Enjoying the Journey
Top of the morning!
Introducing myself as the newest addition to the Kammok team...my name is Liz. Just over three months ago, coming from a career in corporate finance, I took on a Customer Experience and Operations role at Kammok. As you might imagine, I experienced (and am experiencing) a transformative lifestyle shift as I transition into a new position at an outdoor gear company in the heart of East Austin.
Fast forward from start-date until a few Fridays ago, while embarking on my Kammok quarterly adventure day (just one of the many perks of working at Kammok), I was packing up and getting ready to travel out to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area (just under a two-hour drive west from Austin). Unfortunately, my ride got caught up at work and so our departure time was delayed by a couple of hours. After already putting in a full day of laundry and shopping for provisions, I was quickly frustrated by the change of plans and even found myself filling the extra time by over-prepping for the single-night camping trip.
Instead of enjoying the time before I left, I ended up filling it with unnecessary tasks of which I did not even give my full attention.
When we finally arrived at the campsite, I set up my Wallaby and settled into the pristine fall weather. The first of our group had just arrived, and my worries about getting there late melted away with the sunshine and friendly banter. We ventured out to the dome where we got some solid caving in before enjoying the sunset on top of the dome.
The evening around the campfire was filled with music, laughs and s'mores. Travis (our Kammok MOB Communications guru) arrived after dark with the Sunda in tow. Even though I had hoped to set it up myself in daylight, a dwindling campfire meant a quick setup with the help of Travis. However, I quickly fell into a deep sleep in the Sunda, which I comfortably shared with my friend Jessica.
I awoke refreshed and only slightly achy (as I had forgotten a pillow - despite my incessant preparation). After a lazily prepared breakfast, readily fueled for a day of climbing and adventure, we unfortunately realized that many of us did not have the gear or expertise to climb many of the routes at Enchanted Rock. With much more hiking than climbing under our belts, we drove back that evening with sore ankles and an unquenched hunger for climbs.
Reflecting over the weekend, I realized that the short trip had some close parallels to my current state of life in general.
Instead of fully enjoying the brisk morning leading up to the trip and the beautiful drive out to the park, I was too caught up trying to prep and plan. This reminded me of the week I had in between quitting my old job and starting my new role at Kammok. While the week of "down time" was rejuvenating, I was so worried about tasks I needed to complete before starting the new job, I was not fully present or appreciative of the transitional time I had allowed for myself. I filled the week with to-do lists and found myself feeling anxious and even guilty when I had too much down time. Despite all of my deliberate planning and doing, everything truly seemed to fall into place when I let go of my timeline and embraced the transformative discomfort that comes with making a positive change. Much like my camping trip, I have realized that letting go of expectations and enjoying each step of the journey (even the difficult ones) is key to sustaining growth and fulfillment.
As I get older, I am realizing that most of us could afford to do a little less and instead focus on simply being.
If we are too caught up in planning for some desired outcome, we are not present to fully enjoy what we have been working so hard for, when an opportunity or goal is finally realized! When we allow space for ourselves to be fully present and aware, we truly appreciate all life has to offer us in each moment along our short lives.
So this week I invite you, our MOB, to make some time to be without expectations or end goals. That might mean laying in the grass on an afternoon off, or hiking aimlessly around a beautiful state park. Embrace any distractions or obstacles (internal or external) that may come up during this time.
Life is not predictable or linear. Each moment is powerful and transformative, no matter how uncomfortable or seemingly meaningless.
Take a breath, and see what’s there. See if you can focus on what your mind and body are doing in this moment instead of rushing to the next one.
Enjoy the journey. It might surprise you what you have been missing along the way to the end.
As a Dallas native, Liz quickly converted to the city-to-trail lifestyle when she moved to Austin to study International Business and Spanish at the University of Texas. Liz truly believes in the power of natural environment and movement to help foster self-awareness and gratitude. She strives to practice these virtues with humility both in her personal pursuits and in her service to others, including the Kammok MOBsters.