Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Roots and Introspection

This blog is slowly but surely returning to its roots.  I started recording my daughters' mountain adventures as a way to keep track of what the girls had done and where we'd been.  I published our reports to let friends and family know what we were doing, and to offer information about the trails to interested hikers. 

Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure hit the physical and virtual shelves in April 2012, and during the months before and after my memoir's publication date, my posts were relatively big and broad.  That was fine, that was what was called for at the time.  Now, however, my daughters are getting older and they -- and I -- want the blog to go back to what it used to be.  All three of us want me to publish our weekly trip reports, and all three of us want me to blog about our long-distance hikes.  Personal details regarding the girls that have nothing to do with hiking, however, will no longer be shared. 

Each of us wants more privacy -- I actually feel like I'm becoming a recluse.  I'm more and more choosy about who I hang out with, I'm unfriending people on Facebook who aren't my actual, real-life friends, and I'm enjoying most of my peace and happiness amongst the trees and peaks.    

The girls are getting older, more mature, and more and more independent.  In each of them, I'm seeing more and more young woman and less and less girl.  Their maturity levels and intellect have taken major leaps forward lately, and that's prompted me to think about what my life might be like after they have both left for college.  One of the most important jobs of motherhood is to let your grown children go -- without guilt trips, without mama-drama, and without clinginess.  Alex and Sage's lives have been and always will be THEIR lives, and they do not owe me a thing (they did not ask to be born, and it's a parent's duty to do the best she can for her children).  I think, when the time comes, I'll be able to properly let my chicks fly.  I've got plans for my life after my girls leave.  Raising my children to the best of my ability has been my number one priority since the day I discovered I was pregnant with Alex.  After Sage leaves for college, I'll consider myself mostly retired.  The empty-nest portion of my life will be filled with as many long-distance hikes and low-budget travel as my health will allow.

Of course, we've some time yet.  Alex has another seven years at home and Sage has nine, provided both enter college at the traditional age of eighteen.  Given the girls' interests, those seven to nine years will probably be filled with hiking, homeschooling, and a myriad of other activities.  Both girls love to see new lands, and they love camping and hitting the trails.  Sage recently told me she missed the Camino, and Alex has been looking through our John Muir Trail guidebook.  Our lives are good and I am grateful for our time together.  Both my girls are humble, polite, respectful, and intelligent.  Hugh is a great father, a solid provider, and a good friend.  I'm a lucky woman.

This blog will continue to contain weekly trip reports, and, from time to time, I'll comment on the long-term effects of this year's Camino.  For example, I've taken huge and necessary steps to simplify my life, and, as I mentioned above, I'm becoming more and more of a recluse (my children have their friends and social activities -- I'm speaking strictly for myself here).  I'm happiest when I'm in the woods or on a trail, and I don't feel the need or desire to join any particular groups or cliques.  That being said, I am all for making and strengthening honest friendships with folks whose values I deeply respect.  In other words, quality over quantity.  More on all that later, perhaps -- time to go walk my dog through our acre of pines.


Sharon said...

Hi Trish, Haven't commented in awhile, but have read every word of every post you've written and enjoyed your blog immensely. Found you just after Up was published, purchased by me at a lovely little bookstore in Woodstock, VT where we were staying while on a six-week jaunt through VT, NH and Maine. I've loved following your life since then and will hate to see the style of your writing change, but certainly understand the needs for privacy. I will always enjoy whatever you choose to write, but hope that at least from time to time, you will give us glimpses of your life and how the girls are growing and maturing. Just so you know, I printed the list of things you learned from your Camino hike and have it posted it my office. I didn't walkt the Camino, but I do have life experiences of my own that spurred me to want to incorporate those along with you. That post (as are all of them) was extremely well-written. Obviously, straight from the heart. Take care and please keep writing! Sharon

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for the kind and gracious comment. I appreciate and am grateful for your compliments.

We're not going away -- there will still be the weekly trip report with the usual pictures and trail descriptions. I will still write posts regarding my own thoughts and perspectives regarding hiking and post-Camino changes. I won't include details of my girls' lives, though, unless those details directly relate to our hiking. This way, I'm staying true to the original intent of our blog, we're still advocating for donations to various charities, and we're still celebrating each trail we experience. You'll see the girls growing through the photos I post. The details of their everyday lives, however, will not be posted. The girls need their privacy as they grow -- they're their own people, and any divulging of their personal information from here on out should come from them and not from me (or anyone else). :)