Hello Sunday Scaries

It’s 3:27 PM on Sunday and the weekly broadcast of this week's Sunday scaries is well underway. My anticipation of Monday morning is now in full swing. FULL. SWING. 

When I graduated from college seventeen years ago and entered the career world, I made a promise to myself that if I consistently dreaded the arrival of Monday morning for more than a month or two, for reasons that were more than just a phase, I’d find a new job. If I didn’t absolutely love my job, fine. However, I vowed that I wouldn’t sign myself up to drag myself anywhere on a regular basis during this lifetime, including work. I’ve kept this promise to myself and have never looked back.

This time feels different. I’m not convinced that it’s the job I’ve had for the last twenty-seven months that’s at the heart of the issue. I’ve been on a personal journey for the last five months, to be reflected on here at another point in time. This journey has left me depleted. Just really damn tired and exhausted on every level. While the chapter that began in January is appropriately coming to an end, I find myself struggling, although I know that how I feel is more complex and consuming than the word ‘struggling’ implies. What I envision for myself is to end this chapter by enthusiastically turning the page to find myself staring at the blank page before me. Cue the Hillary Duff theme song from "Laguna Beach” here and yes, I'm LC, eyes wide, shoulders back, smiling wide as I look into my future. I am acutely aware that right in front of my eyes are endless blank pages, bare and unencumbered by the mental, physical and emotional heaviness that the last five months have carried.

In reality, the page, as I turn it, seems so heavy that I’m unable to overcome its weight. When I’m finally able to turn to a new, clean, crisp blank page and I put pen to paper to write the beginning of the next chapter I’m finding that there’s no ink in the pen. So I push harder. I scribble frantically in endless circles. If these efforts prove successful, it’s only for a word or two and it's unable to be sustained. These few meaningless words come nowhere close to the representation of the amazing, can't wait to be lived chapters upon chapters I’ve already written in my head. 

As I anticipate the new week just fourteen hours away, I know that there are people depending on me and expecting me to be on, and I don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t want to disappoint myself. The next emotion I feel is fear. Not the fear of what I’ll find when tomorrow comes, but the fear that tomorrow will find me and I won’t be ready.

Manitou Incline

I've lived in Colorado for 4-1/2 years. Until recently, I had yet to hike the Manitou Incline. I had heard stories about how intense it is and noticed how those who had completed it wore it like a badge of honor. Climbing 2,000 feet in elevation, I had been warned that, somewhere along the less than one mile path, I would curse my decision to take it on.

Last weekend, as I finally got around to making my way up the incline, it didn't surprise me that there were moments when I thought to myself how ridiculous of an idea this was. I wondered why Colorado had to be the state with residents that pride themselves on being so fit that it brought hundreds of people out to this trail on a Sunday afternoon. But these moments were few and far between.

Instead, I found that those moments were far outnumbered by the ones where it struck me how fortunate I am. I got to get away from the city (but not for too long), feel some muscles I haven't felt in awhile, and breathe in some fresh air in the presence of some good company. The experience was so symbolic of quite a few journeys in my life. I turned around about halfway up and saw how far I'd already come, realizing that I had high and low moments behind me and knowing there would be plenty of both before I got to the top. Just like all of those other journeys, I was reminded that turning around before I reached exactly where I was headed would never be an option for me. The 4-1/2 mile trail winding down to the start offered the chance to take some deep breathes and realize that the outcome was well worth what it took to get there.

Manitou Incline Facts
Distance: 0.88 miles
Location: Manitou Springs, Colorado
Elevation at highest point (peak): 8,590 feet
Elevation at lowest point (base): 6,500 feet
Number of steps on Manitou Incline: 2,744

The Manitou Incline gains 2,000 feet in elevation from start to finish. The average grade for the trail is 45 percent and, in some places, it is as steep as 68 percent.

The Manitou Incline was originally built as a cable car to carry materials to build pipelines on Pikes Peak.