Closed Mind/Closed Doors

(Contributed by Mitch Greene)

About a month ago I was invited to go outdoor boulder climbing, very early in the morning on a cold winter day. This is the sport I participate in, and I love it very much... when it's warm anyway. I agreed simply because I wanted to make my friend who invited me happy. I would soon regret that decision.

I left my house to pick up my friend when it was still dark out. It was about six in the morning and if you looked closely enough you could see the frost on the grass. It was 27 degrees out there and I was no longer happy about my decision.

It was about an hour drive out, followed by another hour hike bushwhacking in the mountains. I carried a heavy backpack on my front and a very large crash pad on my back. This was for the inevitable falling, or crashing part. I was uncomfortable, cold and very unhappy that I came. We spent nine hours in the freezing cold, climbing on rocks that felt more like ice cubes, and, by the time we were done, my fingertips were bleeding and my body was stiff and cold.

The odd thing about this story is that when I got home and looked back, I realized how much fun I actually had and how badly I wanted to do it again. I even called up my friend and told him to take me another time.

My expectation for the trip directed my initial attitude, and, therefore, influenced my negative mindset during the adventure - despite the sense of actually enjoying it when looking back.  If I had been more open-minded and optimistic up front, I would have actually had a great time during the experience.

What positive memories do we have now, that, maybe at the time, we didn't actually appreciate or even enjoy? If the memory is good, then why not the actual experience? Living in the future. Living in the past. Nah, how about living in the moment?

Next time I will choose to experience the moment with a better attitude!