Joshua Tree

Dear Brooke and coaches:

We were invited by friends to go climbing in Joshua Tree with our baby and five-year-old, and their family (older kids).

For the last 10 years, I have chosen to put activities I used to revolve my days around — rock climbing, skiing, mountaineering, whitewater canoeing, guiding, etc. — on hold in order to build our family, seek professional opportunities in a city and raise our kids in a more diverse community than the small Rocky Mountain mountain town where I used to live.

I was thrilled at the recent invite, and saw it as a chance to introduce my kids to an activity I used to find a lot of joy in doing. My husband said he did not think we should go because of all the time it would take to pack and unpack, and all the work it would be for us to have a baby in diapers, who still naps and wakes up at night, all while camping with a group.

I asked if he had a date or age in mind that I could look forward to doing something like this as a family and he said he couldn’t say. Then he said he would suffer through the depletion if this felt like an opportunity I had to do.

I was (chose to be) crushed by his words. I made them mean that I will never get a chance to share the outdoors with my kids. I made them mean that my husband and I have fundamental differences in how we want to spend our time on earth, and that’s a problem. I made them mean that we are not as capable/fun/good as people who do take their children camping. And I also thought that even though he said he would do it, I can’t do it knowing how much he would be suffering, so I made that mean that he put me in a situation where I was the villain.

After looking at my thoughts.f I realized that underneath my reaction was regret. I felt regret making dormant in myself something that used to bring me great physical and spiritual satisfaction. I realized that I am disappointed in myself for thinking I have to choose between a multicultural community with job opportunities, and exposure to beautiful natural places with outdoor adventures.

Instead of blaming my husband for “taking this away” from me, I want to take responsibility.

I want to mourn this trip and mourn that I have made choices that hasn’t (yet) allowed for adventures with my kids. But I also want to choose thoughts that life is evolving and I can make these kinds of activities available in the future.

Does that sound right?

Yes, I still wish my husband thought differently (thought more like me, hahaha). But I know that isn’t serving me, nor is it possible to change his thoughts.

My question: Am I still fighting reality doing the thing where I’m seeing my husband’s reaction as a “negative” circumstance that I have to just get through? Or does it sound like I’m on the right track with my self coaching?

Model evolution below:

C: Invited on a climbing trip to Joshua Tree
T: Finally a chance to camp as a family, instill in our kids a love for adventure, enjoy new friends.
F: Excited
A: Plan
R: Excited for trip

C: Husband says the trip will be so depleting for him, so much work before during and after.
T: We have fundamental and possibly irreconcilable differences
F: Devastated
A: Take time for myself to think
R: He has to wait before I can discuss

C: Husband says same as above
T: I still want to go
F: Helpless
A: Frustrated, silent
R: Resent husband, resent self

T: I wish he thought like I do
F: disappointed
A: distance myself
R: don’t feel connected, question entire relationship and decisions to move away from Mountains in 2009.


T: I can find a way to have the outdoors in our lives in other ways
F: still sad, but hopeful
A: Brainstorm ways to get outside with the kids
R: get outside with kids