Hiking for the love of it!

Time slips away too quickly these days so I scheduled (in INK) on my wall calendar to take an early hike. And it worked!

morning hike1

My hike was under a under a cloudless blue sky. I left a bit later than I had originally planned and was on the trail at 7:30am instead of 7:00am. I wish it was earlier because I chose a route that went straight up the rocky hillside. Ugh! As I walked, I longed for shade, a breeze, some clouds and lower temperatures.  My alarm went off at 5:30 am but my dream was dangling in my memory, my pillow was warm and a hike could easily be put off. Drats.

WHY BOTHER?

This summer, I will be volunteering for a week as a Senior Counselor for a group of kids (Juniors in high school approximately~~ 15-16 years old) for a solid week. We will rise early, hike, listen to lectures, create skits, solve problems, create trust circles, roast marshmallows, watch the night sky and so much more. During this week, there are two hikes scheduled and they are both pretty steep. I don’t want to be the old lady left behind so I am doing my own training right now. Ugh.

morning hike2
Early morning walk at Horsetooth Open Space

KEEP ME COMPANY!

The hike I took this morning would have gone much easier if I had someone next to me as I climbed. As it was, I told myself – just get to the tree, just get to the rock, just get to the next curve. And with each baby step, I climbed higher.

GRATITUDE ABOUNDS!

I am usually in a state of awe when I hike because the scene around me is breathtaking. I’ve come upon coyotes, snakes, deer and elk when I’ve hiked but overall, I feel pretty safe. When I walk, I keep my ears open for the rattle of a snake in case I startle it but most of the time, it’s just me and my thoughts.

The hike is meant to strengthen my body and to quiet my mind. If I am walking with someone, then its a whole different story. For this hike, a companion would have been good for me.

morning hike3

During the same week, I took another hike and enjoyed clouds in the sky. They offer contrast, definition and most of all shade!

ENJOYING RETIREMENT

Being retired allows me to get up and get my hike or walk in before the day begins. For the longest time, after I retired, I felt guilty about what time I woke and kept the workday schedule I had. It was my way of penance for being home, with free time on my hands. I’m over than now 😊!

Time to lace up my Merrill hiking boots and get on the trail.

morning hike 5
Join me for a morning hike!

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” 

― Cindy Ross

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/hiking

When you find yourself smiling …
what task are you doing?
Think about it and share with me.
I’d love to know what makes your heart sing!

Volunteering: Give and Take

As you may have guessed, I am a people person. I love connecting with friends, strangers and soon to be friends. Although I enjoy silence and time alone, I find I am at my best when I am with others.

I realized the best way to connect is to join an organization that does somethigold rotary wheel-smng I approve of and want to take part in. Organizations like local Rotary Clubs, Peace Corps, Meet-Up groups, clean-up committees, volunteer projects, house building organizations, school tutoring and other similar organization appeal to me.

The act of volunteering allows me to contribute to something bigger than myself. The act of connecting gives me a venue to meet and socialize with others who are drawn to the same issues that interest me. It makes me feel good about myself mentally and emotionally. When I am doing something physical it’s even better because I feel as if I am giving and receiving at the same time.

Another way I receive while giving is by meeting new people. I may be cleaning up a highway or taking tickets at an event and you can bet I am talking to the people next to me, the patrons and the organizers. I learned long ago that we all have a story to tell so when I meet people I wait for their stories. Sometimes it takes a few minutes; sometimes it takes years. In the meantime, I am listening, sharing and enjoying the give and take of it all.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/Newsroom/Articles/Feed/UnitedHealth%20Group/2013/0619HealthVolunteering.aspx

volunteering can improve mental health, extend life

http://psychcentral.com/news/2013/08/23/volunteering-can-improve-mental-health-help-you-live-longer/58787.html

 

The Things You Do

I believe the giving season is every day of the year.

Some of us give when we teach children how to count, how to read numbers, help them learn manners and the joy of singing.

Others give by taking time to walk their dog when they could just put them on a leash and stick them outside their door. Unfortunately, I watch my neighbors do just that… why have a dog if you don’t plan to give it a yard to play, exercise and pee in?

Other people hang out their clothes on sunny days and allow solar power to replace electricity. Besides the crisp feel of the clothes, they smell Great!

Others, like me, love to take photos and share them with others on a regular basis. Take them, print them (Walgreens), share them. Why would someone keep them on a camera forever and ever? Lose the camera and lose the photos. Not me!

We all do something as a way to give back. And it’s usually a daily thing or weekly.

What’s your thing?

Easing into Happiness: Intentional Focus

Yes, studies have shown that a person’s happiness is determined by: genetics, environment, and intentional activities. Genetics is often referred to as nature and Environment is the nurture component of the equation. The third component, intentional activities is the subject of this post.

Intentional activities are things that you choose to do, things you choose to be, things you choose to have.  Intentional activities account for 40% of your happiness. No longer can you blame mom and dad for the nature and nurture part of your world … instead you have 40% input right here and now.

Smiley Face cookieHow to get intentionally happy?

Do something for someone else.

  • Say a kind word. Move over in traffic. Pick up trash.

Express gratitude.

  • This can be as simple as saying ‘thank you’.
  • Delight in the good things that surround you (can you say clean water, fresh air, a roof over your head?)

Get outside your sphere and take a look at the good that happens across the world.

  • Read about organizations like FINCA which offers financial services to low income entrepreneurs or Rotary Clubs whose volunteers travel to third world countries to assist in clean water, health and literacy programs.

When you do something good for someone else you’ll probably feel better about yourself and your situation. You’ll have a better view of how others are struggling and insight into simple actions that make a difference.

Your world view will expand as you educate yourself on specific organizations in countries across the globe. The next time you hear about FINCA or Rotary Clubs you may decide to research further.

Most important of all is the knowledge that YOU can decide to be as happy as you want …or not.

Scary, huh?

Were The Good Old Days All Fun & Games?
Happiness Studies
How to Become Happier with a Few Daily Family Activities

5 Easy Steps to Volunteering

The act of volunteering is simple…

  1. You have a desire to help an organization.
  2. You say yes when help is needed.
  3. You show up.
  4. You perform an action (paint a house, donate food, update a list, give money, promote a cause, write a letter).
  5. You tell others about your cause.

Easy to do, isn’t it?

Where do your passions lie?

Weld County Hospice
Mead Youth and Sports
Helping villages in Third World Countries get clean water?
Longmont Humane Society
Community Food Share
Rotary Club of Mead
Art in Public Places

One simple step by you can change everything for someone …