Planning Time

Can you believe that there are only 4 weekends in February? Only 4 chances to get out for a long something without worrying about squeezing it around a long work day as well. Four more weekends in March, though perhaps the high country skiing this season will extend into April and May. June, even, in the high places if we’re lucky.

Rick was the one that got me thinking about this when he mentioned the promise of spring desert blooms given all the rain we’ve been receiving. If it spilled into the desert, the wildflowers this year could be amazing. And for a retired couple, desert wildflowers mark the end of the ski season and the beginning of spring travel. He wasn’t optimistic that he would even really ‘get in shape’ this season with the late start and road/weather closures. Could it really be that the ski season, barely started, is already nearing its close?

Years slide by to a gentle beat that fades into the background, like the sound of your own heart. Can a sense of urgency span several years? How do you fit everything into such a short life, crowding personal ambition in around professional responsibilities?

Back in college, Mike first introduced me to the idea of “Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail.” That was following a climbing road trip that many of us were unprepared for. We hadn’t read the guide books, didn’t know what we wanted to climb. Spent a lot of those precious days wandering aimlessly instead of firing off items from a tick list. Those who had prepared were weighed down by those of us who were clueless.

And now, all these years after that lesson that should have seared itself into my mind, I am once again waiting to see. Watching the weather, instead of making things happen and taking advantage of the gear that I’ve spent hard earned money on to get out regardless of conditions, regardless of weather.

And plans can change. Tom has stories of climbers so intent on their climbing objectives that when the weather refused to cooperate, they were unable to flex to something that would have been a better use of their time. They simply moped about the refuges staring out at threatening skies and gnashing their teeth in frustration.

Mid-year resolution: There is a balance in all things, and planning is no exception. Refusing to furl the sail and seek shelter when a storm is blowing in is as foolish not charting a course and allowing the wind to blow you where she will. Begin.

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