Tag Archives: missoula

Twenty Nine

birthday party

The next step. (Photo by Brett Kvo)

(ed. note: number counts are updated as of 11/2/13)

The last day of my 29th year was a tiring one. Looking back The goals I set when I returned from Australia have mostly eluded me. Every year will have highs and lows.  Things will always be crazy and they will not go according to plan. If your goals elude you, that is a good sign they are worthy enough. The perspective of the first few days of my 30th year reminds me that it has in fact (of course), been another excellent year. Time with my Australian family, an amazing trip in the Wind River, and an increased objection to the notion of what “should be” have been a few among many highlights.

Epic birthday breakfast- thanks Paul.

Homestyle birthday breakfast- thanks Paul.

My roommate Tess and I share our birthday on October 12, and we shared simple motivations for a joint celebration- climb with friends then eat great food. Without any additional effort, the gifts of the day were very much greater.

The only thing brighter than the fall colors were the people.

The only thing brighter than the fall colors were the people.

About 10 people showed up Saturday morning to celebrate by climbing. By 7pm, our group had become a 30 person potluck extravaganza in the best way. The night ended at an awesome performance at the Top Hat, with a few more folks that didn’t make the potluck.


Bellingham based Polecat tore the roof off an already great party.

The existential questions have always seemed to sit with me too easily – “am I working the right job?”/”hanging with the right people”/”spending my time wisely?” Being goal oriented has been part of my M.O. for as long as I can remember. I’m starting the 30th year though in a different direction. My penchant for responsibility and thrift moves me towards more experiences and fewer things. While cleaning up on Sunday, Tess’ friend Greg shared a more succinct view of aging:

“In our generation, success is more about what you have experienced than what you have bought.”

This may seem ironic given that my birthday present to myself was taking some cash out of the bank for new skis. The house I was hoping to buy next spring doesn’t really fit my goal of owning fewer things anyways. New skis and new friends bring the promise of new experience and new quality. The question of the 30th year is not “how do I do more”- it is one of “how do I do less, better.”

bernice's bakery cupcakes

Thanks mom, for reminding me to take time, let my belly out, and have fun. (Bernice’s Cupcakes!)

Even Better

I spent most of 2011 traveling, climbing, having fun, and being with people I cared about.  I didn’t have to work, I had few if any responsibilities, and in review I’m pretty happy to say that it was the best year yet.  I rang in 2012 swing dancing to a live big band with a good portion of downtown Missoula as part of the First Night festivities- credit to Hannah for dragging me onto the dance floor, and credit to my friend and co-worker Andy for showing  some serious swing moves.

Enjoying a very tight band, and I didn't have to play!

One thing I’m sure of though, is that is only gets better.  I’m working, I have limited means, and I’m in a place which is less accessible to everywhere else- but somehow, all of those things seem like factors that are going to enrich my experience rather than detract from it.

I may not know exactly how yet, but 2012 is going to be even better... (yeah the photo is blurry, but the feeling is spot on.

New Years Day and Thanksgiving are the two major holidays that really mean something to me.  I got up this morning and biked over to the hills just behind the University and hiked up to the University M that is built into the hillside.  Something about the first light on the first morning is a good time to get inspired, and I hadn’t seen the city from that vantage yet.  What are you going to do to make 2012 the best year yet?  I’m not sure, but I got plans… stay tuned.

Missoula, on the first morning of 2012, from "The M" on Mt. Sentinel.