Well, we had a great trip: 4 passes in 7 days (3 over 10K feet) through beautiful mountains. Sure, I came back sore, dirty, tired, and cut up, but also mentally recharged. Naturally, I had some learnings as well.
The main one is the necessity to be very systematic. For example, I put up my tent with the rain fly on the day we had bad weather, and in the middle of the night wanted to tighten it against the wind gusts. I’d staked it out, but there had to be a way to tighten the line. I tried doing it by feel, and then got out with a light and tried to see how to do it (forgetting my glasses). I was fortunate that I didn’t *need* to tighten it, as I didn’t figure it out that night. Following through in the morning, I saw that there was a tiny little v-shaped gap in the line holder that you could jam the line into to hold it once you’d pulled it tight. What I hadn’t done was notice it the night before when setting up.
We also came across a group of inner-city youth, girls in this case, who were being taken into the wilderness as a path to help them avoid some of the traps they might encounter in their day-to-day environment. We didn’t have much chance to discuss their program, but I recall many years ago that happening in my experience in Outward Bound. There’s something about nature that helps put life in perspective, and about challenge in helping you develop your sense of self.
Overall, I came back with even more commitment to taking the time to do it *right*, and being more patient about things in general. We do have pressures to move quickly, but we need to strike the balance to do what’s necessary, not just what’s expedient.
I hope you have a way in your life to take time off and reflect on what’s important in your life. And, ideally, a way to keep in touch with nature and the rhythms of life and the earth as well.