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Archive for the tag “Life Lessons”

A different life…

For many of us we never get the chance to make a different life for ourselves. To change what we know and reach for what we want to know. For some of us we get that chance sometimes more than once. What we do with that chance is up to us. We have two choices – take it, hug it, embrace the change and the difference for the good it can be or, we can run from it. I grew up learning to embrace change and make the best of it, so my story today isn’t really all that impressive to me.

When I was really young my family moved around a few times but by the time I was seven it was pretty stable for the most part. There were times I thought things could be better, but it was as good as it could be at the time. When I became an adult my life changed, kind of, I married but not just that, I married a military man. We moved states away from the life I knew, not that I enjoyed it, but I knew it. We moved our home 7 times in 9 years. Then I joined the military too, another 2 moves on my own. Life was much different than it was growing up. I loved it. I really did love it. I loved seeing the different parts of the country, experiencing all that each city had to offer. It was wonderful, new and different – the food, the people, the celebrations, the life.

Then life changed again. This time it wasn’t my decision and I wasn’t OK with what was happening, but it happened anyway. I had to move back to Boise, alone and without my best friend. It was not a change I wanted to hug or embrace, but rather I wanted to yell at it to go away then turn around, run and hide under a rock. I wanted my old life back…today has been one year since that change occurred. One year ago, with the help of loved ones, I packed up my life as I knew it, leaving behind the stuff I was ready to let go, packing and securing that which I was not ready to let go of, and I left home. I left my life. I was headed for Boise and another new life. I felt like I needed to discover what kind of life it was that I wanted – the discovery wasn’t easy. It took months to figure out I needed to take control and figure it out on my own. Then one day I started to create challenges and eventually convinced myself to conquer them.

  • A long distance snowshoe – after never have done the sport before that winter.
  • Backpacking Hells Canyon for 3 days – after not backpacking for more than a decade.
  • Rock climbing a 5.10 indoor course – after not doing it for more than a decade months before.
  • Repelling down a waterfall – never done that before.
  • 14 mile hike with my grandfather in his backyard – life dream of mine!
  • Completing a century (100 miles) bike ride this summer – after never riding more than 20 miles prior to that spring.
  • Earning two awards for volunteering.
  • Making friends & keeping them.
  • Maybe the best of all…I bought a house – on my own – after not being sure I could live, survive or even figure life out on my own.

I’m not sure my new life has been healthy all the time, but it has been fun. I’m also not sure if I’ve really proved anything to myself, except that I can do it. But isn’t that I all I need to do?

What saves your life?

Today a bicycle helmet saved a friend from a careless driver, saved me from a careless turn and could have potentially saved a child from death.

I don’t think I’ve ever crashed on a bicycle before this evening and it was completely my fault.  I took a corner too fast, applied the brakes and slide to the ground barely hitting my helmet on the concrete stones instead of my cheekbones.  I’m ok suffering some awesome bruises but if I didn’t have my helmet on it would likely be a very different story.

When I returned home this evening I learned that a friend of mine was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle.  I’m don’t know the details but apparently the driver didn’t look both ways.  He was crossing her path and things didn’t end well.  He is ok with only a few bumps and bruises but it could have been very different if he wasn’t wearing his helmet.

While pursuing the news reports via FaceBook this evening, as I often do, I learned of a 10 year old boy in the next town that had been killed by a motor vehicle this afternoon.  The boy was crossing the street in a crosswalk when he was hit by a 70 year old women.  As I stated before he was killed from the injuries he suffered but had he been wearing a helmet things could have been very different.

These happenings all occurred today and it made me think, “How much does this really happen?”  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:

  • The most serious injuries among a majority of those killed are to the head.
  • Eighty-nine percent of bicycle deaths are persons 16 and older.
  • Helmet use has been estimated to reduce head injury risk by 85 percent.
  • Ninety-one percent of bicyclists killed in 2009 reportedly weren’t wearing helmets.

I wear my helmet EVERY time I ride and always will…I hope you will too.

Decided it would be a good idea to take a picture of the helmet…


I wake up every day…



I’ve have a quote similar to this hanging on my wall since I was a very small child.  I believe it goes something like “Those that want little will be not be disappointed.”  It brings me back to reality at times when it feels like nothing is going the way I want.

Car lessons 1 & 2

This blog is about my life lessons and today I learned something new…brakes need replaced OR they make bad sounds.

About a month ago I learned a different lesson…tire gauges aren’t usually wrong. I have low profile tires and the amount of air between a full tire and flat one, isn’t really noticeable. There is somewhat of a difference because I went out one morning and thought “that tire looks low, I should go put air in it”.  Then I checked it with the tire gauge. “No pressure – that must be wrong” I thought.  And so I drove, nope, I didn’t put the spare on I just drove, and it drove just fine. I drove to the gas station down the street – “$0.75 for air forget that” and I drove.  I decided at that point that I should have it looked at so I took it to local tire dealer with an awesome reputation, Les Schwab.  They were great. They took care of my tires right away and set me up to get the alignment looked at (not something that could be fixed…something about Mazda not making a part) and told me my brakes had about 10% left. Now, the thing about my brakes means absolutely nothing to a girl who knows almost nothing about cars. So what do I do – “oh, I’ll just hold off on the brakes for a while.”

