Looking over Marys Peak

Yesterday I left work around 4:30 with the idea that I was going to get my oil changed. It is due next week but my parents are coming to town and we are going to road trip around Oregon... so the responsible thing seemed to be getting it done before they get here.

Something happened on the way to the service center... I decided to drive to the top of Marys Peak instead.You can see this peak from Corvallis and it is the tallest in the coastal range. Going to the top has been on my summer bucket list and, after a day of feeling unproductive in the office, I thought it might be nice to check something off some list somewhere.

I learned something about myself. On the windy, switchback road to the top, my knees were getting a little shaky and my breathing was off.  I had a thought: I think I might be afraid of heights. I know I don't like ladders and rock climbing is not on my wish list anywhere, but this was a new sensation. It is weird that it was as powerful as it was yesterday. Coming home from Missouri each Christmas, I would race over the Appalachians between Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC, at 65 mph (sometimes in the snow). It has never really phased me. But that was Interstate 40 and it is 2-4 lanes wide. This was a winding, tree-lined road that, in places, was really only wide enough for one car. It shook me up a little, I won't lie.

I stopped along the road to take a few pictures and catch my breath.

Once you get to the parking lot at the top, you are above the treeline.The view was worth the shaky-kneed drive. There is a bit of hiking across a field along a service road to reach the actual peak (4,097ft above sea level) and I made the trek.... still in my sandals and dress clothes from work (being impulsive has its down side).

After hiking the service road/trail up to the top, you are rewarded with panoramic views of the coastal range, the Willamette valley and, on a clear day, all the way to the Pacific. This was not a clear day, but great all the same.


This was my favorite... a shot as I turned around to head back down.


Finding my focus

Photo credits: Dani Ihtatho.

My focus is gone.
It is one of my strengths. In fact, on StrengthsFinder, it is my #4 strength.*

But it seems to be gone and I am not sure why.

I have some theories:
Perhaps it is because my back is angry right now and sitting for any length of time just wears on me. I get up to stretch and relieve the aching and I cannot seem to jump back to the same place.

Perhaps it is because the to-do list seems to grow, not shrink lately and the freedom I need to focus and not flit between projects just doesn't seem to be there.

Perhaps it is because there is no space in my life right now. I need to make room so I can have a profound workday.

I read a post recently about Getting Focused and Concentrating.(read it here)  My new goal is to turn off the music, close the email, make a shorter (daily) to do list and get my focus back.

*My Strengths are Achiever, Deliberative, Learner, Focus and Competition.

First Beaver Game

I went to my first Beaver Football game on Saturday. I wish I could say a good time was had by all - but I would be lying. There is nothing fun about losing a non-conference game to a Division I-AA team, in overtime. I am bracing myself for a Beaver bloodletting in Wisconsin this weekend. I am, however, ridiculously excited that college football season is here. And, lucky for me, I can also root for my Missouri Tigers and the NCSU Wolfpack.

Currently Anticipating: A visit from my parents - arriving on Saturday and staying for a week!
Currently Dreading: Finalizing a mini-grant summary report by Friday. Ugh.
Currently Enjoying: A taste of summer in Oregon and reeling in the 90 degree temps.


Worshiping the wrong way

I saw this on Michael Hyatt.com and was challenged enough to share it. I am willing to admit this is sometimes me. What about you?


Some of this week's favorites

I have been spending quality time with my Google Reader. I am down to only 180 posts or so which is major progress. Here are some of my favorites:

As someone who always feels over committed, I enjoyed reading Being Spread Thin Is Not Sexy by Caitlin Muir.

This photo series from MSNBC made me chuckle out loud.

I always enjoy the 'Don't Be That Guy' posts from Tyler Stanton but I really enjoyed the College Football Fan edition (You geeky conference types will also like the conference version of DBTG from Bryan Allain. Good stuff.

I am digging into the archives on Jeff Goins' site which is all about 'Writing'. It was a good addition to the Reader.