Nostalgia in New Hampshire

“Live with intention.  Walk to the edge.  Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Saudade, the Portuguese word I came across a few years back, seeps in around this time every year.  Although it does not have a direct English translation, offers this translation, “‘The famous saudade of the Portuguese is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.’ – A. F. G. Bell, In Portugal of 1912” Sometimes I feel like I suffer from nostalgia more than colds, especially during the holidays.  December has been hectic, with several trips to several different states. In the beginning of the month Ken, the kids and I met up with my siblings and their husbands to celebrate Christmas.  We hiked a few small mountains around Lake Winnipesaukee with views of Mount Washington looming in the distance. Both Ken and I got excited about hiking Mount Washington one day as we make our way along the Appalachian Trail. I missed my parents on this trip (they couldn’t come last minute).  I kept thinking about the few weekends I spent at Lake Winnipesaukee when I was a kid.  Other than the longing for the breezier times in life, what really gets me around the holidays is that I find myself very begrudgingly missing my ex-husband. I feel like I can’t tell anyone that, especially now that both he and I are happy, and both have fallen in love with other people. But the nostalgia of Christmases together with the kids creeps in and that longing to return to the past just for a few moments makes my throat tighten. Both of my children also experienced some holiday blues around the fact that their parents aren’t together, despite us making sure they have time with both of us on Christmas day.  All I could tell them was that it makes me sad too, and I give thanks for the good times and holidays we all had in the past, and also give thanks to where we are now – it’s changed but there is a lot of joy in blended families. 

“If you are depressed you are living in the past.  If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu

Pain is rooted in the past (hello saudade), just as apprehension arises when thinking about the future. The Germans have a great term for this, Torshlusspanik, “closing gate panic.” It is a term that describes the panic we feel as we get older that we have not accomplished enough with our lives. I turn 40 next month and in between moments of nostalgia, I have also been experiencing closing gate panic. To help assuage some of those fears, and make sure I’m not all talk with no action I decided that instead of doing an uber list (I wrote about that here last year) I would do a list of 40 (attainable) things to do in my 40th year. Quick update on 2022 Uber List: I completed 12 of the 22 (not all so attainable) tasks. My overall goal of 2023 is to find my Ikigai, while staying grounded, present and peaceful.

A Partial List of my 40 (attainable) things to do in my 40th year

  • Visit a sequoia grove
  • Read 20 books
  • Hike 400 more miles on the Appalachian Trail
  • Build my savings account to …
  • Get my A1c back to a 6
  • Reflect more on how what I say/do impacts others
  • Write a story a month
  • Run a half marathon
  • Decrease my caffeine consumption
  • Go to one of Now+There’s installation openings 
  • Let Ken pick/plan one of our adventure destinations
  • Either do a 29029 Everesting event, or get to 29029 total elevation in a single backpacking trip

Happy Holidays & New Years


One thought on “Nostalgia in New Hampshire

  1. What a great Lao Tzu quote! The international inspiration in this post is exquisite. Best luck on the 40/40, I’m off to study that Ikigai diagram and diagnose my 2022 haha

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