Lists, lists, everywhere a list
Why the obsession with the lists?
How many lists does one person need? Do I even really need another list?
So how many lists do I need? Well it seems lately it’s a bunch.
Between, I took down a tree because I need more paper or maybe I should just buy stock in a paper company.
I could say I have them in a nice tidy little book, all arranged in some type of order, but I would be lying. It’s a mess, a travesty really. There is a list on the fridge, a list in the car, a list in note books, lists on the computer,a list in my wallet, and little post it notes all over like a pinata had exploded. These are my lists and they seem to be growing every day.
A few lists have wonderful things in them and some not so much. A few hold wants and needs and another holds the groceries and things to do around the house. But the one I hold close is my Hiking list.
My Hikers List
My list, the secret list, the one we are to share, the one that is to help drive us along this 2000 mile path, I had no plans to share it. Sure it has gear and places to stay and restaurants I don’t want to miss or sites I must see and people I have plans with, but it is mine and no one else’. Do people really need to see it all lined up in a perfect row, to look over and analyze it, to break down and look into how mentally strong I am to finish this trip?
It’s the reason for the hike, My Hike, my story, all neatly placed in a little notebook with a few doodles and sketches, misspelled words and sloppy hand writing, quotes and a few poems. It reads more like a wish book of why’s, what ifs, and possible failures that could happen and the feeling of achievement for myself or the reality of not being able to finish.
Perhaps it’s a promise. A promise I made myself when I finally took the leap to say, “I am going to Hike the Appalachian Trail”.
Everyone of us has our checklist as a recap of why we are making this trip. For some it is a pilgrimage of sorts and for others it is an awakening or enlightenment to finding one’s self. From time to time along this journey each of us will take out our list and look over it, maybe running our fingers over particular words or certain lines, rereading it over and over again until the paper becomes tattered and delicate. This experience will remind ourselves why we are doing this.
What I did make was a promise to myself that no matter what I would never quit on a bad day and if and when that time comes for me to throw in the towel and say I’ve had enough I won’t quit on a beautiful day either. I like to think you may not be able to control everything in your hike, but you can control your attitude towards what’s going on and a good attitude will always work better than a bad one.
Be your own hero
I know I want to be the hero of my story and my list has that firmly carved out. I also know that it’s acceptable to cry along the way , throw up, fall down, and even crawl. There may be pain, blood, stinking and feeling hungry, but quitting shouldn’t be an option. Even having a bad day is okay but don’t quit. I may not be a Scott Jurek, or a Pharr Davis but just maybe I could be a Good Badger, a Red Beard or a Grandma Gatewood who all finished the trail along with countless others.
For now this will have to suffice, as I’m not ready to share my list as it’s personal to me. Will this be the doom of me by not sharing it will it make me less likely to complete my journey? Only time will tell. Maybe I’ll make another list and figure it out.
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