We human beings are amazingly adaptable, aren’t we? Even big changes start to feel commonplace after a while. And so it is with my big (temporary) move to Montana. It’s been nearly three months, and while I can say that I capital L LOVE it here and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in between jobs, the novelty has mostly worn off.
I’ve settled into a routine. Even though it’s not a bad routine, it’s getting a little stale, as routines are apt to do. It looks something like: wake up, check the weather. If it’s good, go ski, usually for half a day, after reading the news with breakfast and going on a run with Enzo. Then, come home, eat lunch and work on this blog, job search and side projects. Maybe take a dip in the hot tub later, or drive down the mountain for grocery shopping, mail pick up, or to grab dinner or drinks at the local brewery, where we tend to run into the handful of locals we’ve met. Sometimes I’ll go on a snow shoe with Tim. If we have guests, we soak up the time catching up with them and showing them around the mountain.
It’s not that the things I’m doing every day aren’t fulfilling (and fun). So let me be clear — I’m not complaining. But living in the mountains has forced me to slow down and face some of my demons head on. Big Sky offers big skiing, but simple living. Unlike in San Francisco, there aren’t unlimited restaurants, new fitness studios, tennis matches, social events, friends, shopping and work obligations to divert me. There could be unlimited work, but that’s not the point of this time.
So what’s the answer?
When I first thought about writing this post, I had a tidy and perky solution. My instinct was to prescribe myself what I usually do … a new fitness challenge that would allow me to comfortably scratch the achievement itch I tend to get when I’m a little bored. Maybe a 30-day yoga challenge, maybe learning how to do a handstand press, maybe seeking out a big backcountry adventure.
But after some deeper thought, I realized that I’d just be creatively sidestepping a bigger opportunity. And that’s to face myself head on without the distraction of a made-up endeavor. To try doing a little less, but with more focus. To embrace a (temporarily) slower pace, get to know myself better without so many distractions, and use that new knowledge to manifest my next step.
It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to push myself with fitness while I’m here. Endorphins and adrenaline are my drug, and the mountains of Montana offer a cheap fix around every corner. Plus, physical experiences boost my confidence and replenish my mental energy. So if anything, I’m going to make sure that in the next two months, that I continue exploring what new adventures the mountains have to offer. But not at the expense of learning to face myself. Rut and all.