Officially start my AT Thru-Hike March 2021!

Me Summer of 2020, manifesting my dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail! ©2020 DAMGarrity

Departing on March 12, 2021!

Yes! My train ticket is purchased and I will be on my way to Springer Mountain in early March. I have gone out to set up my tent twice since I purchased it from REI and each time it has gotten easier. There is some video of my first attempt on my YouTube Channel. Please feel free to subscribe. It is going to be hilarious. My next video will be my gear video where I go over all of the stuff I am going to take/not take with me. I’ll probably have to battle with the cat to get some floor space, so be sure to tune in.

Since I am taking the train down to Georgia, I am hoping my backpack will fit in the overhead. I feel like it will. This will be the second time in my life I take an Amtrak train southbound! I am excited. I will start the official countdown at 100 days.

No family this year for Thanksgiving. Everyone is sticking to their own homes… its a real bummer, but I guess it has to be. I went looking for a small turkey but could not find anything under 20 pounds! So it looks like it’ll be turkey left overs for a few days for me and the hubs.

As far as the gear video goes, I have a lot of gear, too much I fear. I am going to go through everything and hopefully get some input from some other thru-hikers in my AT group on FB.

One good thing is that there is a link called lighterpack where I can list my gear and people can look at it and how much it weighs. You can check that link out here. I had a pack weight of about 40 pounds originally (everything included) but now I have separated my pack and stuff I will carry always (base weight) from my other belongings. If you click the link, you’ll see what I mean. You can just view it. You don’t need an account or anything.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot that I will be blogging my experience for The Trek! Super excited about that as well. I guess I got a lot going on right now!

Hope everyone has a great holiday season… enjoy your Thanksgiving and remember to hug the people you love!

Blessed Be,

Darlene.

Let’s Talk About Down Time

Last week I had kind of a scare.

How busy are you? Between relationships, jobs, kids, pets, appointments, hobbies, paying bills, making meals, self-care, commuting… where do you fit in to everything? Like, where is there a section of time blocked out for you without kids, pets, deadlines, spouses, bosses, etc.?

Last week I had kind of a scare. I went in for a routine OB-GYN appointment then found out I ultimately have to have a full hysterectomy. Okay, I am 46 years old, I can deal with that. So, we set it up (even though I still need to go for more tests – can you say MONEY GRAB?) and I am scheduled for the end of August. Then, at the end of last week, I had an awful migraine to which nothing would relieve it. I left work early on Friday and had a grueling weekend only to have to go to the ER because I could not stop vomiting and felt like walking death (literally). Well, here, I did not know that feeling the way I did would lead to potassium depletion and that can make a person feel like dogged hell.

So, why am I telling you this? When we get busy we often forget to take care of ourselves. It is so easy to put our health last, to push off eating or forgoing a nap when we are exhausted. Taking care of our bodies is as important as taking care of our minds. I realized that a few days ago as I laid in the hospital on a potassium chloride drip due to potassium depletion that I had some serious decisions to make about my life. And I came up with a few:

  1. It is time for me to get serious about finding work closer to home. We moved three years ago and my current job is 25 – 27 miles from my home. That makes for close to an hour of travel each way. That is ten hours a week travel time and 250 miles a week (12 hours and 300 miles during tax season).
  2. I have to get consistent with my meditation and self-care. I noticed I feel so much better when I meditate and get mindful about my day. One of the terrible things I do is run on autopilot every day. Not a good idea. Also, taking my vitamins and getting in some exercise. I am forty-six years old… the longer I put it off, the worse I feel.
  3. I really have to commit to saying “No.” when I feel it is justified. Sheesh. How many times do I say, “Yeah, sure, I’ll get right on that.” only to regret it immediately and be mad at myself for not sticking up for me. I have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a little while in the name of self-care.

The truth is, there is no shame in self-care. If we’re not careful we can exhaust ourselves and for most things that could wait or will go on long after we’re gone (jobs, chores, etc). So do yourself a great thing and take the nap, have that bit of ice-cream, write that book, move to that new place… do what it takes to take care of YOU. You’re the only you there is! I think Dr. Seuss said it best:

Have a blessed day. ❤