I am somewhat disappointed in myself this morning. I don’t know if I was flying too close to the sun and my wings melted or if I just failed to remember my own flawed humanity, but for the first time in 18 days, I’m feeling a little bit down on myself.
Maybe part of it was yesterday’s hike. I have been hiking by myself and enjoying the wonders of nature here in the Hill Country of Texas. Hiking alone allows me to set my own pace and also enables me to tune out the outside world and let my thoughts run freely.
But yesterday we went to Enchanted Rock State Natural area north of Fredericksburg, and I stretched the envelope of my comfort zone until it ripped.
Enchanted Rock isn’t Mount Whitney, but it’s still a place where they sell t-shirts so people can boast that they climbed it. It’s a climb of 425 feet in just one kilometer (.6 miles, for my American friends), which makes it pretty steep.
I climbed it — fairly easily, actually — and then went on to the second part of the hike, which is a loop trail around the bottom, maybe 4.5 miles or so. By then we were in the heat of the day, and there is very little shade along the loop.
By the time we finished (about three hours after starting part one of the hike), I felt sore, tired and irritable. Maybe partly because of that, I sent a mean e-mail to my lovely wife in response to something she had written that had ticked me the wrong way.
I won’t go into her reaction, other than to say it was perfectly reasonable (even if anatomically impossible). I will say that for the first time in 18 days, I felt I had seriously fallen down on my mission and failed badly. The problem is that I am still battling this nutty fault of mine in which I react badly if I think I am being told what to do.
It wasn’t true, of course, and Nicole is concerned that I am reacting well to everyone but her.
What she might not see is that if that is true, it’s primarily because she — and probably our two children — are the only people whose good wishes I value so much as to be affected by what they say and think of me.
Nicole is wonderfully supportive and encouraging. In fact, much of what I know about being supportive and encouraging, I learned from her. But for her never to annoy me, she would have to be a disciple and not a wife. I certainly don’t want that.
So the key for me will be apologizing sincerely and moving forward. Letting go of past errors doesn’t mean not apologizing for them; it means learning the lesson they have to teach us and then not wallowing in the bad feelings.
Wallowing is so self-centered.
Oh, poor poor pitiful me.
So I will pick myself up, move forward and try to be especially nice to my wife, who deserves it.
And I’ll stay away from that loop trail.