Posted by: GeekHiker | January 1, 2008

A New New Year

I’m not one to say that I’m not a creature of habit. I go back and forth between the two: I love doing new things and going to new places, shaking up the plan a bit. Sometimes, too, I like to jump back into the familiar.

All things in moderation, or so they say, right?

This year, though, I did something new…

On the 1st of the year in years past, the routine has been generally quiet and simple: most often getting up to watch the Rose Parade on TV, and then spending the day relaxing. As a kid, this was with my family, and as the years have gone by it’s been with friends, solo, or with The Ex Girlfriend. Only once has the day ever involved watching football; the sport just isn’t one I’m a big fan of (sorry, Ruby).

Last year The Ex and I watched the parade on TV, then settled in for a day of watching the Indiana Jones Trilogy, the set having shown up under the Christmas Tree for me that year. It was a nice relaxing way to start a year that, in many ways, proved to be not so relaxing, but certainly interesting as I’ve mentioned before.

In past years, I’ve gone out to movies or hung out with friends. During the years we were together, I hung out with The Ex Girlfriend, sometimes at home, sometimes not. Once or twice we drove out to Pasadena to view the floats from the parade, which are on display for three days after the parade itself.

If you live in Southern California, this is an experience I highly advise doing at least once. The floats may look great on TV, but the artistry of them up close is simply stunning.

This year, though, I didn’t watch the parade or see the floats or hang with friends or go to see a movie. I did something I’ve never done on the first day of the year before, shocking as this may be: I went for a hike.

The ugly truth is that I’ve felt somewhat verklempt for the past few days, a feeling that pretty much settled in after I returned from San Francisco and didn’t go away. There’s no real cause for it, just my mind thinking and over-thinking too much about, well, everything.

So although I’d planned today to watch the parade and relax and do some reading, I woke up this morning and realized that I had to get back out on the trail. It had been at least 3 or 4 weeks, given all the running around before the holidays, and my mind was fairly screaming for a little dirt under my boots.

I’ll blog the hike later this week or this weekend, but I put a little under 10 miles under those boots today, and while I can’t claim that I stopped over-thinking by any means, my head feels soooooo much clearer than it did before.

It’s funny, but where I didn’t want to drive to a party (if there was one, I never found out for sure), I had no problem throwing boots and a backpack in the truck and hitting the road this morning.

(Oh, and for those curious, no, OPG never called. No big shock. So uneventful, I know. Sorry.)

Perhaps, as Hamlin says, my blood was thinned and my brain benumbed, and I sought relief on the trail. Whatever the reason, I needed to be out there.

A lovely side benefit of heading out on New Year’s: no traffic. Seriously. I drove to the trailhead doing 75. On cruise-control. Simply unheard of.

Not that I didn’t get in a little movie watching. I spent the evening watching “Ratatouille“. I’ll fully admit here to being a huge fan of Brad Bird’s work. Everyone knows “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles“, but if you haven’t seen “The Iron Giant” you really should. Simply an amazing work.

Finally, while I’m not big on resolutions, something did strike me in a totally unexpected way today. Early in “Ratatouille” Remy (the main character) is separated from his family, doesn’t know where he is, and is terrified to leave the sewer and see what’s above. Chef Gusteau, speaking in ghostly form, says to him:

“If you focus on what you’ve left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead. Now, go up, and look around!”

It’s not a resolution, but it’s pretty sage advice for the New Year. I hope I follow it.



  1. Sometimes it is good to shake up the ol’ routine, dust out the cobwebs and have another look at things.

  2. I changed my routine as well and read a good book instead of looking at the ol’ household budget as I usually do – Yeah , I know, I’m a real wild man. I wish I had gone on a hike now but it never occurred to me.

  3. Love that quote! So much so, I stole it! 🙂 Thanks GH!

  4. No football eh? *sigh*
    I would love the chance to go hiking but alas its -22C here…

  5. just a girl – Indeed. Although I suspect you shake the cobwebs to get rid of what’s there.

    Homer-Dog – LOL, thrilling indeed!

    *kb* – Just make sure you give me credit! Well, and the movie too 😉

    Ruby – Yep, I’m not perfect, eh? Stay inside by the fire!

  6. Hey– you shouldn’t highlight other people’s Flickr pictures on your sidebar, you should highlight yours! Your pictures are AWESOME!

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