Full Circle

Sometimes you go away from something for a long time, and then, all of a sudden (or maybe not so suddenly), you are back. 

On Sunday I went skiing with Aaron for the first time in probably 15 years.  

It was so, so fun. 

As a kid my parents decided that skiing was something we should know how to do (along with golf and swimming). They took us up to Crystal Mountain in Washington State a couple of weekends when I was in grade school for lessons and fun in the snow. Once we were all able to ski decently it was a fun thing we did together as a family. In high school I rode the ski bus a few times (my brother did it a lot more) or went with friends. In college I went a number of times - usually with Chris and his parents to Mt. Bachelor in central Oregon. It was never my biggest passion but it was something that was a part of my life and something I enjoyed when the opportunity came up.  

After Simon was born we stopped going. Sometimes things just stop. It wasn't ever anything to do with not wanting to go necessarily - it was just, well, complicated (physical fitness and money and emotional fitness). Seasons. We were focused on other things.

And then it comes back again

One of the things Aaron really wanted to do this winter was get his kids up on a mountain. He made that happen a couple weekends ago and then suggested we go together this past weekend when our kids were away. At first I had a bunch of my usual excuses - mainly work - and also that I don't have any ski clothes any more. 

And then I remembered that I want to say yes to opportunities like this; that part of being "whole" is making sure that I'm actively living my life. 

Big thanks to the nice lady at REI who helped me get what I needed and especially for her thermal-under-layer suggestions that kept me nice and toasty during this adventure. 

Willamette Pass is about an hour or so from my house - not too bad at all for a day activity. And as you can see in the photo above - crowds weren't really an issue at all. 

It was awesome to go with Aaron. He first snowboarded in his early 20's and our level was about the same - we had a really nice time hanging out, riding the chairlift, cruising down the mountain, having lunch, remembering how to turn and stop, and just being outside. 

It was a lot like when you learn to ride a bike - my body remembered. We did about 8 runs with lunch in the middle and called it good. I can't wait to go again

(Of course he didn't like that I had my phone out on the chair lift.)

On of the things we talk a bit about in my One Little Word® workshop is having a symbol that represents our words. It's not a requirement - it's simply another way to connect you with your word visually. My word this year is "whole" and my simple symbol is a circle or pie-chart. 

When I think about my life right now I like thinking of it in terms of a pie chart - each piece representing a piece of myself that all come together to create the whole (kids, work, relationships, family, reading, music, outdoor adventures, gardening, etc). One of my personal goals this year is to evaluate all those pieces (or simply be more conscious of them) - the big ones and the little ones and make sure they are the right size and a piece that I still want to keep. Going skiing this past weekend felt like I rediscovered a piece of myself that's been missing for awhile. 

Here's to adventures and weekends and finding pieces of ourselves again. 

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32 thoughts

  1. mtercha says…
    01/26/2016

    That's awesome. Cheers to being whole. You have an amazing year ahead of you rediscovering all the parts that make you. Way to show up. Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Senovia says…
    01/26/2016

    Haha! I love the look on Aaron's fave in the last picture with that caption!
    I haven't downhill skied since lessons as a kid.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. kelseymcevoy says…
    01/26/2016

    Saw these pics on IG on Sunday and they totally made me smile. Mostly because that day my kids went sledding for the first time ever (at the top of our street, thanks to #blizzard2016), but also because I remember having gone skiing a handful of times when I was younger (always Mt. Hood Meadows), and how much I loved it. And how if I were to go back now as a grown-up it'd only be because someone talked me out of my billion excuses. Ha!

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  4. kislanykim says…
    01/26/2016

    wonderful. Good for you for overcoming your excuses (oh how well I know those!!) and getting out there with him. Glad you had such a good time -- it looks absolutely beautiful out there.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Lize says…
    01/26/2016

    That first photo of you.. beautiful. You look so wonderfully happy & tender.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. hgauvin says…
    01/26/2016

    The first picture of you? Gorgeous! I love your smile - so very natural! I used to love downhill skiing but now I just get too cold in too short a time. So now I'm more of a cross-country skiing girl. It keeps me warm and it's fun all at the same time. So glad you found a piece of yourself that you haven't seen in a while. I love when that happens.

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  7. Blitzburggirl says…
    01/26/2016

    Ali, you and I have such parallel lives! I just turned 40, my son turned 14 last fall.... and I had a 14 year hiatus from skiing/boarding. Funny story... Last winter, I moved from NC to MA. Same deal... something kids should know how to do. I planned a weekend on skis and the first day.. planted my butt in the snow! Kiddo didn't fall, not ONCE on skis so I let him rent a board for day two. We had the best time! Winter still hasn't really arrived in our part of New England yet, but I do see LOTS of skiing ahead for us this winter. So glad you enjoyed your weekend!~!

