Mountains Eh?

I used to smirk a bit by friends who love the mountains, but no longer. Mountains are actually quite nice.

We recently needed to get away and stayed in a little place in Canmore AB. I normally don’t enjoy things like “hiking” and “walking through trees” (it helps to understand previous nonchalance if you picture me leaning forward and pausing slightly before uttering the words, or even using my fingers to quote them), but this trip was different.

Luckily there’s this thing called the “Internet” (see above) which allows us to work remotely and not be annoyed by our own neighbour’s quirks because we tend to get along better with people we don’t have to get along with.

So I grabbed my laptop and went to the mountains. Mountains are really big hills with rocks and trees on them, in fact several mountains are probably made out of rock but there’s been little scientific evidence to support it, so we’ll maintain our original theory about mountains “having rocks and trees on them”.

…this last addition is just to annoy my daughter Katie who one day will be a scientist, or a prime minister, or a scientific prime minister which is in short supply these days. She’ll freak out and confront me about my “very unscientific statement” (see above). Whatever, I don’t have to understand HOW the world works as long as I can work it.

Katie’s had it coming awhile anyways. The little rat had the nerve to get two emails from her teacher last week for outstanding grades above and beyond her classmates which is never a good thing for someone like me.

I walked into the house Monday after school, heard the news that she’d somehow managed another two 100%’s after the previous week’s showing off and called her on the carpet for it.

“Katie! How dare you make this family look bad!”

By “this family look bad” (see above) I don’t mean my other girls whose test scores are almost equally, if “unscientifically possibly” great or my wife’s history of smug academic overachievement, I really mean ME. I also grammatically challenge their sense of right and wrong as evidenced in recent quotations and extra commas because it will bring much needed humility to those Kopes excelling in the use of the English language.

One shouldn’t be proud about things like this, or allow poor father to accept the blame for his ridiculous behaviour alone. No, we’re a team. We all win or we all lose together, except myself because I hate losing. Winning is my love language.

Back to mountains.

So I don’t hate them anymore for petty reasons, or for any reasons really. I haven’t had time to think about it and formulate a logical response for “things that make roads steep and curvy” (my former definition of mountains), but perhaps there’s more to mountains than that?

It was beautiful. Sure I went to Dead Mans Flats because it sounded all piratey (hi Katie), but there are mountains there too that eventually imposed themselves upon my awareness.

They’re pretty big you know.

I went for long walks and a couple of long runs because I’m VERY health conscious and it was lovely. There were rivers and paths and trees and more than one of everything, so I didn’t have to be afraid of someone hogging all the stuff (don’t EVER order the last burger in front of me). I listened to the sounds of nature and felt like it pushed a Reset button inside.

I also ate pizza which had gouda AND spicy sausage on it (who knew?) but all credit to the mountains that outshone even that. I drank some water and an Americano and actually looked up from my work.

There are times when one can’t see the forest for the trees or the mountains for the rocks, but one should really make a habit of it. I’m learning if I need a peaceful reset from time to time my family likely needs it more often. I’m energized by challenge and hard things but not everyone is. Thankfully my dad taught me to know when the meter will run out, even if what he secretly meant was “Yep. I’m tired but there’s still more work to do so…”.

There are some things that can’t and shouldn’t run on empty and people are among them. There are times and seasons of craziness, but I’m finding it tricky to know when to let down my guard and let things be. It’s the worst thing you can do in crucial moments but maybe the best thing to do in some of the spaces between them?

I’ll keep you up to date if I actually get this right, but Erin can tell you already I probably won’t.

I just won’t tell you if it turns out she’s right because that might make her proud. No, we win or lose together.

We’re a “team”.

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