I am not the type of girl that makes new year’s resolutions. I make goals around my birthday, but that is just about it. However, this year, I decided that I am going to do something a little different. I am going to spend 2018 letting go of what is holding me back.
On New Year’s day, I wrote down everything that I didn’t want to leave behind. I tore it up, put it in a bowl and lit the pieces on fire. It may sound silly, but it was extremely cathartic and empowering. Although my mom now thinks that I am into the Hogwarts Dark Arts, it was cleansing.
This past weekend I went on a mini road trip with my friend Bridget. We took advantage of our singleness, and the fact that our kids were with their dad’s and hit the road. We headed down to St. George and decided on a few activities that we wanted to do. The hike, Angel’s Landing, was at the top of our list.
We both knew that the hike was listed as intense, but we were confident that we could do it easy peasy. We had both done the hike before, but failed to remember that we were both in MUCH better shape the last time. That was a little too obvious as our workout clothes were a size larger than last time. I would blame the dryer, but they were brand new. Now I just blame the manufacturing companies for not being consistent with their sizing.
We woke up early… ok, so we didn’t… we woke up at 9:30ish and hit the road with a backpack loaded with water and sub sandwiches. Donning our sporty new apparel, we found our way to Zion’s National Park. After missing the turn off three different times, we made our way to the start of Angel’s Landing. Hopping out of the car, we were ready to strut our stuff up the side of the mountain.
Exactly ten minutes after we started in, I was dead. I couldn’t believe how out of shape I was. The first part of the trail looks innocent enough, after all it is paved, but the incline is intense and the switchbacks only add to the degree of difficulty. However, we persisted, and moved our chubby little hineys up the trails, stopping what seemed like every 8 years, but was probably more like every 30 seconds. This activity certainly increased my motivation to get my bikini body back… and yes, I have had one… in recent years even.
After a little bit of time, we got used to the ascent, stopped huffing and puffing, and were able to chat. We talked about our jobs, our children, our lives, our pittiful finances. We talked of our faith, our goals, our dreams, our disappointments. We chatted over our years of singlehood and the dates we had been on: the good, bad, and ugly. Before too long, we were halfway though the hike, and off the paved trail.
We looked ahead as we saw a towering mountain, with no trail, and with chains bolted into the side of the mountain for stability. What should have been the intimidating part was now the best part. We scaled the mountain, grasping onto the chain and tried desperately to keep our shoes from slipping on the wet sandstone.
Along the way, Bridget asked the question, “What year is it for us this year?” You see, every year, we have resolved that it is going to be OUR year, but this year was different for both of us. After several moments of pondering, and my spewing out snarky answers, Bridget’s wisdom shone through.
“This year is the year to let go. If we come across anything that doesn’t make us feel as amazing as we feel right now, at this moment, let’s just let go of it. Jobs, men, hobbies, feelings, friends, whatever it may be, we are just going to let go. This is our time to let go.” It was perfect, brilliant, sound and very applicable to both of us. We sat in silence for just a moment, before my snark rang again… “But don’t let go now. If it is going to kill us, I don’t think we should let go.”
We made it to the top, and felt victorious. What a feat. We sat down on a rock facing the open canyon and took in the mountains going on and on like a line of dominoes. We ate our sandwiches and took in the beauty of our surroundings. Thinking back to our ascent, and how it was so hard at times, made that moment all the more sweet. We are accomplished, strong, independent and able women. We are living on our own, supporting our families, raising our children, paying our bills and doing all sorts of grown up things on our own. Although it may not seem like much to many, to us, it is the tiny victories that win the battle.
So, this is not our year. This is not the best year. This is the year to LET GO. Let go of everything that doesn’t make you feel happy, fulfilled and victorious. Let go of those people and things that don’t bring peace and joy to your life. Let go.
Oh, but don’t let go of the chain when you are on the Angle’s Landing trail. Tumbling down a mountain is not the best solution to anything.