Condensing a long thought process over many years, I’ve decided that instead of waiting until a mythical retirement when I have the money to stop working and tons of time to enjoy myself, I need to focus on actually living in the present and stop postponing life in favor of frugality and putting off following my dreams ‘until I retire’.

The truth is, I need nature and deep connection now, not 20+ years from now. Instead of saying, ‘when I retire, I’ll go camping and hiking’, I need to say ‘let me go camping and hiking now on the weekends and on mini vacations while I’m young enough and healthy enough to enjoy it’.

That being said, I need to begin aligning my life to be able to do this. I need to start engaging in the activities and planning that will start getting me out in nature now.

I realise that’s a big part of my unhappiness. When I was a child, I spent hours walking and running and biking and playing with my dog anywhere there was an open field, a park, even our backyard. As an adult, by contrast, I’ve spent hours and hours sitting in front of a computer in an office, and hardly seeing the outside world except parking lots and grocery stores and sidewalks. Even my backyard is tiny, mostly paved and storage buildings. I’m starving for nature.