As I sat around feeling sorry for myself yesterday morning, J didn’t quite know what to do with me. I was a bigger mess than I’ve been in awhile, and I was determined to stay that way. Eventually, she looked at me and said, “I think we need to go for a hike. What do you think?” My immediate reaction was to say no. I wanted to sit in my own misery all day. Then quickly, my rational side rescued me, and I remembered the mantra of gym teachers everywhere: when in pain, walk it off. So we packed some sandwiches and some water, and we headed out to walk off the pain of this cycle ending.
We went to this nearby state park that we had not yet explored. It consists of many different trails, some of which go straight up the small mountains in the park. We decided to follow a trail that went about halfway up one mountain and soon discovered that it linked with the main mountain trail, so we climbed and climbed and climbed until we could see the entire valley where we live:
We think it was probably about five miles total, but much of it (okay, half) was straight uphill. We’re still just intermediate hikers, and this was a bit more brutal than either of us had expected, but along the path, we both became lighter and happier. By the time we were back down the mountain, we were ready to move forward again, ready to leave the tears behind so that we can try again. It was beautiful.
HIking has unintentionally become our way of dealing with the loss of possibility. It seems that every time a cycle ends, we lace up our hiking shoes, pack a lunch, and head out on a new trail. It’s far healthier than drinking our way through it, and it give us the chance to leave some of the pain behind.
I’m better today, thanks to my wife. I’m going to try not to pin all of my hopes on this next cycle, but at the same time, I know that if it doesn’t result in pregnancy, we’ll figure it out. We always do.