I spent four days last weekend unplugged, in a hut a six mile cross-country ski from the trailhead, with seven friends, no electricity, no running water, and asked myself “Why don’t I live like this all the time?” We could get cell service in a pinch (or emergency), we had abundant firewood and a blazing fire (when we weren’t too distracted by Yahtzee or cooking for each other to tend it) and access to cross country and backcountry skiing, a master crafted sled run hand built with glee by the amazing man in my life, and conversation about life, love, work, and more. I wished my best friends (and Maile the Great, my roommate’s dog) could have joined us, so I’m already eyeing dates for a dog-friendly hut reservation (or maybe two) for next year.
I love the rhythm of “simple” living. Waking with the morning, melting water for coffee and tea, slow cooking steel cut oats with hearty fixings for breakfast. A mid-day play outside to earn our dinner, then a dinner prepared with love and delicious ingredients to rewarm and refuel the body. Games around the picnic table at night, with a fire blazing. Staying up past the sun, even though the natural darkness lures your body to rest. Sleeping soundly with the quiet of the natural space you’re a temporary denizen of, and then starting the whole thing over again, with minor adjustments according to your instincts and body’s needs.
It was a much-needed break, and it’s been hard to come back to the city. I’ve never noticed before just how loud and consistent the traffic is outside the bedroom window I sleep near most of my nights. But luckily, today, I’m working from home, which meant working until I was inspired to write, then taking a break to make steel cut oats for breakfast while I write, and then settling in for a quiet, productive day making day job progress until evening plans to celebrate a dear friend’s birthday. Today’s a good day.
And today also started with a little bit of inspiration from one of my dearest friends, Brendan. Brendan’s a writer — he has a day job, too, and on the side writes for outdoor industry outlets and his own blog, Semi-Rad.com. Brendan is an inspiration just by being, but sometimes certain works of his hit an extra cord. This morning’s Semi-Rad post is called:
And it’s this week’s must read. I’m one of those people for whom work is love. It’s a rocky relationship, sometimes, and I’ve been known to find myself off course, or going through a rocky work-divorce, and hanging on far too long to something that just will never be — and that’s life, and work, for me. It’s emotional. It’s personal. It’s about relationships and aspirations and much to my sometimes-dismay not about the money since my car’s paid off, my only debt is my student loan, and all I need to thrive are my loved ones, a borrowed wi-fi connection, my laptop, a tank of gas and the camping and climbing gear that stows easily in the roof box. Thanks, Brendan, for the reminder that work is love, for some of us — and it’s a blessing, not a curse.