Happy New Year 2017!


Climbing Mount Alexandra

Happy new year! 2017 holds some pretty nice adventures for me, I hope you are busy planning (or doing) your own adventures too this year. There's nothing quite like dreaming about green alpine meadows with sparkling lakes and blooming wildflowers while freezing your a__ off walking to work in January is there? What I want more than anything for this new year is to focus on simply living by living simply.


The older I get, the crazier the world seems to get around me. I know this isn't the case. I am just getting less naive about the realities of life, while also getting less patient to deal with these realities in a constructive manner. Younger folks seem to have an innate ability to overlook or ignore much of the darker side of humanity and life in general, while older folks seem to gravitate towards cynicism or withdrawal from it in order to cope. I have always had a natural ability to see things for what they really are, which is both a good thing and a terrible thing, depending on where I happen to be looking.


I've found that for me, the easiest way to get down about my life, is to buy into the fantasies that social media and advertising are propagating on humanity in fine form. These lies include the time-worn myth that humans can be happy and relevant, only when we are heavily in debt - both socially and monetarily. We are hounded from all sides, constantly reminded that we can only be popular and relevant when we own the very best "stuff" that our lenders are willing to let us borrow for. We must live in the nicest possible house, drive the nicest possible vehicle, hang out with the hottest and most popular people, have the most important, high paying job and do the most extreme vacationing, or be at risk of total and devastating irrelevance. We are reminded again and again that as long as we can afford the minimum payment, there is no downside. The person to die with the most toys and the most "likes", wins.


We push ourselves at work and play to be that one person who everyone else is jealous of. Explor8ion is a bit of a challenge for me, because the nature of having a blog on the Internet is that it can serve to mount pressure on oneself to do things that garner more attention and approval, thereby stoking the fires of ego. I've considered making this site private, but that seems selfish when so many people seem to get enjoyment out of sharing my adventures or dreaming of their own as a result of my photos and stories. A conundrum to be sure, and one that I continue to struggle with.


I'm hoping to make this year more about doing things that really make me and my family happy rather than what I think I should be doing. Selfish? Perhaps. Boring? Probably. Normal? You bet! Maybe I'll do 5 hiking trips and spend the rest of my year on the golf course. Maybe I'll only chase a few 11,000ers. Maybe I'll go canoeing instead. Maybe I'll practice my climbing skills and become a more serious alpinist. Maybe I'll ski more. Maybe I'll quit social media. I'm not sure, because I usually don't know precisely what I'm doing until I'm actually doing it and even then I'm often not sure. ;)


I know one thing with absolute certainty. I'm not going to do any of it for you. ;) Don't take it personally. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and hope you all find the motivation and adventure in life that you are seeking.


Please don't make this blog private. And don't let my enthusiasm for your conquests sway your choices. If I want to see amazing ascents, I can always read your past posts. I'll be reading eagerly regardless of what you're doing. Your outlook is infectious. Thank you.

Thanks Derek. I hope I wasn't too grumpy on this post - sometimes I feel like there's a fine line between doing what you love and doing what you ought to love. I love reading my own past trip reports so for now, Explor8ion isn't going anywhere! :)

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