Thursday, 7 January 2010
...the clarity of hindsight. This is what I see:
I had an interesting opportunity at the end of the Costa Blanca trip: A couple of recent friends were staying out there and as well as meeting up climbing they'd been pretty keen to have us over for dinner and even stay over with their family - a welcome and positive invite! I came up with the cunning plan ("pin a tail on it and call it a weasel"...) to prolong my side of the trip by seeing if I could stay with them (apparently again I was welcome for this too!) and climb with them for their remaining few days, thus requiring changing my flight, extending car hire, and arranging transport in Glasgow. At it happens I balked at the extra costs and flew back as normal.
This was fine of course, I'd still had a great trip, but with hindsight I pretty soon realised the other decision, to stay for a bit, would have been the better one.
Why?? Not merely for a few more days climbing, that's for sure. What would have made it worthwhile would be the overall path of that choice - a small step on the path of action, the path of doing, the path of going for it (obviously in quite a minor way!). Doing more climbing, hanging around with different people, soaking up more Spanish vibes, the interesting social situation of staying with the folks of someone I hardly know, the whole experience being probably worth the extra cost - and making a positive decision on the path of action. A path that I often struggle with for various mostly internal reasons, but a path that, when I follow it, is distinctly "true to self", something I've realised quite strongly recently.
(Actually had another minor example of this recently - I was out bouldering near a trad crag recently, and as I was packing the car up, I saw two people who were unmistakably climbers coming back to their cars. Said a quick hello, yes they'd been doing routes, yes it had been cold, but yes a nice day out. Fair play to them. However the path of action I DIDN'T take was to ask them for their numbers, I had a brief umm and ahh and just drove off. Which is pretty daft given how much of a frustrating struggle it is finding regular trad partners up here and any chance to meet more people would be worth taking. If in doubt, do, rather than don't...)