That “while” reared its head last night as the crunching sound being made when I braked or turned became unavoidable. I took it back to the same place this morning and received a lecture from the cute guy who helped me before about how I should have had it done before…good thing he was cute. In an attempt to avoid another lecture and possible more damage to my innocent car, I left it to get worked on and have the brakes replaced.

So, another life lesson…listen and RESPOND when you are told something needs done with your car. I’m not a fan of this maintenance stuff!

Too often we decide to…

Too often we decide to follow a path that is not really our own; one that others have set for us. We forget that whichever way we go, the price is the same: in both cases we will pass through both difficult and happy moments. But when we are living our dream, the difficulties we encounter make sense. —Paulo Coelho


The smell of pine trees in the dark

Ahh…another interesting evening in the mountains, although this time wasn’t supposed to be as interesting as it was.  I had agreed to go on a hike with a friend to explore a new area.  The goal was to find a hike/trail that we could make into a group venture later in the summer.

Our hike started out nicely with a good trail and a beautiful views, it quickly turned into an adventure as we came upon a creek.  I think the hope was to be able to follow the creek on what should have been an established trail.  That didn’t happen.  There was an established trail, but the creek was following it, or rather the trail was the creek bed.  We tried going up and over bushwhacking our way over the hillside, but quickly turned back down towards the creek again as it looked a bit more promising and was our original intended route.  We didn’t want to get lost, you know.  As we followed the creek it became harder and harder to stay “dry”, making the alternative of walking in the creek much more appealing.  I tried to walk on top of the water for a bit, it didn’t work so well for me.  I think this is when I twisted my knee and ankle, making the rest of the hike a little slower.

As the evening went on (and yes – I mean evening as the sun was making a wonderful showing over the mountain tops) we bushwhacked a bit more until we ran across a trail that seemed to be following in the direction of the next waypoint loaded on our GPS.  But wait…something must go wrong…GPS batteries that is your cue to die.  Yes, they died but a spare should be in the pack on my hiking partner.  Spare batteries were there, but he wouldn’t find those for a least another hour or two.  You might be wondering now “an hour or two? What the heck were you doing” or “oh my, it must be dark by now, they’d better hurry up off that mountain”….I would be.  To answer your questions, I’m not sure what I was doing, I was following the direction of my hiking partner who promised me earlier he had never really been “lost” and did this type of exploring all the time.  Oh and yes, it was dark, very, very dark, and the thought of a Mountain Lion crossed my mind more than once!  A rattling (like a large cat) in the bushes is much scarier when you can’t see anything!!

Now, since it was dark and the trees and hills blocked any light we might have received from the city or the stars it was time to get the lamp out and walk with some artificial light.  OK…I guess it’s a good thing I carried a light…my partner forgot his.  No problem, one light should be plenty if you don’t consider the second person would have to wear his sunglasses to vaguely see a tiny bit because he was practically blind otherwise. His clear glasses were thought to have been left in the car on accident.

We trekked along, stopping to look at the map more than once.  All the while discussing how this trail seemed to be going the general direction we should be headed, west.  West, I believed would take us to a road that would then lead us back to the car.  But wait…didn’t I say we found some batteries later for the GPS? Oh yes, and that was a problem…as much as it might not seem that way.  Now, my job became “no…I really don’t want to lead a blind man through the forest (with downed trees/rocks/and everything else) in the pitch black with only one light to a trail we MIGHT run across.  Can we please stay on this trail where I already have to make sure you don’t trip on a rock, fall and break your ankle (again)?”

Eventually he listened to me and we stayed on the “safe” trail, which ultimately did lead to a road that led us back to the car.  The car looked so nice and inviting (not to mention warm – I was in a tank top and shorts), when we finally saw it at 3:00am.  How is the blind man going to drive me back to my car with sunglasses on?  Turns out the glasses weren’t in the car…they were in his pocket the entire time!  Oh well…now for the 70 minute drive down the mountain to my car so I can go home and call in sick to work and nurse my injured knee a bit.

The exploration hike turned into an adventure (for me at least) very quickly.  I’m not sure I was ever in any real danger but the extra food and water we brought were gone, I should have had a jacket (but his poncho worked as well as it could), extra batteries and glasses might be a good thing to carry, and one should always carry a light.  We were less than 10 miles from Boise, but it just proves that you really can never be over prepared.  Safety gear will come in handy at some point and you really should have it with you.  I’ll be stocking up a bit more in the future.

From what I could see, the terrain seemed to be wonderful and I can’t wait to go back and see it in the daylight.  Our goal was achieved and I/we will take hikers on a part of this trail sometime this summer (not the whole 10 miles, of course).  Just need to figure out what to call it, “lost hikers trail” or “blind man’s trail”?

The only people you need …

The only people you need in your life are the ones that prove they need you in theirs. There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore, and who always will. So don’t worry about people from your past. There’s a reason why they didn’t make it to your future. ~unknown

I ran across this today and thought I should put it somewhere that I can come back to it.  I’m not sure who said it or where it came from but it has some great meaning behind it.  There is a reason some people are in the past, should stay in the past or move quickly to the past.  Sometimes, they just don’t get there quick enough.

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