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  8. jemi says…
    01/26/2016

    Can we see your circle template from Click coming?

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Carolly says…
    01/26/2016

    Yay for fun adventures!!!!! I love this concept of "full circle" - two things that resonate for me is that there is hope to do those type of things again & also to really own and appreciate this season of life that I am in, fleeting as it is. Thanks for always sharing your stories with us :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Cookingmylife says…
    01/26/2016

    This all makes me happy. :) I believe 'whole' becomes integrity.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. joeynumber41 says…
    01/26/2016

    Beautiful.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. jocelynk says…
    01/26/2016

    Reading this, seeing your smile just makes me go "ahhhh". Simple, whole, happy, reconnecting to things from your past and making new adventures too. Love how OLW helps us all to do that in different ways. Thanks Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. larkindesign says…
    01/26/2016

    I love everything about this. One of the first signs that we have made it to the other side (after a life-altering event) is rediscovering ourselves and our interests and our loves. Go Ali Go. (And I just love that you insist on taking these photos that make Aaron uncomfortable - it cracks me up every time. You keep that part of you no matter what. Love it.)
    ~Theresa

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  14. tealmyre says…
    01/26/2016

    My husband and I both skied a little growing up but for some reason didn't together during our dating and early marriage years. For out 10th wedding anniversary we planned to take a trip. Our two options were to go to Belize, or ski in Wyoming. I'm so glad we took that trip to Jackson Hole, not knowing anything about where we were going or why we had chosen to ski. Since then, in the last five years, we have taken many trips both together and also now with our children. Countless adventures and amazing stories. I love how you tell this in terms of coming full circle and being whole. I would love to get our story documented!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. onehappymama says…
    01/26/2016

    Love that you said YES, Ali! Great photos and yay for having a great time!! XO!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. nicolemann9 says…
    01/26/2016

    Looks and sounds like so much fun! Skiing is something I've been wanting to do lately - but lots of excuses holding me back as well (some valid, some not). Glad you got out there and did it! And love that chair lift photo, haha. My husband would be the same as Aaron!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. jchurch2 says…
    01/26/2016

    Love all the comments and totally agree with all,of them. You do look so happy! How awesome that you made the decision to say yes and make it part of your WHOLE journey. Very inspiring and uplifting.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Jeannew says…
    01/26/2016

    Love this! My word is thrive and I'm coming full circle too with a part-time job - working for the first time in 15 years. It feels hard and good -and it's part of thriving as my girls get older. Thanks for your words of inspiration.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. papergoddess says…
    01/26/2016

    *hits Like button*

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  20. terrab says…
    01/26/2016

    Over Christmas I rediscovered skiing as well! I hadn't been for 20 years and didn't remember enjoying it much in my teens. I absolutely love it now and you're right, it is like riding a bike, your body somehow remembers what it is supposed to do. I'm teaching my 5 year old as well so it is like we're discovering it together and definitely helping to create a special bond between us. I'm glad I allowed myself the opportunity to discover it again instead of making up excuses why I couldn't.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Kirsten_Heal says…
    01/26/2016

    The mountains have always been my escape. My happy place. And now I share that with my kids and husband. I'm glad you were able to reconnect.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. AmberCA says…
    01/26/2016

    i love the idea of a pie chart to quickly jot down and glance at the pieces of our lives. The pieces that are important to us. The pieces that we want to work on. The pieces that are feeling neglected. The pieces that make us smile and feel happy. I just quickly drew myself a little pie chart on scratch paper and filled it in. I will probably go back and convert it to a nicer format, but for now it's good. Thank you Ali for always reminding and inspiring me.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. CasieGutierrez says…
    01/26/2016

    Aaron's face in that selfie reminds me of the faces my husband makes in our selfies! Silly men! Gotta get them in the story too!
    And I love the idea of a symbol to represent your work and of course a pie chart is awesome! Definitely going to think
    Of a symbol for my word as well!
    Thanks Ali for sharing your life with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. annaaspnes says…
    01/26/2016

    Come see me in Colorado!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. AlizaD says…
    01/26/2016

    As I and my kids have gotten a little older, I too have noticed a little more time and some more opportunities to go back to things that I just didn't have time for for a decade or two. And I was pleasantly surprised by how moving it was to rediscover those interests and passions. It really is like finding parts of myself that were dormant for a while. I didn't miss them, and I just thought they were parts of my past. I didn't know that they remained a big part of me.

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