This weekend I practiced MAXIMUM ENTHUSIASM with great success. My 10 year-old step-daughter, Evelyn, wanted to hike the King on Saturday, and then again on Sunday. Her enthusiasm was infectious and reminded me of my New Year’s Resolution to be more enthusiastic.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget how good we have it. When we’re wearing the glass slipper, we hardly remember that at midnight we just might turn into a pumpkin. The key to happiness is to be aware of our good fortune. When life is good, we must celebrate it.
So when my step-daughter decided she wanted to tackle the King, I was enthusiastic. She asked how long I thought it would take. “An hour probably,” I told her. “But we can bring snacks and take as long as you want.”
She was game. After a hearty lunch of grilled cheese with a chocolate brownie back, we hit the trail. Even while we hiked up the steep trail she kept up her usual banter. “This is awesome,” she reminded me.
I looked around and remembered that she was right. This was pretty awesome. The ice cream scoop of Mt. Rainier, just 14 miles away, looked close enough to lick. Mt. Adams, a little further still, looked like one of those self-help posters you see at the chiropractor’s office, reminding you that no matter how hard the climb, the view is always worth the hike.
Steady, steady we climbed. While normally I’d be lost in my own breath, yesterday I listened to Evelyn. THIS IS EPIC, she said. Then, about half-way up the climb, when most people start to wonder why they ever decided to hike the King, she told me something amazing. She said, “This is the best day of my entire life.”
You know something? She was right. It was the best day of my entire life too. Just look at where we were. Her father is alive and healthy; she’s growing older and smarter and faster; I get to spend my days in this place.
Sometimes the enthusiasm of a girl is infectious. Sometimes we must be willing to accept our muse where we find her. It took us 35 minutes to hike to the top of the King. That’s not a bad time by anyone’s standards. Pretty soon I won’t be able to keep up with Evelyn. For now, I’m relishing these moments with great enthusiasm.