[re]treat myself

I decided to go on a personal retreat. Which sounds sort of, I don’t know, new agey or self explorative, which wasn’t my objective when I concocted this idea.

My idea was….this. It is Labor Day, which means a day in which I do not have to report into work. And I wanted to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

Okay, yes, that seems like a lot to accomplish in the course of one day. And I don’t think I’ve nailed down every last detail, even after spending the better part of the day in the woods. But what I did do was figure a few things out and decide on some items I need to move on.

Where did I go? One of my favorite places in Kentucky. Red River Gorge. If you haven’t been, it is beautiful. It’s about an hour away from my house, so it’s convenient. And while there are many, many places to hike in Kentucky, I don’t see much reason for me to go anywhere but here. Okay, so you get the point…..I like it there. A lot.

I picked a trail. Grays Arch. My hike, mind you, was actually longer than .25 miles. I think I looped into one or more of the others.




After hiking Grays Arch Trail, I set up the gear I’d brought at a picnic table and ate my lunch. Then I recorded some stuff in a notebook I recently purchased. I considered thoughts that came to mind while I was hiking. I didn’t set out with a word in mind, like some people do when they do this sort of thing. No quote or prompt to think about. But interestingly, without considering ahead of time, a word did come to mind. I’m a journal-er, in case you didn’t know.

Please do not ask why I have a camo backpack. I’m really not sure. I would never, ever wear anything with a camo print, in case you’re wondering.



One idea that popped up is one that has popped up often. In my head. I should write more. As in more often. I have been lax as of late. And there are reasons for that. Of course, there are always reasons for everything. But simply put, to be true to myself I need to put forth more effort.


Other ideas came about as well. But I don’t feel like sharing them with the world. So I will choose not to. At least not today.

After I ate lunch and brainstormed thoughts and read a bit, I decided to take another hike. This one, the D. Boon Hut Trail, was a bit more difficult. As in a lot of steep descents. And more cliffs than the first. And me wondering if maybe I should have stayed at my shady picnic table. But, in the end I’m glad I did it. It was much quieter (as in fewer people’s voices heard) and less traveled than the first trail. Are you now thinking about the Robert Frost poem?



After completing the second hike, I headed back home. I stopped at the Dairy Queen in Stanton though. Because it is a holiday, right? Happy Labor Day to me.

I, if I’m honest, do not particularly enjoy retreats. As in the work variety. Or a bunch of ladies getting together for whatever purpose. It always seems so forced and overly planned. Even the “free time” is planned because it’s listed on the schedule as “free time”. Which doesn’t really make sense to me.

I told myself, not so long ago, that after my youngest goes to college I need to start putting together a plan. Even though I’m not much of a planner. Oh, I have ideas. But I’m not so great at making them happen. I decided though I simply must. So today was a beginning. Words on paper. Hopes brought to the forefront. Goals [even though I slightly cringe] made.

It’s an interesting place to be. All this freedom. I have never in my existence been so capable of doing what I want to do.

The trails have “signs” to help hikers know which direction to go. This reminded me about all the “signs” we get in life…..at least I get them. Maybe you don’t….but they are like little prompts letting me know I’m on the right track.







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