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March 31, 2003

Lost in LA

Ok, maybe I'm not lost, but its such a different experience going from Mammoth to LA, it almost feels that way. I'm here to see my Nephew and friends. Tonight we're having a huge Cnation reunion at Sunset. It looks like everyone is going to be there, except Derek (who's in Mammoth), and Zack, (who's in Humboldt). Its nice to be here and to be able to walk around without obligations or a cell phone. Its really nice to see old friends. I got to climb at Rockreation, after it was closed, with climber Steve and Chris Little.

I still love LA in many ways, but fully accept what I gave up for Mammoth. More later.

Posted by wonko at 05:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2003

its true

we're all a little crazy.

Posted by wonko at 12:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2003

Happiness and simplicity...

Mammoth is a strange place. I don't know if anyone would claim it contains a cross-section of America. Rather, it ONLY contains those on opposite sides of the spectrum. On one hand you have the wealthy, who got where they are by working hard, juggling lots of balls. They believe what they've earned gives them status and they are not afraid to flaunt it or question others who do not have as much.

On the other side are those whose life revolves around simplicity. They do not have many balls in the air, as few as possible. They work, just like everyone, but they don't take their work home. They spend as much time as they can doing the things that they enjoy. They even make the best of work, even though they'd rather be doing something else. Most importantly, they maintain as few responsibilities as possible. In their unspoken view, responsibilities just get in the way of them doing the things they want to do.

Then there's me. I'm sort of in between. My life is not simple, nor is it overly complex. I make an effort to simplify it where I can, but it is not simple. Luckily, my marriage does not bring me much complexity. My life is not simple because I have a lot of responsibilities. I am a full-time manager at P3 where I am charged with opening, closing and keeping the store running well. I run Sarahpeutics, my wife's book business, which requires time every week, at the least expected time. I have massive debt which I am constantly aware of as I work hard to keep on-time and on-track with all my bills. This definitely takes time every week. I, of course, have my household and husbandry duties, but these are tiny compared to the others. Then there are the responsibilities which may not seem like responsibilities to some, but are to me. It is important for me to train. Climbing, outdoor aptitude, and cardio. To others, this is a hobby, but while it can be considered a hobby for me, it is much more. It is a direction I am headed with my life. It is an activity that directly improves my quality of life as well as the quality of myself. Furthermore, I plan on climbing Denali next spring and this will require a tremendous amount of commitment (ie. responsibility) to getting in the proper physical and mental shape, beyond making sure I am more than capable of doing everything required of me to get there and back without incident.
I am considering joining the Mono Search and Rescue team. There is a recruitment meeting on the 26th that I'm going to attend. Being on the team is a good deal of responsibility and will require a good amount of my time, especially initially as I take 16 classes in all areas of back country search and rescue. The idea of so much free training as well as contributing to the community which is giving me so much, appeals to me. But its still more responsibility. I still struggle with this idea of weighing the rewards of simplicity vs. the rewards of responsibility.

Recently its come to my attention through a mental survey of those that I know that there is a correlation between simplicity in ones life and happiness and contentment. I know this will immediately seem controversial to some people who will gladly point out people who are happy, content, and have a lot of responsibility. I do not deny its possible, but suggest that first, too much or too little responsibility is a relative term, and second that there may be those types of people who truly do thrive on responsibility.

Gauging happiness and/or contentment is not an exact science. I am using more of the instinct method with those I hang around with enough to know their moods. Those friends of mine that lead simple lives just seem happier. They smile more, laugh more, and take life less seriously (in a good way). They are easy going and not over sensitive. Plus, they seem to be less self focused than their counterparts. I know from experience that one can quickly have enough responsibility to where you don't have time to think about others. How could it even be expected of you? Whereas those with simpler lives tend to have richer relationships. They have more time and mental energy to cultivate them.

Taking the devil's advocate position. Responsibility isn't all bad. One can definitely further oneself and ones image of his/herself through achieving success through fulfilling ones responsibilities. This is certainly true of kids. (nobody read anything into that). We all know people who are TOO laid back to the point where they can't seem to fulfill ANY of their responsibilities. Certainly there must be a balance.

However, I believe most Americans (the group I can speak most accurately about), have a skewed sense of this balance. They do a lot of things because it is socially expected of them. For many, the burden of satisfying social expectation becomes the biggest responsibility of all.

So, given that this balance is relative (there is no RIGHT or WRONG in this matter), how do we determine where we should be? I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'm leaning towards of responsibility litmus test. You come up with and prioritize what is important to you. Then ask whether this responsibility is more important than the things it would cause you to sacrifice. I know its not as simple as that, but maybe its a starting point.

I'll give more thought on this later... when its not so late.

Posted by wonko at 12:33 AM | Comments (5)

March 10, 2003

Owens River Gorge Pics

Posted new Owens River Gorge pics here.

Posted by wonko at 12:23 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2003

Off to the Gorge...

Sarah and I are leaving now to go camp at "The Pit" with Steve and Hillary. We're gonna wake up bright and early and climb in the Owens River Gorge tomorrow. I'll post pictures when I get back. Sarah hasn't come on a climbing or camping trip in a while, so I'm definitely excited. Plus, she can be our camera woman.

The other reason I'm excited is that I haven't climbed with Steve S. in the Gorge since our first climbing trip together over a year and a half ago.

Wish me luck.

Posted by wonko at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

March 05, 2003

Climbing and good friends.

I spent Sunday and Monday climbing at the Alabama Hills with Steve S., Steve G., Bruce, and Hillary. Hillary is Steve's new girlfriend. Steve has a history of bad choices in women. This time, however, it looks like he chose wisely. She's a very nice girl and very strong (mentally and physically), which is just what Steve needs. We had an awesome time camping there for two nights and I achieved my goal for the weekend; to on-site lead an 11a sport climb with no falls. My body is still sore, but its the good kind of sore. I loosened up by snowboarding this morning before work. I plan on taking a ride break tomorrow and boarding some more too.

For now you can look at the pictures here!

Posted by wonko at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)