I recently had a conversation about my love for hiking. This conversation reminded me of how much peace I get from it. Of how much I have learned from it this past year. There is nowhere else that I find the peace that I have than when I am on a trail. There is a simplicity in being out there that unfortunately some people will never understand.
I havent always sought after that simplicity. I found my love for waterfalls about four years ago when I first went to Cummins Falls. When I rounded that corner and saw it, I was instantly in awe. But, I still didnt have the view on life that I do now. I spent years chasing a life that didnt matter.
I spent alot of time with my life wrapped up in a hectic schedule. Church, kid’s sports, and almost any event that I felt I had to go to. Dont get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of those things. Church especially is important to me. But, being apart of or in charge of every church event is not what builds your relationship with God. In some ways, it can take away from it. Trying to live up to society’s expectations of what life should be actually takes away from alot of things.
My kids and I were constantly on the go. I thought I was doing them some good. They were involved. They were a part of things. Really though, we werent living. Looking back now, I feel like we were in that movie “Click,” always fast forwarding to the next thing. My best friend even told me that my brain worked in next mode. I would finish something and then I would immediately have to start planning the next thing.
Im a phenomenal planner. Thats most likely why I ended up as a secretary. But, my life had way too many plans. But, in this last year, I have learned to loosen up on the plans. I have learned to let go. I have discovered that being busy does not make a happy life.
I have three kids, so Im not going to say life is never busy. But, Im not chasing life anymore. I dont care about being involved in everything. I have learned, that what makes my life feel full is actually doing less. I have time to talk to my kids. I have time to pray. I have time to see the blessings that I have. I have time to breathe.
You may look at all my pictures from 2020 and think Ive been busy. Its true that Ive explored alot. But being on a trail is the opposite of busy. Time almost seems to slow down. Worry and stress take a backseat. My kids even feel that. They play and explore and honestly dont even bicker with eachother when we are out there.
This isnt a commercial for hiking. Im not trying to tell you that you need to go spend all your time in a forest. Thats just where I find peace. Where I see God. Yours may come from something else. But, I do think more people need to learn to slow down. We get so caught up in what society tells us we should do, that we forget to really live. We forget to find our own source of happiness.
I want my kids to remember their childhood as simple. I want them to know how to slow down and find peace amongst the chaos. I want them to focus on creating happiness instead of worrying about what society tells them they should do. I want them to know their life doesnt have to look like everyone else’s.
Life is meant to be lived but dont live it in fast forward. Its the simple things that really matter. Make memories with your people, find what gives you peace, and just slow down enough to enjoy it. We make it way harder than it has to be.