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I came back from my vacation and I am a bit overwhelmed.  It was not the right time for me to go away; but then again it is never the right time to leave.  I am glad I booked ahead of time so I had to go.

Vacations have a price. And I am not talking about airfare, hotel, etc.  I am talking about the price you pay when you come back.  The unpacking, the getting caught up with work, the getting a routine back.  Getting life back to normal is hard.

But I digress, let me relive my days in Winter Park, Colorado by telling you about it:

Day 1, Tuesday: Travel day. I left LaGuardia airport at 8 am. After the flight and a 1 and a half hour van ride I walked into the Zephyr Mountain Lodge at 3:30 pm. After leaving my bags in the room I went to get my skis for the next day.  I have my own boots and helmet, but I rent the skis.

Zephyr Lodge

Day 2, Wednesday:  I woke up late.  It is great not having to wake up with an alarm clock, specially since I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  At 10 am I finally stepped on the snow.  After dreaming about it for the past 2 years it felt amazing.  I was so grateful for everything, for nature, for being able to go.  I was surprised that I did better than I expected.

Beautiful sunny day

Day 3, Thursday: I woke up with a beautiful, majestic snow falling. It was magnificent and awe-inspiring! But I must confess, it was inspiring me to stay indoors.  I considered not going skiing.  I considered the cold, it felt so cozy inside.  I considered the hassle of the equipment, the heavy boots, the skis.  I considered that pang of fear creeping in.  I considered just staying in the room and watching the snow showers from my window.  After all, no one would know.

“My ambition is handicapped by laziness” -― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

But of course I would know. It took a couple of hours for me to talk myself into going out. I am so glad I did! I had an amazing time. I skied until they were closing at 4 pm. I am so glad I didn’t let the voices inside my head win and keep me from being on the snow.

I don’t have to be perfect or do well.  I just have to get out there and do what I love!

Warm inside, snowing outside

Day 4, Friday: I take lessons every time I go skiing, but this time I had decided that what I really needed was more time on skis.  But after having such a great day the day before I decided to take a lesson.  I am so glad I did.  My instructor’s name was Joy, she was older and absolutely the best.  She gave me good tips and pointed it out exactly what I was doing wrong.

There were two other women in the group.  One of them is a snowboard instructor that needed to learn to ski well to be able to teach both sports.  The other was a mother that wanted to be able to ski with her kids.  We were all in the same ability level so it worked out great.

That was the day I skied the best.  I always do better when I have a teacher/instructor with me. I guess I always want to impress them.  I also think that by following them and what they are doing I forget to pay attention on me and I am able to just let go.

Skiing is letting it all go and letting the body do what it wants to do: go down the mountain.  Without trying to fight it.  I spend a lot time fighting both, my body and mind.

Another beautiful day

Day 5, Saturday: The last skiing day. I started out well. At 12 pm I stopped at Sunspot on the top of the mountain to take a break and drink something.

I saw two women looking for a table and offered to share mine with them.  They were from Atlanta and were attending a friend’s party that weekend. We talked non-stop for over an hour. I had already been sitting at the table  awhile before they joined me, which meant that I sat there for about two hours.

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” – Charles Bukowski

I think that I sat too long and by the time I went back out there I just didn’t do as well as the other days.  I felt out of control.  It seemed my left leg didn’t want to respond to my commands.  I decided to cut it short and stopped at 3 pm instead of staying until 4 pm.

Sunspot: Lunch spot on the mountain

Day 6, Sunday: It was the day to leave.  I woke up at 4:30 am to be ready for the van at 5 pm to take me to the airport. My flight was at 10:52 pm. I landed on JFK at 4:30 pm.  Uneventful flight.  Uneventful day.

Overall I had a great time.  I only missed enjoying the restaurants.  Since I really wanted to focus on skiing this time I didn’t make arrangements to meet any dates.  When I got there I wished I had. I attempted to connect with people online but ended up connecting with someone that was in Aspen, which is way too far from Winter Park to be able to meet on the spur of the moment.

We are still communicating so perhaps there is a trip to Aspen in my future. I have been so impatient with dating lately.  Perhaps it is true that menopause means “Men on Pause”.  I certainly have been on pause way too long and the hot flashes just started.  Is this the end?

Going back to the trip, besides skiing I got a massage, took walks into town, and soaked in the tub while watching movies. I relaxed and forgot about work.

We all need days where we can do whatever we want.  When we sleep at any time, wake up at any time.  No pressure, no deadlines.  Those were those days.

Meeting a local

It renewed my love for skiing. For the challenge of it. For the beauty of it.  It renewed my love for nature.  Nature is so beautiful and inspiring. I am always in awe of this world around us.

Huge snowy mountains reminds me of how small  and insignificant I am.  At the same time it makes me feel powerful and capable of all…if that makes any sense.  It also makes me feel incredibly grateful.  Grateful for life! Grateful for the ability to enjoy its gifts! Grateful for each unique moment!

Now back to reality, but also back to planning the next trip.  Life is beautiful if not only for us to run after the next challenge. To brave new worlds, to get on planes, trains, trails, to brave fears.

What is that one thing that terrifies you and also make you feel so incredibly alive? Skiing is my poison!  What is yours?

View from inside Sunspot

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
― Charles Bukowski, Factotum