Sometimes I suffer from what I like to call “Purest Syndrome.”
An alchemy of give-a-damn, annoying self-righteousness, restlessness, and a keen awareness of time: all that stuff makes it tough to genuinely enjoy something a reasonable person might consider “leisurely.” If there is a sight to be seen on the mountain top, you have to hike there. It’s pathology for sure and thankfully, parenthood is filing down those edges. The demands of curious toddlers (and an exceedingly patient wife) have helped me to focus on moments and beautiful simplicity. Helped me to appreciate where I am, while I’m busy getting to where I’m going.
Maybe Twain had it right when he said,
“…when a razor has seen long service and refuses to hold an edge, the barber lays it away for a few weeks, and the edge comes back of its own accord. We bestow thoughtful care upon inanimate objects, but none upon ourselves. What a robust people, what a nation of thinkers we might be, if we would only lay ourselves on the shelf occasionally and renew our edges!”
That resonates with me. And maybe while you’re reading this on your iPhone between hamburger bites and your day-job, it resonates with you too.
If it does, don’t skip your next park adventure because you only have a few hours to take in the sights. There’s no merit badge for darting onto the interstate only because you haven’t brought your entire complement of climbing kit. No bonus points for taking the fast route because you don’t have time to stay for more than a day.
Take the long road…
And when you do, we recommend downloading an app called Just Ahead first!
On a return trip from visiting with family not long ago, Jen, the girls, and I had just a couple days to make it back to San Diego. Do we take the interstate and save some time or drive up through Rocky Mountain National Park?
The night before our big drive we sat down to make our decision. We googled “what to do with a few hours in Rocky Mountain National Park.” After a hundred or so articles on Bear Lake…we stumbled onto Just Ahead. Just Ahead makes audio guides which are written by expert authors and narrated by professionals. You drive, while Just Ahead talks about where you are. Between sites, nothing but a beautiful, purposeful silence. Click here to download the app for iOS. And here for Android. We think you’ll be glad you did.