I went on a hike last Sunday to the summit of Eagle Mountain, Minnesota's highest peak at 2301 (don't forget the 1) feet. The top can be reached by a moderately challenging three-and-a-half mile hike through the BWCA. It's primarily the rockiness of the trail, not the elevation gain, that makes this a less-than-easy walk. I enjoyed the day.
I thought I had done this hike before, and sure enough, I found not only a photo but a little meditation on life that I had posted 10 years ago - almost to the day.
In "Balancing Work and Life: The Climb to Eagle Mountain," I asked:
So what is the secret to balancing one’s work and leisure time? What parameters do you set for yourself? Should you count work that you enjoy as play? Does all work and no play really make Jack a dull boy? Should a person be able to take a few days off to go hiking knowing that the e-mail won’t get answered in a timely manner? Or is it egotistical to think the world can’t get along without you just fine for a couple days?
After 10 years, I am not just hiking the same hills, but asking the same fundamental questions about how one should live one's life. And I am not quite sure how to feel about this. I am, for better or worse, fundamentally the same person I was ten years ago - the same values, the same tastes, the same hobbies, the same vocation, and the same foibles. And if that is the case, have I learned nothing in 10 years? Am I not diligent enough in asking questions and pursuing answers? Am I incapable of personal change?
Ironically, my position as technology director demands that I ask others to change - teachers, administrators, technology staff, even parents. We change hardware and software and processes. And even those things are easy to change compared to cultures and habits and mindsets and core beliefs.
Kind of nervy for some guy who wears the same brand and model of shoe today he wore in the last century to ask that classroom teacher to reconsider her whole approach to education.
The beauty of the BWCA as seen from the Eagle Mountain overlook is timeless.