“Hello there!”

“Hello there!” he said in his best Obi-Wan Kenobi imitation trying to casually ignore the fact that it has been over a year and a half since his last post. The most surprising part is that it feels like I just wrote my last post yesterday. Sadly I think this is proof that I must be getting older since I’ve started mentioning in general conversation how fast time goes by. The good thing is I learned long ago that you can grow older but still avoid growing up too much!

Establishing Priorities

In late 2021, near the end of our short summer in Canada, I realized I had to make a choice. I could continue spending way too much time on electronic devices or choose to prioritize spending more time staying active and getting outside. With my work weeks pushing into the 50-60 hour range at the time and my bike rides getting longer and more adventurous, unfortunately writing these blog posts had to take a back burner. On top of work, daily physical activity and minimum one adventure per week we also welcomed a new puppy into our home in early September 2021.

Part of my inspiration for starting 118 Degrees West and focusing on this blog is to encourage others to spend more time enjoying awesome outdoor activities. The unfortunate, or fortunate, truth is that I also need to push myself to lead that same lifestyle. Being an engineer and working remotely for the past 3 years means I spend a lot of time on a computer. However, what really motivates me is spending time outdoors with the people I love and doing the activities I enjoy. At my core, my default is to lead by example and focus on taking action. That is why for the past year and half I have prioritized as much of my non-working time toward spending time with family / friends, spending time outdoors and spending time traveling.

As I reflected on my new priorities I realized that this must be something many can relate to. When that deadline at work is getting closer and you start working extra hours or your kids’ activities take up most of your spare time, those personal activities like going on a hike, bike ride or just getting a solid workout will inevitably take the back burner. My natural tendency is to just try and do everything by being more efficient, productive and stretching my days longer and longer. This pattern then leads to burnout, exhaustion and an inevitable crash where I accomplish nothing at all for several days and fall even further behind. This time around as the wave of life was swelling towards me I decided to try something different. Rather than building a schedule for my day and trying to complete as many items as possible I chose to prioritize those crucial items that either have to get done (like my day job) or those activities that make me feel the most fulfilled (like regular exercise, time outdoors and time with family and friends). I prioritized my day job because that’s what pays the bills, keeps the lights on and helps fund some of the more ambitious adventures. I prioritized my daily activity because that was critical to improving / maintaining a physical condition that would allow me to be healthy and to fully enjoy activities I love. I also prioritized spending quality time with friends and family. Everything else took the back burner. Granted this did mean that sometimes laundry sat unfolded for way too long, or that appointment I’ve been meaning to book just never gets booked.

As a result of my new approach to prioritizing my time and focus I am happy to report the results have been spectacular. I have spent countless hours with our new pup. I have traveled home to Nova Scotia on 3 separate occasions to visit family and friends. I have spent quality time exploring more of Western Canada and I have had some incredible adventures since my last post including:

  • Countless mountain biking adventures within a day’s drive of Calgary, Alberta.
  • Cat skiing in Rossland, British Columbia.
  • Several epic days of split boarding in Rogers Pass, British Columbia which included maybe some of the best mountain views of my life.
  • Exploring London for a week while visiting my cousin including highlights such as The Royal Observatory, Bodiam Castle, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, 2000 year old Roman ruins, many traditional pubs and lots of exploration on foot.
  • A week of absolutely epic mountain biking in southern Spain.

Typing that list out and digging out some photos reminded me just how thankful I am for having these opportunities in the first place. Some have been 10 years in the making, some I feel like I’ve been preparing a lifetime for, while there are a few on this list that are a result having bandwidth available to jump on an neat opportunity at the right time. Having clearly established priorities has made it much easier to bring some of these adventures to life. One interesting thing about these types of activities is that the more you do them the more you want to do them which also makes it easier to hold yourself accountable to the newly established priorities.

My plan for blog posts this year will be a bit more subdued and in line with my goal for spending less time on electronic devices. Which is probably a good thing since I didn’t come close to my previous goal of a post a week. I hope after reading this you are inspired to set your own priorities in order to maximize your time staying active, getting outside and pursuing your own adventures. If you would like some help with motivation, planning or preparation for an adventure just reach out through our newly updated Services page. The initial consultation is completely free of cost and most may not need much more than that to get started on the right path.

Happy trails!

Dave T

One thought on ““Hello there!”

  1. I can relate to having to prioritize in order to avoid burnout! Prioritizing time for activities that I find fulfilling and enjoy also make me more productive in the day to day grind that keeps the lights on and laundry folded. Sometimes just having something to look forward to or goal to work towards make a huge difference.

    Liked by 1 person

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