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on being flexible

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
2 min read

So, for those of you who know me in real life, you know that I’m a wee bit of a planner. An organizer. Some may say, a cat herder. Logistics are just part of how I’ve always operated… I’ve done a lot of jobs that require a great deal of organization and planning, and that spills over to the personal life.

However, the last few months, I’m learning to go with the flow. We climbers… we are an awfully flaky bunch. I tend to start the week with a posse lined up for a Friday or Saturday or weekend; over the course of the week, they drop like flies. Some partners listen for climbing invitations all week, and then don’t make a commitment until we either get exactly the invite we were hoping for; for others, they wait fifteen minutes before departure to assess whether the weather looks worth the gamble, the partners are tolerable if not perfect, and then decide that one of the offers is better than sitting at home. Still others live busy lives, and busy lives take over at the last minute, squeezing out the possibility of actually getting out, that sounded so possible earlier in the week. I’ve had, for the last few years, the luxury of a pretty well matched equation of climbing partners to climbing time. Now that my climbing time is expanding, and my climbing partner list remaining the same, I’m finding myself spending more and more time not climbing at the last minute because of climbing partner issues.

The up side is that a little bit of unexpected not climbing time is good for me… it gives me time, for example, to return my work phone calls, to write a blog post, to do a little bit of research on where I want to sleep tonight (crash with a friend in Seattle or take my chances on camping near Index)? And, it gives me a chance to change plans and set up last minute dinner plans with friends that don’t involve folding dinnerware and boiling water. The down side is it means less climbing… but, that’s life. And, there’s fun and happiness and good in stuff other than climbing, as easy as it is to forget that sometimes.

There are a few themes to my life right now… they’re going to sound strange to anyone who knows me offline, but the fact is that this is, apparently, the “it takes a village” and “go with the flow” phase of my life. It’s funny… despite the fact that I would have loved to have been climbing this afternoon, I’m not exactly disappointed… I’m just on to the next adventure. I don’t take it personally… goodness knows, I’ve bailed on trips because of work or iffy weather or whatever. I just do need to start thinking about climbing plans less as “plans” and more as “some remote possibility that I’ll get to play outside with some friends, but if not, I’ll figure out another adventure to have.”

I hope that your weekend plans hold together… I’m thinking Index tomorrow… we’ll see! It’s entirely too early to make that kind of commitment…

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.