Pausing to Enjoy the Summit

When I moved back to Colorado after college, my dad and I would spend summers hiking the 14,000-foot mountains around Colorado. We’d wake up before dawn so that we could be stepping foot on the trail at sunrise. We’d hike all morning, eat an early lunch at the 10418255_10152599208242938_297764949818653760_nsummit, and then hike down before the afternoon thunderstorms rolled in. I loved having lunch at the peak. It was a reward for hard work and it gave us time to pause and really enjoy the scenery. What’s the point of “bagging a peak” if you don’t stop to enjoy the view?

We were sitting in a circle at MOPS, talking about having one foot in the toddler world and another toe dipping into The Next Phase. Some of the women are firmly entrenched in the baby and toddler years but a group of us are starting to emerge. We’re not as sleep deprived; our kids are a bit more independent; school is on the horizon. What’s next?

It’s an interesting place to be – on the cusp. I don’t really know how long I’ll be at this summit, overlooking new ideas and opportunities. Part of me wants to just dive in and leave this last season behind. But reality means recognizing that being on the cusp is a slow journey.

I’m watching others take these next steps. They’re starting practices, taking classes, writing books, and pursuing dreams, all with kids the same age as ours. I compare myself and think that I should be ready for this next journey.

I’m remembering to stop at the peak, to eat my lunch, and to enjoy the scenery. I don’t know how long this will take – it could be a shorter pause than I’m anticipating. Or it could be a few more years until this next phase actually happens. I’m remembering to cheer for my friends, to work hard at my own goals, and am learning to savor this particular time in life.

How are you remembering to pause and enjoy the scenery? How do you balance living fully in the moment while pursuing dreams?

Linked with Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “other.”

18 thoughts on “Pausing to Enjoy the Summit

  1. Love this astute reflection, Annie! It is great that you are able to celebrate the pace of others and still remember that your own may be different. I’ve climbed 17 fourteeners and there is something about making that effort that renders the view from the peak that much more exhilerating! What a blessing you are to your children!

  2. Thank you for the reminder to pause and enjoy. I feel like I’ve done this well with my third born, since I knew he would likely be the last. But my oldest is pushing 9 and suddenly I feel short on time. I need to learn to “enjoy the view” with her a bit more.

    1. I have a friend in that next phase who told me that when her kids were about 9 or 10 she felt a different urgency to her parenting… I’m remembering her words as I navigate the toddler years! 😉

  3. Learning to pause on the summit, so good. I got to live in the white mountains in New Hampshire for two years; it was such a gift as part of my job was hiking. Mountains are good teachers. Every hike was a lesson. Thanks for jogging good memories and a great lesson.

  4. So good! I have two middle schoolers now and a second grader. I remember that first year when they were all in school all day every day. It was a rough year, but not how you might think. I felt lost. I wasn’t sad. I just didn’t know what to do. I felt somehow that taking time for myself was selfish and I resisted doing it. Enjoy your summit and God will show you each coming step. 🙂

  5. You are so right! There is so much value to pausing where you are to evaluate how far you’ve come and see that there are other distances to go – though not to be overwhelmed by them before their time!
    I’m straddling two mountains of motherhood: I have a toddler who still won’t sleep through the night, and I have two in elementary school, which means afterschool activities and friend drama and so much homework.
    I wouldn’t trade either season, though I won’t mind when I get to sleep a little longer. There is so much hope in seeing that there is life beyond the preschool years, too. Praise God for the moms who have gone before us!

    1. Haha! Right?! I know I’ll miss a lot of the sweetness of these years but I certainly will NOT miss the fact every single thing seems to impact our sleep! 😉 I am so thankful for moms who have gone ahead of me and who are so generous with their time and encouragement!

  6. Annie, always PAUSE. Eat lunch on the summit. Avoid the t-storms. Life is way too short to do anything but. BUT IF YOU DO GET CAUGHT IN THE STORM? Be sure to DANCE! xo #7 at Kate’s today.

  7. Reaching the summit is such an award thing. I got so close to the top last summer..SO SO close! The closer we got to the top, the more I wanted to keep going. Incredible views. I’m in the 39 spot this week.

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