A Commandant of the Marine Corps once said that quality of life for the Lance Corporal is a good sleeping bag. I think I know what he was talking about. Today I bought a lighter pair of hiking pants and a down jacket to replace my old poly fill. This one has the latest 800 fill, its lighter and warmer. I guess my nerves are getting the better of me when I start buying the good stuff.  I wrote out recipes for breakfast and lunch from the meal planner I bought. I even laminated them so hopefully I won’t destroy them before committing them to memory. I’ve been talking the electronics geeks at Best Buy and the Exchange, trying to get ideas on what to take to continue this fascinating blog while snug in my tent and 800 fill jacket.  My sleeping still sucks which means I’m getting ready and I’m getting scared. I keep asking myself why I have to make life so difficult for myself. Plenty of people go into the woods for the aesthetics, the peace, the tranquility. I’m going for the challenge, to push myself, to simplify yes but maybe to suffer.  I’ve stepped back a few times to wonder, “what am I doing?”  I’ve had a nice life so far but so far each step has been a struggle. Maybe I enjoy making my life tougher than it really is. I never thought of myself as a Aesthetic, someone who pains himself to find meaning. But after suffering a loss that will never let go of me, I’m more comfortable with the pain.

I know that when I see others, most others frankly, living their lives in denial, I’m disgusted.  I want to grab them by the collar and scream, do you know what happened to me? Do you know how fragile your life is? YES, Your Life? But they walk around fooled by their minimal success, mediocre wealth, and mildly good looks.  The alternative is humbling. But for now the alternative is depressing. I’m reminded everyday that I used to be someone, so I thought. Now I feel I’m no one. I’d like to keep it that way but yet on a daily basis I clamor for relevance, search desperately for meaning, hope for sleep and sometimes dread opening my eyes. But when I put my feet on the cold wooden floor, I do feel a sense of relief and even a small sense of anticipation that today will bring some joy, some meaning, and possibly some steps closer along my on my hike.

But for now I’ll settle for my 800 down filled jacket.  Did I mention the color is Azul?


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