I remember getting ready for school each year, buying new Trapper Keepers, pens, and the required box of Kleenex for the classroom, psyching myself up that this year was going to be different. In the late summer, after a couple months to forget, I would plan that this year would be the one where I always worked on assignments well before they were due and generally be a completely different person than the one I was the year before. I guess that some things never change, because I thought that this year at the Resort would be a whole new ballgame in comparison to last year, even though I knew what was coming. I planned to continue my exercise routines, get in lots of hiking, and some sunbathing, too. I was going to “DO IT ALL!” (Spoiler: your heroine has a revelation, and does not, in fact, do it all, or even most of “it”.)
This past week, I finally surrendered to the fact that this job is really hard, both mentally and physically, and I was just starting to feel completely beat. August seems to be a tough month when you work in the hospitality industry, with a totally different crowd that requires a lot of energy to handle. Tourists seem much more frazzled right now, perhaps because the kids have been out of school for a couple months, and the whole family is trying to cram in those last minute trips before they return. I’ve been continuing to do a lot of personal reflection, and I finally came to grasp with the reality that I just can’t continue to provide the same level of service under those stresses, and also fit in all the other “shoulds” that I think I should be doing. Even though the extra things I’d like to be doing are technically good for me, nothing is beneficial when you hate doing it, or just feel too tired to do it.
So, this week, I gave myself permission to drop everything that didn’t sound good, and just focus on relaxing activities that restore me. I took a lot of walks, did yoga, and put away my phone after about 7pm, relying on my body to tell me when it was time to go to bed. The week was still crazy, but I felt a lot better at the end of the day. The biggest revelation was how much relaxation I get from nature photography. I have a ton of trouble being still enough to meditate, but I think I get the same effects from a slow walk in beauty, capturing the scenes that speak to me. I read that you don’t need any books or tutorials to take good pictures; just stop when you notice something that catches your eye, and capture the part that makes it interesting. Right around the Resort are a couple short trails that follow the lake shoreline and the stream that flows out of it, and I never fail to see something new and gorgeous. When I’m in the moment of taking a picture of what speaks to me, the loud parts of my brain go still, and I feel a lot of peace.
Here’s the highlight reel from the views that fed my soul this week.
Same lake, two days:
Our friends from our first year of Amazon, Buddy and Judy, came up for a quick getaway last week. The point of the visit was much more about conversation than any specific activity, so we just enjoyed each others company while taking a long walk, dining at the Resort cafe, and cooling off our piggies in the lake. These two are soon headed off to Spain to hike the Camino, and I can’t wait to hear about their adventures!
A word on the hot new drink around these parts: tintos de verano as they are known in Spain, or wine coolers as it was called by the customer who introduced them to us. Here’s how you make it—first, a glass all filled with ice, then a good splash of red wine. Finish it off with a generous pour of clear soda (Sprite, 7Up) until it’s the perfect mix of sweet and earthy. I’ve decided that I’m mostly an opportunistic drinker, and since a box of red wine was left behind in a cabin this week, and crew gets one soda each day, it’s been my drink of choice after work. After the box runs out, I probably won’t have one again for a while, but it’s been just the thing after a long day of work.