Thursday, August 16, 2012

Conflict Resolution

Grotto Falls - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
August 15, 2012

There aren't many places where you have the opportunity to walk BEHIND a waterfall, but just over a mile up the  Trillium Gap Trail  in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park you'll find one.  Walking behind that waterfall yesterday with hiking friends, Gene and Judi, reminded me to never become so familiar with something that I risk taking it for granted.  And to always try to see something unique in each experience no matter how many times I've experienced it.   I have walked behind this waterfall so many times and have so many pictures of it, I was tempted to treat it as just one more time, but instead, out came the camera. The new perspectives came ONLY later this afternoon when I downloaded pictures and began thinking about this post.  

Trail behind Grotto Falls

It was while looking at these pictures from the comfort of my sofa that I realized how rare it was to have not just one, but several pictures in and around Grotto Falls with no other people in them.  This is likely the most popular destination in the Smokies and if only I'd thought to snap one on our return trip (we were hiking several miles beyond the falls), you would have seen people spread out all over these rocks.  They were EVERYWHERE - not an easy task to navigate through!   How lucky we were to have been there early enough to catch the beauty without the crowds and how easily I could have missed that perspective.

I cannot thank you enough for your feedback, encouragement and even some kind advice following Mondays post. I am not certain depressed was the word I'd use, perhaps just discouraged and overwhelmed, but you supported me and I thank you.  You gave me new perspective on several things.  And just like walking behind Grotto Falls for the umpteenth time, I hope that no matter how long I continue to write, I never take this support for granted.  

There was something else I noticed on today's hike.  How quickly the winds of change can blow.   We were enjoying lunch on the summit of Brushy Mountain when I noticed a bank of clouds coming in from behind us.   The following three pictures were taken from the same spot within five minutes of each other.

And almost as quickly, Monday's conflicts of interest are becoming conflicts resolved.

1)  The birthday dinners are over!!  I took a bold step after your feedback and asked that the location of Tuesday's dinner be changed to a place with which I was more comfortable with the menu selections.  I was able to do this in a way that allowed the person to think it was THEIR idea!  I enjoyed a wonderful meal and relaxed time with no angst or guilt!  It seems just taking one bold step gave me that jolt I needed to get my mojo back.  Hiking both Monday and Wednesday was also great incentive.  As I've mentioned before, I have NO problems with eating on hiking days.

2)  I've lost the pounds brought on by too many birthday celebrations and so far, the Prednisone is working out o.k.  I asked for a lower dose over a longer period of time and that may have been the trick.  It has done the job is was meant to do physically and I have an appointment this afternoon with my rhematologist to discuss our next steps. 

3)  Judi and Gene's invitation to hike Wednesday certainly resolved the conflict of missing Bill on his first day back at school.   I sent him off at 6:45 and by 7:15, I was on my way to meet them.  
4)  Extended family medical issues are resolved for now and all seems to be well.   That was more a conflict of just wishing I were closer to my sister geographically than actual worry.  

5)  And last, I love the Facebook page although I'm still very new at it.   Something fun, yet not time consuming.   

So yes, how quickly those invisible winds can change the landscape.  All I had to do was keep my eyes wide open seeking new perspectives and knowing full well that when things became cloudy and dark, patience would soon be rewarded with new clarity!

There are ALWAYS life lessons for me found on the hiking trail.
Where do you find new perspectives and clarity?  


  1. geez, Bill, don't let the door hit you in the backside. :)

    Glad you're feeling better, Sharon!

    I'm going perspective-hunting this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

  2. I just now saw Monday's post, Sharon. I'm sorry you went through a rough patch, but so happy to see that things are better now. Sometimes a hike is the best therapy ever. My mama and her sister (who I was very close to) both had RA, so I can so relate to not only how very painful it can be, but to the dreaded side effects of the medicines that treat it. I've had a few symptoms myself lately that have made me wonder if I may be in the early stages of it. I haven't been to the doctor in five years, but I guess it may be time now. I do hope you and your doctor can work out a plan, perhaps trying a different med, that will be effective (and free of bad side effects). I am very happy to know that you're able to keep hiking. I know that is, in so many ways, good for what ails us.

  3. Ha! Since Monday things have only gotten worse with my computer. It is now completely shut down. I am getting the new perspective that perhaps that little machine played too prominant a place in my life.

    I love that about cameras! (Getting a fresh perspective)

    And, I am going to have to come back to the smoky mountains to be able to walk behind that waterfall!!!

  4. Glad the pred seems to be working out and way to go on getting off the birthday pounds! I admire your ability to get back on track and get it done.

  5. Amazing how getting out in nature can help one to feel better --in so many ways. I know that when I get 'blue'---all I have to do is to get out and take a walk... OR--sometimes I just sit on my swing and enjoy watching the birds come to the feeders... Glad you are feeling better. Life 'ain't' easy!!!!!

    I love Grotto --and it's been a long time since I've been there. We started to go there last Spring ---but even in Spring, it was too crowded for us... Maybe we'll go there this winter sometime...

    Enjoyed your post.

  6. Great job on dropping those birthday pounds!! I'm sure the hikes helped a bit :)

    This is why I don't mind rehiking the same trails over and over. If they are great trails, I always see something new. Especially with the changing seasons.

    PS...what are you doing next Thursday??

  7. I've always found that when things look their darkest, give it a day and the outlook is usually much brighter. Issues seem much smaller with the passage of time. Glad you are feeling better!

  8. I am so glad you are in a better place mentally. That just makes life better.

  9. Glad to hear that you are feeling stronger. You are right that things change so quickly - sometimes even in the course of just one day.

  10. Trillium Gap is the trail we are hiking to Mt. Leconte next month. We hiked it up to Brushy Mountains some years ago.
    Trillium Gap is the only trail we need to complete all five to Leconte.
    Really looking forward to our trip and ready to get out and hike and enjoy nature after a very busy stressful year.
    Glad you are feeling better!!

  11. Sounds like things are moving along well for you Sharon. I love your positive attitude and can do spirit. Keep it up.

  12. Happy for you that your losing weight and gaining more health.