I’ve just begun listening to the Slow Your Home podcast series by Brooke McLarey. I think Brooke started this podcast in 2015 and I’m up to episode 7. I’ve got a long way to go and a lot to learn. I was particularly inspired this morning by her chat with Cybele Masterman who writes Blah Blah Magazine. Among other things they talked about purposeful living and the desire to be content ..over the desire to be happy, and finding the moments of joy in each day. I think for me being content means taking the time to appreciate where I am and what I’m doing at any given moment. So much of life since my children were born has been spent in a bit of a blur. I have a tendency to hurtle from one activity to the next. My pride in my ability to multitask can often mean that I don’t give any one thing my full attention.
My goal is to be present. When I’m talking to a family member, when I’m working at a task. That’s going to take some (a lot) of self control but I’m hoping that with practice it will become part of me.
We spent almost a month travelling and trekking in the Gokyo Valley in the Everest region of Nepal in December 2016 and it was a wonderful reminder of what it means to be in the moment. With few distractions the act of trekking was purposeful and meaningful. My purpose for each day was to get to the destination, and enjoy the challenge, the company and the environment around me. It narrowed down my priorities. It was less important to check my hair in a mirror and more important to make sure we had filtered enough water for the day. I kept a journal which I plan to share here at some point. One day towards the end of the trek I wrote a list of things I had learnt. All were insights were gained through experience and reflection during the long walking days where I had the luxury of time to notice.
Things I have learnt
- Hiking poles are invaluable. You need two and you need to have them at the correct height.
- Take the Diamox (altitude medication)
- Squat toilets are actually pretty good and very efficient
- Nepalis work hard. The people of the Khumbu are kind and strong..and they like a laugh
- You don’t need as much toilet paper as you think
- You don’t need to look in the mirror every day. You really don’t.
- Taking the no-shampoo challenge is easy while trekking
- There is no limit to the amount of tea you can drink in a day
- You can climb any hill one step at a time
- Stopping for a slow food lunch is good for the body and the soul
- I am stronger in body and spirit than I first believed.
- My kids are incredibly resilient -there have been a few “Are we scarring them for life?” moments
- You can measure how cold the night was by the thickness and quantity of the ice in the “flush bucket” next to the toilet.
- Squat toilets lined with yak dung smell pretty good
- 10 year old boys get the baby discount when shopping
- Don’t count on being able to clean your face for days on end.
All photo credits to Rob, Miya and Toby Saunders. I was too busy putting one foot in front of the other to take photos. That’s on my list for the next trek!