It’s Wednesday evening. After a full day of trying to keep warm in the brutally frigid winds of January and trying to focus on my writing instead of the awful disaster that is happening in the world in the name of ‘religion’, I find that without last year’s daily commitment to produce a blog I’m not in the mood. Perhaps it’s the editing of my novel that’s sucking the energy out of me. Or maybe it’s the yearning for warmer weather.

Woman Sitting on a Beached Boat - THE PUBLC DOMAINWhen I’m not writing technical materials or audit reports, I write fiction. That means I apply my imagination to make up characters and situations that will be of interest to my readers. Being cold or in danger does not inspire me, though.

Sometimes I get tired of living in my head and go for a long walk so that I can listen to Diana Gabaldon’s exquisitely compelling and well written Outlander series. I’m on book 8 – each volume is longer than 45 hours of listening and I’ve been enthralled for months. Some days, knowing that if I get dressed in my insulated snow pants, down jacket, mitts, hat and scarf and walk for 30 minutes, I get to listen, I’ll be motivated. Eyes streaming, cheeks blown rigid by the wind, I’m transported by the magic of her art to other world. But it’s too damned cold.

Then I see a news clip about two twenty-something males free-climbing a massive granite cliff face in Yosemite using only their hands and feet . Makes me go, what? They sleep in a tent  precariously perched on a rock face, held tight by metal spikes.

Of course I’d never do something that wild and crazy, but if I did, I’d probably plummet to my death by getting up in the night to go to the bathroom, forgetting that I was suspended in space a few hundred meters above the ground. Do I think the two young men are mad? Absolutely, Their goal is to go down in history books for their feat. If they  don’t die first. Do I admire them? Sorry.

b&w EMPTY ROAD JAY MANTRINot any more than I do people who choose to spend a year on a platform in a tree somewhere in the rain forest to make a point or people who try to row their way across the ocean just because they can.

Life may be about taking the road less travelled, but I’m a creature of warm beds, locks on the door, books and hot and cold running water. The colour of varied experiences is important, but within the context of creature comforts.

I don’t believe goals have to be that dramatic or life-threatening. I just have to get better about following my own.