Chiquita Ridge is not an oasis, per se. It's an old cattle trail overlooking two distinct valleys. From the nearest road, it's a quarter mile rise to the top. Those that have never made the hike up the trailhead from Antonio Parkway probably don't even know it's there. But there's a magic to Chiquita Ridge. Once you make that climb, it's as if something in the world becomes lighter.
As stress reducers go, you would think that something so simple as planning the day wouldn't make much difference. But there are so many mornings I wake up overwhelmed. Before my feet even hit the floor I feel the burden of juggling all the things I want to do, need to do, and would maybe like to squeeze in. Sometimes, when things are really hot, all that juggling leads to a feeling of being frantic. Rather than get the whole mental list of activities accomplished that day, I just shut down. The governor has been reached and the machine dials it all the way back.
There is a saying among distance coaches that “the process is the goal.” It’s not much different than “work the process” or just "process” as a verb. There’s the creative process and a thousand other processes that get us from dreams to that amazing moment when it all comes true, but you've got to find your own and work it.
It's been that kind of week, which is always what happens when my wife is out of town. The structure and routine that define daily life is replaced by a helter-skelter make-it-up-as-I-go approach to the day. Stuff gets done, but it's just not as methodical. All of which got me thinking about the importance of daily routines