Hiking as Meditation on the Sourdough Trail

About two months ago, I bought a book. It has a list of 110 hikes within a 90-minute drive of Bozeman. Some of those hikes are pathetically easy, some are so hard that I literally couldn’t drive my tiny Honda Civic to the trailhead because the “Check Engine” light kept coming on every time I bottomed out on the gravel. So what did I learn?#1 Make more friends that have trucks#2 Start with easy hikes until you find friends with trucks And because lately I’ve been feeling like a total recluse holed up in my apartment everyday writing and marketing and blogging and making a really big effort to be social when all I want to do is wear my pajamas all day, I’ve decided to try to check off as many of the hikes that are close to town before the snow starts flying.(Which was about a month ago, but I digress.)Today, I attempted to hike the Triple Tree Trail, but they were repairing the parking lot (of course. Today of all days. The parking lot DESPERATELY NEEDED REPAIR) so I instead ventured over to the Sourdough Trail. Less of a hike and more of a “walk near a stream with some houses a little closer than I’d like,” it satisfied my need today to get out of the house. And though it was a short drive and a pretty level trail, it was gorgeous outside, I got to refresh my brain after spending most of the weekend inside, and I sorted out a copy quandary that I couldn’t figure out while staring blankly at my computer.

To this I say: what IS it about solitary walks, near quietly babbling brooks that make everything seem a little clearer? After a while, I even stopped noticing that I was walking I was so lost in thinking. Is this why Thoreau went to Walden Pond? And how many of these hikes to I have to complete before I am inspired enough to write my life’s legacy (probably not enough hikes in this book for that).

This is what I miss about training. I remember in New York, I would run FOR HOURS (not an understatement. Literally, hours.) trying to figure my life out. At that point, it wasn’t even about running anymore. It became a slave to trying to find the meditative state where I could think about things and sort things out without the distraction of, ya know, life.

Which I think is why getting outside especially when the weather is crummy is so important. To see things that I normally just research and to allow my head to stop worrying about “marketing” and “social media strategies” and “pitching clients” and MAKING A FREAKING VISION BOARD WHEN I DON’T HAVE ANY GLUE STICKS (sorry, it’s been a particularly challenging week on the crafting front).

So, yes to more hikes, no to more screen time, and if I ever forget who I am, I’ll just read this over and over.

Like Dirty to Me: Fitness + Stuffs

In this episode of Link Dirty to Me, I’ll probably talk more about fitness than I ever will again. You can thank Pure Barre for making me buy into their stupid 20 in 30 challenge (because when I’ve already bought a monthly pass it seems silly not to go EVERYDAY FOR FOUR WEEKS) and also the fact that I forgot exercise is actually really, really good for you.Here we go!So if you’re a runner, apparently a Wall Street Journal columnist is angry at your running boner. Don’t worry though; Runner’s World is here to defend you.Apparently, travel is good for your health (unless you’re stuck in the back of an Ecuadorian bus on unpaved roads without Dramamine. Just sayin’).

November Goals: Ramping Up

Hey-o! It’s November! Which means a check in about our monthly goals, riiiiiiight?


In case you missed it, in October, I set three sort-of-easy-ish goals to complete the second half of the month. Well, since I like to lower the bar, I accomplished 1 of 3 (read that book, chose photos for the tryptich but didn’t get them printed yet, blogged 8 times). But that’s okay! I made progress toward each of them, and what’s that quote about life and the journey and the destination? Right.

So, here’s what’s up for November.

1. Read two books (I’m in a book club so one of them is mandatory. The other is for funsies. Any recommendations?)

2. Do 10 pushups, full feet, nose touching the ground (T-Rex arms, for the win!)

3. Create an enormous vision board around “My Ideal Year” (I just got, like, 8,000 magazines so this is one way to make them a little more useful)

4. Start saving for a loan to buy a house in Australia

5. Call the HVAC repair man.

This month, I’ll likely spend a lot of time inside due to the weather being generally yucky and the sun shining less long each day. When I have lots of inside time, I typically spend a lot of time on Facebook, reading blogs, and doing things that don’t generally contribute to my overall happiness. I’d like to be more proactive and motivated, because it is the month of the year that I generally don’t want to do ANYTHING (ski hills aren’t open yet + trails are all covered with snow = lots of short walks + wanting to snuggle in my bed eating Nutella)

What are your goals this month? Share, please and we can keep each other accountable!


Link Dirty to Me: It’s a Video Frenzy!

