, for a couple days now I’ve been making an effort to cut out all refined sugar (white sugar, corn syrup, etc.). Why? Because sugar makes me crazy. My emotions get completely out of whack and I feel like everything is wrong. When I go off sugar, which necessitates a more whole-foods diet, I feel much more stable. It’s an amazing feeling. I was on this diet before the trail, and I’m happy to pick it up again.
More reading. Somewhere along the way, I stopped reading on a regular basis. Not only is this not good for me, but it’s inexcusable since I’m a writing teacher! Right now I’m most of the way through Great Expectations, with a long reading list to follow.
|Tacos at a vegetarian restaurant in |
Vancouver, B.C. They were so delicious!
More vegetarian cooking. I’m on a continual journey to become a better cook, and my current goal is to learn how to cook vegetables in a way that makes even Zachary want to eat them. We met a person on trail who cooked us the best breakfast scramble I have ever eaten, which was 90% wholesome veggies. We both loved it. If I could learn to cook vegetables like that, I would be very happy. (Plus, meat, while tasty, is expensive!)
More tea. I’ve never liked tea, but only because I’d only ever tried black tea. In the past year or two I’ve started drinking some tea just because it’s good for me, and found out that it wasn’t half bad. Zach bought me a tea strainer, so I’ve been drinking loose-leaf tea and steeping shredded ginger. I drink raspberry tea or ginger-green-peppermint tea every day now.
More prayer. On trail, I developed a routine for praying, and often talked with God steadily (if in a scatterbrained way) for a solid hour every day. I’m still figuring out what it looks like at home, but I try to make time (more than my typical five minutes) every day to talk with God and listen to him. In the busyness of everyday life, this is easy to let slip, but I realize more than ever that he holds my world together, and I want to be listening and understanding what he’s telling me.
What do you need less of in your life? And what is going to take its place?