Sunday, September 13, 2009

The journey is the destination

Today was amazing and I was able to go on a great hike! Not to worry friends, I was on a heavily trafficked trail near Jenny Lake. I never went more than 5 minutes without seeing some other hikers. And the best part - this hike was gorgeous! I saw hidden falls and inspiration point and then walked up through a gorgeous canyon and had amazing views of the mountains.While hiking, I had a lot of thoughts about life and where things are going for me. Perhaps it was being in the gorgeous outdoors or spending time at inspiration point, but whatever it was, it was interesting. I'm not sure if its because I'm currently surrounded by retired people (most of our guests are retired, since schools have started) or just being in this gorgeous area, but I've decided retirement is a good idea. I also wonder why we have to wait until we're in our 60s to enjoy some much deserved down-time. Now, I have said for a long time that people should get to retire first and then work, but clearly that plan hasn't come to fruition yet. :)

It has inspired me to find ways to enjoy the things that make me happy even while I'm working. Or perhaps its just that my perspective has changed. What's important has shifted for sure. I used to be focused on making money and gathering all these amazing things - and now I'm focused on having time to enjoy myself and time with people I care about. Clearly things have little importance to me these days, as literally most everything I own fits into my tiny Honda Civic!

I guess its just nice to be on a path that feels right to me in so many ways. I'm allowed to have the time to hike on a Monday afternoon and even when I work, I get an amazing view of the mountains. I guess I'm just realizing there's more to life than getting ahead. Not that I've ever been that driven in that way, but its interesting nonetheless. I'm excited for what the future holds and am enjoying this new perspective and way of life. I feel more relaxed now than I have ever before, and there's something to be said for that. Life's too short to not enjoy each day.

As my new favorite "Life is Good" t-shirt says: The journey is the destination. I have taken things for granted in the past, and rushed through life. I'm enjoying this slower pace and time to enjoy the moment. The journey truly is the destination.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Random thoughts and soapboxes...

Well it has been a few days since I posted so time for a few updates. First of all, my job makes me laugh! Ok, my main responsibilities are to take reservations, seat guests and chat politely with them as I seat them, thank them for coming, and answer questions. Not overly taxing, right? Some people I work with get really stressed about very small things. It makes me laugh. If there's one thing I've learned its this - working in Residence Life may have spoiled me for life. I mean seriously - where else do you get calls any any hour of the day to respond to actual emergencies? It makes everything else look a lot easier. Perspective is interesting...

Speaking of perspective, my co-workers collectively guessed my age at 26 when I started. They soon asked me how old I was and were nearly shocked when I told them. Not bad to look 6 years younger than I actually am! Especially since my co-workers range in age from 20-24!

Since I'm talking about work, here are a few pictures of my new "office."

And here's a view on the short walk around the Lodge grounds I did between shifts last week..

I've been off for the last few days, because I've had a nasty cold. I haven't been this sick in ages. I think my body finally gave in after the stress of RA training, lack of sleep, saying goodbye, and moving here. I visited our medical clinic conveniently located a 5 minute drive from my home and was told I have "what's going around." Was given penicillin and told to rest for 3 days. I even got a note saying I couldn't work until Thursday, which I took to my supervisor. He honestly seemed a bit annoyed that I couldn't work, but I didn't care. He's the "unpleasant" supervisor so I basically interact with him only when necessary.

This doctor visit got me to this may get a political friends, so just simmer down. Its just my opinion, so if you don't like it - don't read it! As I've been working here about 2 weeks, I've learned a lot about my co-workers and people in this line of work. There are many people who move from seasonal job to seasonal job and work their butts off doing so. They are all ages and from all walks of life. I feel incredibly fortunate and priviledged to be here just for fun. Now, don't get me wrong, the money is nice and will help fund my travels this fall. However, I have already noticed my thoughts on things changing. For example, when looking to buy dinner in one of restaurants instead of eating in the employee dining room, I think about how many hours I'd have to work to earn the money for the food.

Its interesting to me that after two weeks, my perspective has changed. Maybe its for the good - maybe its giving me a better perspective on how most people in the world live. Maybe its helping me take things for granted less. Whatever it is...I have to say I'm learning a lot and feeling very lucky. Sometimes the feelings of over-privilidgedness (is that a word? - Becky, I expect a comment) are overwhelming. Perhaps its these feelings that remind me of my trip to the Dominican Republic in March working in a developing country and seeing how most of the world lives. Perhaps it is what propells me to look for jobs and opportunities where I know I can make a difference. Not to feel better about myself and to get over my privilidged standing, but to truly make a difference in the world around me.

I feel fortunate that I have been able to make a difference in my work the past three years in Laramie. While there were moments of struggle, I know I was able to touch some lives and make a difference - and at the very same time - many of those lives touched me and made a difference in my life and helped shape who I am today. I think that's what life's all about afterall.

Being sick has also made me realize a few things. Thankfully, I still have health insurance through UW, since my vacation took me through the first few days of September. Therefore, the $116 bill I got for my doc visit and meds that I had to pay on the spot will mostly be re-imbursed to me. Back to the hourly thing - sure I'm losing income for these 4 days I'm off work (2 were already scheduled days off, so I'm only losing about 16 hours of pay), but most people in my situation probably wouldn't go to the doctor because the bill alone would be too expensive in addition to being told you can't work. I'm so lucky I can afford to take this time and get well. Ok, so I'm feeling a bunch of privileged guilt right now. But I think this awareness is helping me and only makes me stronger. At the same time, come October I will not have insurance. So, how will my perspective change on visiting the doctor? I can see myself not going when I probably should.

Now for a mini-soapbox, if we had healthcare for everyone, this wouldn't be such an issue! I'm so frustrated with everyone's comments that we are becoming socialists or even communists in this country because of the goal of universal health care! Since when did this country become a place where we don't take care of each other and only look out for what's best for us? Think about all the people in your life you interact with daily but know nothing about - the people that truly make this world work - and how little they are actually getting from us. Think of how much better the world would be if we would just take care of each other!