The holidays came and went, and I once again found myself donning snowshoes and ringing in the New Year photographing a day of wintry landscapes around Mystic Lake in the Beartooths. As we hiked along the peaceful, snowy trail, my thoughts drifted to an earlier conversation I had with a friend that week about making New Year’s resolutions.
I have to admit, I’ve never been big on resolutions, mostly because they don’t seem to stick. Instead, I like to make plans. Each year around this time, I pull out the maps and the guidebooks, and I start dreaming. I write down an adventure wish list – places I’d like to go, mountains I’d like to climb, new activities I’d like to try. Then I pull out the calendar and my bank statements and try my best to reconcile those dreams with reality. Inevitably, some get tossed out the window; others are set aside for another time. And somehow, each year I surprise myself at how much I am able to accomplish with seemingly inadequate supplies of time and money.
This year, I have no reason to expect things will be different. I have no plans of winning the lottery. I’ll continue to have the same responsibilities of family, work, and keeping fit. And of course, I’ll have the everlasting dilemma of trying to squeeze in bits of recreation in between. Sound familiar?
This is where The Plan comes in. It’s my weapon against those formidable, would-be usurpers of motivation, Not-Enough-Time and Not-Enough-Money. Without The Plan, I might as well join the legions of American couch potatoes and watch my life from the sidelines, passing by one weekend at a time. Instead, The Plan gives me goals and a structure to help me manage what time and money I do have so I can participate in my own life. And throughout the whole process, I almost always end up achieving objectives that might otherwise have been resolutions – like getting fit, getting organized, or learning something new.
By now you might be wondering, “So, what does this lecture have to do with a trip report from Mystic Lake?”
Because this trip started with a plan! It was an adventure, and it was awesome! Life is also an adventure, and adventure happens outside. It’s not in front of the television. Not on Facebook. Not on the couch. I don’t know about you, but there’s usually not much going on at home. Home is for the cat, and as long as we stay home, we know how the story ends. But once we venture out the door, our futures become unwritten.
So what’s your plan? Maybe you’ve always wanted to race in a triathlon. Or climb a mountain. Or start a business. Or take a trip to reconnect with an old friend. Whatever it is, life is happening right now, right outside your door. What are you waiting for?