There You Are

I’ll never forget my late, great-grandmother sitting on her bed many Christmas’ ago. Her mind struggled to process and comprehend the activities surrounding around her — the result of progressing Alzheimer’s.

Despite being surrounding by family that she’d loved with for decades, and being in the house she’d lived in for even longer – on this Christmas she was confused. Anxiously, she cried out,

“Where am I?”

Then, just as those of us in the room felt the sadness of the moment and began to reach out in sympathy, “Grandma Great” looked over to the other wall of the room, caught her reflection in a mirror, and then excitedly declared,

“Oh, there I am!”

Our sadness was soon relieved by the humor of the moment. And, thankfully, Grandma’s anxiety and confusion was overcome by the sudden joy of understanding where she was and who she was with. She was home. She was loved.

—— —— —— —— ——

That story reminds me of the way that many of us live our lives on a daily basis. Days that turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years.

You see, many of us have either forgotten who we truly are. Or, maybe, we simply refuse to look in the mirror and see who, and where, we are.

Alzheimer’s isn’t our problem. But we are confused and anxious nonetheless.

We avoid the “mirror” of self-reflection because we’re afraid of what we might see. Instead, we’re voluntarily distracted by other people’s lives on Facebook and Instagram. We numb ourselves with food, drink, and all varieties of vices that bring temporary relief from the emptiness and discontent that we aches within.

We live a chaotic, hectic, and noisy life that is full of sensory overload, which desensitizes us to the quiet matters of what’s going on the inside of us at the deepest levels.

We’re “busy”. We’re tired. We mindlessly, incessantly, and endlessly swipe our fingers across a handheld screen — spending our minutes, hours, and days “living” by bytes and pixels.

Thoreau said that,

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

That’s true of “most men”, but don’t let it be true of you.

Shut down the noise. Disconnect from the distraction. Listen to the “quiet desperation” that aches within and resolve to do something about it.

In doing so, you’ll finally be able to address the most important matters of life — your health, your relationships, the way you spend your precious and fleeting time, and more.

Stop the excuses, the distraction, the numbing.

Look in the mirror. Figure out where you are. Then determine to become what you long to be.

P.S. — I know it has been super quiet around here.  That should be changing in the coming months.  I’ve been busy taking my own medicine (as prescribed in this article), but I’ve also been working on some very cool projects.  One of those projects is something that you’ll definitely want to check out right now and that is a GIVEAWAY for a free Exo Mountain Gear pack of your choice.  It is super easy to enter — so do it.

  • Todd Chambers

    Thanks Mark. A great reminder to focus our energy where it matters most – on becoming the kind of person our loved ones so richly deserve.

  • dialedinhunter

    Very well said Mark. This is for sure something that we all need to take into account. It’s good to see you writing again bud. Also, I am chomping at the bit hoping that I win that pack!! Hahahahahaha!! Have a good holiday man!

  • RangersPath

    I know you have need super busy with life, and the podcast (which is great by the way), but it great to see you writing again. You have a tremendous talent for it. Great post as always! Now off to look in the “mirror”…

  • Steve

    Awesome post Mark. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • John Swaringen

    I needed to hear this today! Thanks.

  • Troy Meyers

    Great article and reminder Mark! Merry Christmas!

  • Kevin

    I just wanted to share my experience at The Triple S Ranch in Calvin OK. My experience is the top adventure of our hunting lives, which includes 57 years of my wonderful wife and I hunting together. I took a great trophy Bison and and my wife took a great trophy Yak. The animals are beautiful and very well cared for, and there are all kinds of trophies around every corner throughout this HUGE ranch. Steve was what every guide should be, knowledgeable, caring and understanding of our desires pertaining to this hunt. The staff made sure we were fed like KINGS!! Darren took us varmint & hog hunting one evening … big fun!! CJ made sure that every little detail back at the lodge was taken care of. My wife and I we more impressed than could ever know. Wonderful trophies were harvested and we look forward to a return visit. I would like to thank the owner Steve Seibert and staff for taking such great care of us. Thank you so much!!

  • I desperately want REAL life, real adventure, real “things”, instead of just the lust to match the excitement others show on Instagram. I’m so saddened by the people I love being stolen by phones, iPads, even televisions. I love the communication possibilities, but I hate how easily I’m drawn to be so much more excited about somebody else’s life than I am my own… :(

  • Elizabeth Hanson

    Great reminder. Sorry to hear about your Grandma. This is why it’s great to stop and smell the roses. It’s also why o love being outdoors. It heals the soul.