A time to reflect

One year ago, my husband and I briefly lived in our current house. We had given away most of our earthly possessions, moved from the Oslo area, and started a road trip through Norway as we figured out what was next for us. We spent a week in Folldal as Airbnb guests, enjoying the snow and sun on our skis and snowshoes.

Soon after our visit to Folldal, the world turned upside down. Our plans for leisurely travel were set aside, and we began a new adventure. Read about last year’s travel toward a summer of living in Kjerringøy, above the Arctic Circle.

Sun and snow: Skiing and snowshoeing in Follebu, not so far away from Folldal, Norway. ©2020 Marie Warner Preston

The mountains and trails of Rondane called us back, and we’ve been living in Folldal for the last six months. It’s a great place for us to learn and grow, both as individuals and as entrepreneurs. We can walk out our door into wilderness, disappearing into the solitude of nature. In winter, TJ goes out on his skis and I go out on my snowshoes.

We like to travel off of the beaten path. The snow is deep and we can sink up to our knees, even on skis or snowshoes. Our decision to break trail can be a real workout, mentally and physically. Taking a pause for fresh air in the middle of the workday clears our heads. We leave work and worries behind for a bit and focus our brains on solving a different kind of puzzle. We can then return to our desks with new insight, energy, and solutions for our tasks.

Lessons learned out on the snow translate directly to work and personal life. Sometimes the destination I choose isn’t that far away in distance, but traversing deep snow takes more time or energy than I expected. I can adjust my pace and plans to the weather and enjoy my shorter tour. I can see it as laying down the groundwork for a longer tour on another day. Or I can fight the terrain and overextend myself to reach an arbitrary goal. The choice is mine.

These lessons help us build our businesses in ways that are true to us. We are establishing new networks as we start and grow. Asking for help aids us in healthy growth. New virtual colleagues, mentors, and coaches are getting us to challenge ourselves and stake out manageable daily and weekly goals. We can better evaluate the paths before us, which leads to rewarding work and personal connections. Having someone who can support us on our journey makes a world of difference.

Using my skills for science communication brings me fulfillment. ©2021 Marie Warner Preston

In the words of Anne Lamott: When we pray for ‘help, we can be freed from a damaging insistence on forward thrust, from a commitment to running wildly down a convenient path that might actually be taking us deeper into the dark forest.’ ¹

Remember, also, to look behind you once in a while. In doing so, you can see how far you have come; paths you chose that helped you learn, grow, and get to where you currently are in your journey. Take a look around, right where you are now. Perhaps you shall discover something beautiful in your current circumstances that you may have otherwise missed in your haste to move forward. Then take a look forward, so you can see the paths toward the goal that you truly wish to accomplish.

¹Anne Lamott, from her book Help, Thanks, Wow: The three essential prayers

Published by Outspoken Images by Marie Warner Preston

Creating illustrations for sustainability, stewardship, and science communication.

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