How To Not Check the Box

Nice day at Laurel Mountain

So, the other day, the sun was shining on a bright winter landscape and Jan and I decided to take off and head for Laurel Mountain State Park Ski Area- our local area. Not everything was open, but the point was to try Jan’s new boots and get some turns in for her in a relaxed, lowkey setting. There was lots of snow on the mountain, not too many people, and just a nice, relaxed way to spend a weekday during the holidays. You see, the older I get, the more I start to realize that every day is a gift. I have this tendency to check the box with things like days of skiing, trips out west, days of exercise, places to go, plans to achieve, basically a lot of checking the box over my years just to say- been there and done that. Not the best way to move through life.

Don’t get me wrong- you have to plan things to get them done, but for the most part I am learning as I get older to enjoy each day as it comes. You just don’t have to check the box on everything. Working from home has taught me a lot over the last two years and most of it has been to look at each day as one of its own and don’t worry about tomorrow. Enjoy what we have each day and that includes our beautiful parks, the Laurel Mountains, and most of all each other. Our son Jack is out of town now and so basically it is Janet and me together forging our way through this world. And that’s ok.

Enjoy your friends for life. Dixon, Melissa and Jaime.

Driving through Ligonier and taking in the horse farms along the way, I remarked to Jan that this is part of the experience for us now. Learning to take things in, enjoy drives, look at the scenery and in short- make the most of the day. Looking out over the Ligonier Valley from the top of Laurel Mountain is relaxing. Yeah- it is not the same as the views in Utah or the west but for an hour and a half from our house, I will take it. I love the Laurels and if you take the time to enjoy them, you can appreciate what you have right here in Western Pa. I looked at Jan making her turns and enjoying her new equipment and was not counting the vertical or the number of runs we made. It was an opportunity to be together and that included the drive up, the ski day, and an apres’ ski beverage in the Wildcat Lounge at the ski area.

I used to plan everything, and if the plan was sidetracked somehow, it made me nervous. But I am learning to go with the flow as I get older and take things in stride. For instance, I don’t have to keep up with people who are faster than me on the bike. I am 68 years old and want to enjoy the time spent in the outdoors and the scenery and not have to be in anaerobic debt looking at the guy’s shorts in front of me. I haven’t given up. I just slow it down a bit recognizing that there are more important things to understand. If I can go to an event, great. If I miss it for some reason, I don’t beat myself up. If I get a day on the slopes or the bike, that is great. I enjoy it and don’t ruin it by trying to get the most runs for the day or the most mileage on the trails. Enjoy it as it comes.

Our son Jack made it home for the Christmas and it was so good to see him. He and his girlfriend Marisa and their dog River spent a lot of time here and it was nice just hanging around with them despite the bitter cold outside. We went for walks, had some nice meals together and in general, we tried to enjoy each day with them and tried not to plan too much. It worked out great and they made it safely in and out and back to Grand Rapids. I even enjoyed their dog River even though I am not much of a dog guy.

The very rambunctious River
Marisa and Jack
The Ligonier Valley

So, the point of all of this is that in 2023, we all should make an effort to stay active or get active. The old saying goes that you don’t quit skiing because you get old, you get old because you quit skiing. Insert any activity and the truth is still there. But be willing to enjoy the experience and not just check the box. Take in the outdoors, enjoy your family and friends, and slow down so you don’t miss anything along the way. I am a slow learner. That comes with the territory when you are a Type “A”. But I am indeed learning. Thanks for reading and think snow!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

-Matthew 6:34

24 thoughts on “How To Not Check the Box

  1. Valerie Reading says:

    Wise words Patrick. Enjoy the present because it is indeed a present!

  2. Angie Gladfelter says:

    Awesome thoughts! Thank you!

  3. Bill Belch says:

    Indeed pat have taken that page from you, enjoying every day , working or out mt biking , and traveling , much more enjoyable, bill

  4. Nice one Pat. Hope you are well and Happy New Year. 

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  5. skimeister says:

    Great advice Pat.

  6. Elaine Noll says:

    Happy new year!

    loved this post and made this part of my signature

    Cheers, EJN 

    “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

    -Matthew 6:34

  7. John Dyer says:

    A lot of wisdom in this fine post. Am going to share it with friends and family. Thx Pat.

  8. Barry Jeffries says:

    Love it Pat and totally agree.

  9. Bb Reading says:

    Love this!

  10. Deb says:

    We are so fortunate, sometimes living large, and always enjoying the ‘simple’ life too…Thanks for expressing it so well, my friend…we are enjoying the moments….Lovely pictures of the Family!
    Jack ‘s smile is brilliant!

  11. John Humphrey says:

    Nice story about taking it easy.

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