Giving myself the gift of time

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.     Matthew 6:24 

from Giftster

I have not taken an extended amount of time off since March 2010.

At that point, I had moved in with my then girlfriend,  and started an IT career versus the series of IT jobs I had previously.

I would be turning thirty-six later that year.

I felt it was time to “settle down” and perhaps become a more active weekend warrior looking to do contract work in the future.

And here it is over seven years later.

The ex and I ended up having different goals and beliefs.

And somehow I never did get into contract work.

The balancing act I’ve been trying to perform of managing a career while maintaining an active outdoor lifestyle is no longer working as well. Work has regularly colonized my so-called free time more than I’d like.  Plans had to be canceled more than once due to ‘business needs,’  and sometimes I felt too tired to leave on a Friday night or even a Saturday morning.  The new Front Range reality has not been ideal, either, if I am not up for driving further.

On the many positive sides, the economy is terrific right now. I have almost twenty years experience in the IT field. I have no debt or obligations owed.  And the community I’ve been part of for almost twenty-years in Colorado is awesome.

I am in my early 40s. My overall health and hiking shape are both still excellent. But I now have additional knowledge and experience I did not have even a decade ago.

And, frankly, I do not know what the years ahead will bring regarding health, resources, or where I am at in life.

My lease is up in October.  And Autumn is my favorite time to be outdoors.

From the outdoors perspective, by shying away from longer lettered route hikes these past few years, my outdoor skill set has increased.    And beyond backpacking, I’ve learned to appreciate more subtle and different ways to enjoy the outdoors.

( And, hell, the seventh  season of Game of Thrones is almost done. 😉 )

All these facts make for a perfect time to, well, take some time off.

I am giving myself the best gift an outdoors person can give themselves.

Not the gift of yet more gear, or a membership to some outdoor club or subscription to a service.

This best gift? The gift of time. 

The best gift of all.  

And one I have not enjoyed in quite a while for any extended period.

I’ll write a bit more in detail about specific plans a little later.   But for now, I plan on a mixture of longer hikes that include one 150+ mile hike planned on a lettered route, a more ambitious 650+ mile route,  and possibly a 300-mile trip as well.  And also some road tripping, car camping, cherry picking some backpacking trips I’ve meant to check out for a few years now, etc.   I plan to enjoy this gift from September until early Spring.

After that? We’ll see what the gift brings forth.

More to come.

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19 Replies to “Giving myself the gift of time”

  1. That is awesome!!! Good to hear after reading so many times about your job sucking. I dream of up and quitting my job as I’m sure many others do. I look forward to the trip reports 🙂

  2. Congrats! I’m seriously envious. f I had your amount of experience and the Autumn off work, I would be doing something like the Hayduke I think…

    You know, I recently bought, and fell in love with, Nancy Pallister’s “Beyond Trails in the Wind River Range” book. Based on your blog, I bet you could write a similarly awesome book for the CO backcountry (not sure if you’d want to though). May not end up paying much, but it would beat the IT jobs!

    • Thanks for the kind words. I have a Utah trip planned..but it is not that Hayduke. 🙂 I plan on posting the details next week! As for a book, who knows what the future will bring.

  3. My youngest son has done this, although he’s under different circumstances. However, his house is paid off, his wife has finished her Master’s degree and will soon be working full time (which she badly wants to do), and his three teenage children’s college savings are ample. He has so improved in health and temperament since he left his job that it’s unbelievable! His children are better for more time with Dad, too.

    Of course most people don’t have the financial resources to do this!

    I wish you well!

  4. You can never buy time nor get back your youth…I’m so happy for you that will you will take this time for you and do the things you enjoy! I’m looking forward to doing the same next year tho’ I will be 62, conditioning now to be able to do all the hiking and ooh-ing and aahh-ing everywhere. Enjoy your time, it is truly priceless!

  5. Congrats, I’m a semi retired ex Rhode Islander now living in New Hampshire. My part time job tends to be about 40 hours per week. I’m leaving to do the Cohos Trail after Labor Day. Thus far getting off seems to be happening because they know I’m going anyway. Sometimes you have to do what you must. One door closes and another one opens. Best of luck to you.

  6. If you can manage it, do it. As a 60-something, I can assure you that you more likely will regret what you did NOT do than what you did. Live life! Carpe diem, and all that. Best wishes.

  7. I can only envy what you are about to do, wish you the best, and let you know that I will be vicariously in your shadow!

  8. Congrats. As a 59 YO, I now regret not spending time doing what I really wanted to do, because of work. I missed out on a lot of opportunities that I cannot ever hope to do now. I was too conservative and worried too much about my career and work. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely have taken more chances and “get on the trail”. I can only hope that I’ll be healthy enough at retirement age to still enjoy some of the fun that I missed out on.

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