Mountain Climbing

George Mallory, a mountaineer who led early British expeditions to Mount Everest in the 1920s, on the joy of climbing:
“People ask me, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use.’ There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron… If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”
I saw this quote in an email I received this week, and it was (yet again) exactly what I needed to read at the moment in time I read it. 
I’ve gotten bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae of my job, of my life. Sometimes I think this is a coping mechanism for the pandemic – and it may be that, in part. But it also reminded me that I need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture – of my life, of my work, of, well, everything. Taking a moment (or, um, a day?) to reset, to remember my why, to set goals instead of writing out a task-focused to-do list is so important to helping me remember what I do, and why I do it, in all aspects of my life. 
So this weekend will be a regrouping of sorts…both personally and professionally. I want to flip my closet – finally! We are finally getting some consistently warmer temperatures and it is officially time to retire the long johns and wool sweaters. But I’m also going to take the time to set work-related goals for the summer. I need to focus, and be productive – but I also need to know what my goals are, the why behind the what. 
I have my annual review today and am (as always) anxious. I will be glad to have that over with, and to move on to summer. 
I hope you have a refreshing and restful weekend, and that you no longer need your wool sweaters (wherever you live…)

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