Most fantastic, wonderful blog readers: in 24 hours, I will be embarking on a journey to the great city of Cincinnati, OH, home of the Reds, some rivers, and my best college friend and her fiance. On Sunday, they are to wed, and I will stand up with them and profess how much I will support their marriage (all while wearing a David’s Bridal dress).In the meantime, please peruse all of these fancy links that I’ve curated for you so that you can get to 5pm a little bit faster. Happy hour is on me y’all (if you’re in Cincinnati that is).I grew up on the east coast and do often long for fast-talkers and quick-walkers, but it is true that Montana is a really well-kept secret (and, apparently, for badasses).In case you need more awesome apps and websites to check out.If you are looking to change careers, now is the best time to start looking for a new job.I don’t know if it’s the season, because I’m growing up, or because Montana makes me feel like homemaking, but I’ve been particularly obsessed with cooking new things these days.What are you reading/watching/cooking/eating this week?

How to Feel Better When Life Sucks


It’s been a little crazy on the LLB front.

Let me rephrase: I’ve been a little crazy.

I signed 3 new projects, Mercury is in retrograde, and I had an abnormal pap. My month went something like this: CRY –> JOY –> CRY –> EAT COOKIE DOUGH OUT OF BOWL –> CRY –> SLEEP –> MORE COOKIE DOUGH –> CRY

Which is good! Crying is all expelling pent up shiz and us reminding ourselves in a physical way that we are in fact human beings.

And so, when all this crying has got me completely laid-out, beached-whale-style on my living room/dining room/bedroom/kitchen floor, this is my arsenal of things that get me going and make me feel better.

English Breakfast Tea with Milk and Sugar
A staple of my childhood, this makes me feel warm, toasty, and safe. Best enjoyed with the morning news and the making of daily To Do list.

Storing your stuff.
15 Minutes of Sun Salutations to Pop Music
Sure, I’m a yoga junkie, but that doesn’t always mean I’m headed to a 90-minute class, 7 days a week. My failsafe? Rihanna, Britney, and some hardcore, sweaty sun salutations. Namaste.

Cooking + Kisses
My boyfriend is a motorcycle mechanic and he has a very 9-to-5 job. Sometimes, I bribe him to come over, I cook a very simple meal that my grandmother used to make when I’d spend summer days at her house (eggs on toast, tuna fish salad, leftover pasta) and then I force him to kiss me 50 times before he even gets a bite. Bribing! It works! So do kisses!

Yes. Blogs. I google things like “Bad Day Blues” and “How Not to Get Stuck in A Rut” and I read about the THOUSANDS of other people who also are snotting up their pillows and rugs because their lives are a goddang hot mess.

The Animal Shelter
I actually had to put a stop to this because it started making me sad that I couldn’t take one home (my apartment building doesn’t allow pets) but making a plan to go play with homeless pups makes me speed up my work and get shit done WAY faster.

What do you do when your life is a little sucktastic?

When You’re Not in Love

I’m a self-admitted serial dater. I like the thrill of knowing that everytime I go out could be a time where I meet “the one.” In New York, I would say yes to every first date, telling myself that, even if it went poorly, it was at least good practice for “the real thing.”

And then I moved to Montana. I think I told myself that I was coming here to “escape” the big city and figure out what I really wanted.

The truth was that I really wanted “the one.” I was tired of first dates, and second dates, and waiting for phone calls. I wanted weekend trips and adventures and pushing each other out of our comfort zones.

So I made it my mission to stop “dating” and to try to find a relationship.

Which I found rather easily, which isn’t all that hard when you move to a place with significantly more men than women and treacherously longer winters. And I was thrilled that I finally had someone to snuggle with on cold nights and who would agree to try that cute little restaurant that just opened on Main Street.

Except I didn’t love him. And I knew it, but I wouldn’t admit to myself that just because I had found someone who would put up with all my crazy, didn’t mean I had found the one that should.

When you’re not in love…

a) every conversation about your relationship feels like a let down
b) you begin to feel like disappointment is the best you’ll ever get
c) you prefer being alone at home or at social events because you just have more fun that way
d) you blame your incompatibility on “stressful days,” “work trouble,” or “family drama.”
e) you try really, really hard to change them. To motivate them. To make them “better than they are.”
f) you get frustrated and angry for no reason at all
g) you’re late to dates and you get mad at them for getting mad at you

If you know you aren’t in love, be kind. Follow the campsite rule and leave them in better shape then you found them.¬†There will be hurt feelings, there will be anger, and there will be a period of mourning both for you and for them. But being happy alone is better than being miserable together. Trust me, I’ve been there and I know how awful it can seem, especially when everyone is getting married and having babies and living out their one, perfect and precious life.

But I’ve always believed that we don’t get things because we want them, we get them because we’re ready. It might be time to figure out what it is that you’re ready for instead of what it is that you want.

Have you ever dated someone for longer than a month and knew that they weren’t “the one”? What did you do?¬†

(image by ika_haqita)