The Appalachian Trail Hikers’ Group

I belong to an Appalachian Trail Hikers’ Group on Facebook. But I have never been a long-distance trail hiker. It’s sort of like Cheryl Strayed fever took over me after I read Wild. I mean, I am a hiker (sometimes) and I was even a committed outdoors-woman for one summer when I lived in Wyoming. During those five glorious months, I met myself for the first time in the grind and glory of 10-mile solo hikes through the Tetons. I was 22, and I was alone in the wild world.

And I always envision I will get back to a more dedicated outdoorsy person. My husband does, too.

The latter comment is not entirely the point, though. What is? It has something to do with manifestation and what we put out there for ourselves. The dreams we hold onto.  The fact is, I honestly believe that just by belonging to this online club and being one of them in my imagination can change my reality. And it could change yours.

I’ve lived with a lot of negativity in my life. A lot of negative programming soaked in when I was coming of age, unfortunately. So my attempts to reprogram my belief system has met many challenges along the way. Even as of late, I have spent weeks struggling with my greater purpose as my career of choice involves working with a very different generation than my own, including fighting against all the programming that those kids have already been given.

The end of 2015 and the first two weeks of 2016 now have been dedicated to rebooting, to recharging my internal batteries, even if it has meant serious stewing and lazing on the couch – when possible. Yes, this has even meant bribing my 5-year-old with TV or with a reward for playing by himself for ten minutes.

Holding on to what is dear in our hearts, whatever it is we imagine for ourselves, is vital to our livelihood and success. Reaching for inspiration when our own is low is just as important. It’s part of getting back in the game, rejoining the mountain climbers in their trek toward the summit.

Even if I never hike the Appalachian trail, belonging to a veritable group of such hikers puts energy toward a vision, toward a dream. And that energy will lead me somewhere good.

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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

One thought on “The Appalachian Trail Hikers’ Group

  1. I love this Elizabeth! It reminds me that even though I haven’t realized my full potential of some of my dreams(jewelry artist, decluttering the house, being a healthier person) that even small steps put energy toward those dreams! I just joined a “Less is More” Facebook club because I needed some external motivation. Thanks for writing this! I enjoyed reading it! just joined a “Less is More” Facebook club because I needed some external motivation. Thanks for writing this! I enjoyed reading it!

    Like

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