by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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Well, once again this year has gone by quickly.  And as I have gotten in the habit of (thanks to Tim Ferriss), I am doing a year in review instead of a New Year’s Resolution list.  I’ve been working on that list of “To Do’s” for a while already…

Please keep in mind, I am not sharing this list to brag, but instead hopefully inspire others to create a life they truly enjoy living.  I share this reminder as well, I grew up a farm boy on a small farm outside a small town outside a city in PA, never imagining things like this would be part of my life at some point.  My wife and I worked hard to get our finances in order and have the latitude to be able to do this things.  Life can feel like an endurance sport at times, but if you play your cards right, it does not have to be…

The photo for this blog is from a trip my wife and I did to Havasupai Falls, which is located in the western part of the Grand Canyon here in Arizona where we live.  I had done this one other time, 20+ years ago and she had never done it.  So we decided to embark upon the challenge.  And I do mean challenge, it is a 10 mile hike in which you backpack everything you need for a few days with you.  It is amazing how the incentive of reducing the weight of your backpack really gets you to prioritize what is and what is not essential.  A great metaphor for life…

Once you reach the campground, you can set up shop where you are going to “live” for the next few days.  The whole purpose of the hike is to enjoy the surrounding area, and so you are going to hike around and see all that this glorious area has to offer.  Without realizing it, we added another ten miles to the first day’s hike by exploring two of the falls that precede the campground.  After a good hard sleep and some less than tasty MRE’s for dinner, we got up the next day and headed down into a rugged canyon with lots of water crossing and a few amazing falls such as this and this and this.   We made the five mile hike to Beaver Falls and spent some time there for the day.  To get there we had to traverse this section of the “trail” that descends down to the base of Mooney Falls.  For someone not a huge fan of heights, this was a challenge, but I did it.  This was an important moment for me, as I had been trending towards more and more hesitation and fearfulness for some unknown reason.  The hike out in the dark was more of a concern for my wife, but I didn’t mind this near as much as I did the descent down that wet and slippery rock face.  We made it out, full packs and in the dark, in four hours and 25 minutes.  This was only slightly less time than our trip in took.  We were cruising through the slight uphill grade for eight miles and then hit the bottom of the dreaded switchbacks that make you wish you had sprung for the helicopter ride out after all.  But we persevered and prevailed, and it was well worth the effort.  An amazing set of memories that we created by undertaking this challenge.

We also went to New York City, which neither of us had never been to.  We jammed a months worth of activities into a week, including grabbing a slice at the famous Joe’s Pizza in Times Square, seeing a game in Yankee Stadium, riding rental bikes around the island of Manhattan and had a amazing dinner at Fiaschetteria Cucina Toscana smack dab in the middle of a gay pride parade in the lower part of Manhattan.  It was a wild scene, and by far the best Italian dishes I have ever had, and right up there with the best meal I have ever had, period.  We went to the 911 Memorial, Wall Street and the financial district, Rockefeller Center and more.  It was a great trip, and one that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.

I did another week-long fly fishing trip to Colorado, fishing with my favorite guide for two days as well as fishing some new waters that provided some great action and a burning desire to return as soon as possible.  My Dad had to bow out of this one at the last moment, and my Uncle subbed in and kept us at a round number of four for the trip.  I hope that this was not the beginning of more trips that my Dad is unable to go on due to his health issues, but only time will tell.  I have my serious concerns though…

My wife discovered PaddleBoarding and this has become her new obsession.  We did trips on the Verde River, the Salt River just outside of Phoenix, and a trip through the famous Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River just below Lake Powell.  It was really cool to see these areas during a slow drift of the river instead of being focused on catching fish the entire time and barely seeing the scenery around me.

We went to an all inclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico named Marquis de Cabo that was beautiful and serene and didn’t allow kids.  The food was great, the weather was awesome and we did a few excursions including a near shore snorkeling trip.  We went for a long weekend and it a place we definitely will return to.  I left this resort and went straight to (so far) the best speaking gig I have booked.  It was in Indianapolis, and I was the opening keynote speaker for the Kids Chance of America national conference.  Much of the footage for my speaker highlight reel came from this event, and it has helped me book other events as well.

Yes, this year had some bumpy part to it as well, as any year will.  This is a fact of life, and while no one wants these things to happen, how you deal with it is what matters.  And maybe even more of a reason that given the opportunity to do things for your own enjoyment and rejuvenation that you should absolutely take advantage.  You never know what life is going to throw at you and so live it up while you can.  Take the time to make memories that will last a lifetime.  Forget accumulating things and driving a new car every two years, go get dirty on a hike, go stick your toes in the sand, go do the things you want to do while you can.  The longer you put things off the less chance there is that you will ever do them.

Schedule things sooner rather than letter; there is good evidence that you need things in the future to look forward to.  By having a pending trip or adventure to prepare for, look forward to and dream about, you tend to get more done and live a happier life in general.  We already have a major trip for Sept of 2024 on the books, and are planning a trip to Japan in 2025.  So my question is this:  What is on your list?  Live your life with the awareness that it is temporary…we all have an expiration date.  Live accordingly!

I wish you luck in your life’s endeavors.

 

 

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