It’s been awhile since my last post. My calendar tells me that 40 days have lapsed. Even if you were to go way back to nearly forgotten eras when life moved syrupy slow and Blockbuster let you check out hot new VHS releases like “Back to the Future” for 2 days before charging late fees, a lot could happen in 40 days.
Some of these 40 day events were paradigm shifting. Noah endured a really long rain storm, and Phileas Fogg made it halfway through his trip around the world in 80 days. Others slip by with hardly any notice, including the lifespan of the female mosquito, which begins and ends in 40 days. (While it may not be relevant here, reminding new people you meet that females are the bloodsuckers, which allows them to live a lot longer than their docile male counterparts, makes for a great conversation starter.)
40 days is also traditionally considered the duration of a grown-up version of a meaningful “time out.” (Lent and our wait for the next season of Game of Thrones are good examples.) This is a time to step back from the busyness of life to reflect on our priorities, to focus on important relationships, and to fix our broken parts.
It would be a stretch to think that we’ve just completed a paradigm-shifting period. After all, it only rained a few times and our travel was limited to a few places in Europe. However, the past 40 days have absolutely been a necessary “time out.” Monica and I shared plenty of quality time together (probably as much as she can handle for a while), and I worked on fixing my broken parts. While one of the broken parts was a radiator that I broke trying to navigate the chaotic streets of Bucharest, most of my repair efforts were directed towards changing my attitude after my most recent funk. Too much time with “Eddie my inner editor” left me moody and pessimistic and intractable. Nobody likes that guy.
Throughout this self-imposed “time out,” I looked forward to returning to the you all here in the blogiverse. I wonder what you’ve been up to, where you’ve been, and who you met along the way. My mailbox is apparently telling me that you all have been busy. It’s gonna be great to catch up.
The secret to successful blogging is silence?
Even though I haven’t posted for 40 days, I managed to become famous. I was interviewed a few months ago by Mighty Blue, the host of a very popular podcast dedicated to hiking along the Appalachian Trail. In his podcast, he includes a segment called “Fear and Loathing.” He asks hikers to discuss the specific fears (and loathes?) they faced before their hike and how they overcame them. What should have been a short 10 minute interview became a 30-minute conversation about overcoming the extra weight of depression/anxiety/PTSD while tackling a 2200-mile hike. May sound dreary and maudlin, but Mighty Blue has an enviable way of bringing light into just about any conversation. And it isn’t entirely attributable to his British accent. The whole podcast is definitely worth a listen, but for those of you with really full schedules, the Fear and Loathing segment begins at 32:45.
Here’s the link to take you to the show: Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail Episode 31