Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Who Would Be the One Thinking This Thought

It's hard to do selfies when you can't see close up

It's finally winter here on the mountain and the snow dusted evergreens are so soul-fulfilling to a Texan flatlander.  I had dreamed about moving to a mountain and becoming a better skier (as a plan B to Ice life), and now that dream has become a reality - except for the fact that I am not a very good skier if my last two days out are any indication. Man it was rough. I skied one day by myself at Timberline: I'd never been there before so I tend not to explore a mountain too much if I don't have anyone with me. I seem to get lost very easily, stand around looking for signage and waiting for the zillions of snowboarders to whiz by, and finally figure out a few runs that seem good and do those over & over til I'm done. Even if I have a crappy day at it, I am always proud of myself for going - I mean it would be so much easier not to go. And then I had company stay with me for two nights (a gal pal & her two sons) and that was a fun two days as we skied at Meadows for really cheap and it was nice have two whole days of a long holiday with intense face time with people in my house. Sometimes I don't realize how much time I spend in solitude until someone is around me for 24 hours...like everything else I feel intensely about, my solitude is something I cherish and hold sacred, but can subtly turn into isolation if I don't stay alert to it...after a few delicious days of reading and knitting I'll feel all wonky and realize I need to go hang out with some people. This is the issue I never had to deal with on the Ice, as I was always surrounded by people and had to work hard for precious alone time. That life was easier as I thrive on contact with people, so I have to work a lot harder stateside as I love living alone and have moved 3 times in 2 years so am continually throwing myself into situations where I have to make new connections. Thankfully that comes naturally to me and this is a friendly mountain.

After a 2.5 year period where I rarely used fb, I am back on it and connecting with people again. Once the Icefolk are fully deployed I calm down, and now that it is winter here I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Or am I? One thing I saw on fb a lot is all the weddings and babies people are having. A lot of these people are folks I've known and loved dearly and I am always just so surprised to see them doing this. I forget that they are a lot younger than me, and that 90% of people want to have a family of their own. This puts me in a small demographic, and we women (and men) tend to find each other. We are connected by not only not having the desire to bear children, but by also being absolutely baffled by it. I am always very very surprised when I'm talking to a girl I've just met and her one desire to to have a baby. If they are under 35 I try and find out what other passions they might have and try hard to encourage them to pursue those...but I don't put a lot of energy into this as people want what they want and it leaves empty airplane seats for people like me...I am probably falling into that mind-trap because it is the holidays and I have to scramble to find fellow orphans to hang with. Truly, I have never regretted not having children, but I can understand the joy that they bring into people's lives because I have caught glimpses of it. Last night I was watching a documentary called "Stuck" about all the orphans lolling around in institutions all over the world and it was heartbreaking as so many Americans wanted to adopt a lot of these kids and the process took forever or was halted completely. That is one thing I could see myself doing is adopting one of these precious kids...but it would be super hard for a single person. One comment an adoptive parent made in the film was "there had to be more to life than golfing & skiing." That really hit home for me. Last week on my second day of skiing with my friend, we had gotten ourselves stuck on a run that seemed too scary for us. The winds had picked up and we were looking over a ledge and didn't see anything we felt brave enough to ski down. She started panicking and I asked someone who skied by where was the easy way down and he pointed to a road that would lead us to a broad bowl...we slide slipped down a super narrow catwalk with sheer drop-offs, me drenched in sweat & Renee freezing and crying, and I just kept telling her we're almost there just take it one baby turn at a time, and we got down. As soon as the terrifying part was over we were cursing down a blue run laughing and proud of ourselves and these words came out of me "I'm really Bored!" She looked at me stunned. What? Look where we are and what we are doing, this is so fun! She was right but I think my surprising even to me comment was a version of what that guy in the documentary had said. Is this all there is? I am good at picking a goal and making it happen. Maybe it's just too early in the season and I feel like I suck at skiing. Maybe it's because I haven't started working yet and I really need to start doing that to abort this extended period of navel gazing. Or maybe my innards are pulling once again towards this work I often think of, of working around and with these kids. I am glad that this impulse is keening in my heart, that I am aware that there is tenderness and compassion in me. But it only matters if I take action on it.  I have many volunteer gigs earmarked for when my pup is gone so maybe that's my next phase. When you've gotten to do everything you've wanted for yourself, the only thing left seems to be to give to someone in need. I feel it so often, but have acted on it so little. Will work on changing that for sure.