As I sit here with the new year approaching I’m frustrated with myself and trying to find some grace for myself too. It’s been a long year. So many good things happened – I finished hiking in all of the Minnesota State Parks, I’ve tested out sections of the Ice Age and North Country Trail, I’ve winter camped with new friends, we’ve finally had some small Women Who Hike Minnesota meet ups. I’ve seen family for the first time in two years (damn Covid). I’ve deeply connected to Coldwater Spring as a volunteer crew leader with the National Park Service and Mississippi Park Connection. All of it has been so good.
But if I’m honest, most days I’m still struggling with a combination of mild depression and anxiety. I know I’m not alone. The hardest thing has been not hiking nearly as much as I’d like. Hiking has been my solace for difficult times and when I need to reflect. I have absolutely loved taking on my job at REI, but it means I’m walking more than 40 miles each week – inside. By the time I get done with work, all I want to do is rest. For the first time in three years I simply don’t have the energy to complete this year’s 52 Hike Challenge. I’m really struggling with not finishing the challenge, and then some, in the calendar year.
All of this has also impacted the blog too. If you’ve been along for the adventures you may have noticed fewer posts this year. I guess my brain has been tired too with all I have needed to learn and much of the events of 2020 that I’m still processing. Writing takes time and concentration which seems to have been in short supply for me. My writing about it? Well, all that’s happened has me simply experiencing and less inclined to share. I’ve spent the year trying to be in the moment and leave space for other voices to rise up and be heard.
For 2022 my goal is still to share about the new trails I’ve experienced and places I’m excited to visit or revisit. To explore more. To invite each of you who find your way here along the journey and, maybe, even inspire you to find your own adventure.
In these last hours of 2021 I want to thank each of you who have followed along for taking time to read about my adventures. It means a great deal to know what I have to share matters to someone out there.
May your 2022 be filled with adventure and wonder!
Next Post Preview: I’ll share a little of a past hike or two. Or maybe a new one. Come back to find out!
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