God My Wife is Hot

Wife, Best Friend and Photographer
Wife, Best Friend and Photographer

I am constantly amazed at my wife’s ability to remain sane as a woman with all the struggles she has faced in life. From the pressures of society to the unique attributes of being female, she has dealt with so much in every season of life and remained someone I constantly am inspired by and look up to. Indeed, I am proud to be her husband and best friend in this life and the next.

Of late, she has had to endure a cruel and unjust phase of life for no other reason than she is a woman, menopause. What’s interesting to me is that we have read up on and listened to so many points of view of what women go through when that dreaded day comes and menopause becomes part of everyday life, but it’s all from a woman’s perspective, and most assuredly should be, as they are the ones dealing with it on such a deep personal level, physically and mentally.

Rarely, if ever, do I hear from the men. And when I do it’s generally in a joking manner laden with so much ignorance, and sad to say is quite insensitive. The last thing a woman needs to hear is some quick and insincere response to her heartfelt needs.

Though I can joke about it, and do at times, but from a position of knowing and understanding what my wife is going through. Perhaps as a way to shed light on her struggles, let her know I do understand, am listening and am willing to help. Is it frustrating? Very much so. But I’m learning.

One of the most difficult aspects I deal with are her repetitive questions that seek reassurance. At first it was maddening to me to be asked the same question over and over…within a short period of time, sometimes within the same hour. But seriously, that’s one of the cruelest conditions of menopause, she normally would never need constant reassurance, but for some ungodly reason menopause does! I finally made the recommendation to her, jokingly, that I would make her a set of flash cards with her questions and my answers.

Reliving all the difficult memories of past experiences in life with her is tough, too. While she gets to go back through all the past emotions again, and not just as they were, we’re talking an “erectile dysfunction pill” for emotions, they will last more than four hours and be much harder than before! Those memories can be difficult to deal with all over again. Moreover, her memories of times I wasn’t a part of, how am I supposed to be a support when I don’t even know the trigger source of the emotion.

Indeed, to me, menopause is far more a traumatic mental affliction than it is physical.

That is not to say the physical is any walk in the park. My wife is hot…and cold, and hot, and cold. If you see a woman with her head out the window driving down the highway in the middle of winter with sweat running down her face, well, that’s us.

Sleeping at night is like an aerobics class. We start off all snugly and the next thing I know it’s like someone put an electric blanket between us set on ultra-high! Blankets flying, not to mention our little dog somewhere lost in the now flying blankets, we’re seeking the cool air away from the sauna of our not so distant quiet and relaxing sleep. Sleep? In short spurts, maybe. This was no gradual warm up either, instant heat. Perfect I think for winter camping in the mountains. But just as soon as you’re looking to turn the ceiling fan on high, open all the windows [mind you it’s 20 degrees outside] she’s grabbing for the blankets as the heat dissipates and the grueling cold moves back in. Talking about AC/DC!

Where does all this leave me? Hoping I can at the very least bring some peace to her life during this rather evil punishment she must go through, that we’re going through. It does affect me, not as it does her, but indeed, it does affect me, we’re going through this together, like every other stage in our 33 years together.

As crazy as it sounds I love going through it with her. But that’s just as it should be, we should always be there for each other. The key being, together. We are doing this, we are finding ways to cope and we are holding strong against what life throws at us not willing to let the negative penetration of life’s dark side destroy what we’ve made together.

Sunrise at 14,000' on Mt Evans
Sunrise at 14,000′ on Mt Evans

I love the picture above. I love to see her finding, if for just a moment, peace. Be it meditating, staring blankly into the sunrise or just absorbing the short time when menopause leaves her alone, I just want to go up and grab her from behind, wrap my arms around her and encourage, embrace and relish in the moment with her. Unfortunately I fear that it might trigger something that would somehow reverse the bliss she is enjoying.

Alas, I stand back and have my own moment of seeing the most beautiful person in the world creating a special and most unbelievably serene setting with her physical and spiritual energy aligned with the universe at peace.

Peace,

The “M” in MAD πŸ™‚

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Failure or Fulfillment?

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

If it’s not obvious to you by now, we love the outdoors! We love full immersion of our body, mind and spirit into the raw and unfiltered wild that surrounds both man and machine.

Our goal is to one day leave the hustle and bustle of modern society and transition into wilderness living. Unfortunately that can’t happen soon enough. Alas, until that time comes we continue to trek often, as much as possible, into the environment of our vision of life together in the untouched and unviolated areas of our nation’s backcountry.

Until that day comes we plan, we dream and we take each failure not as a loss but as a fulfillment of experiences that will provide the essence of a life without Β the conveniences that are at the fingertips of everyday life in the big city. Instead of quick solutions that are prepackaged we will become innovative, creative and proud of our accomplishments to overcome what many now see as primitive survival.

Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park
Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park

A recent hike in Rocky Mountain National Park gave us time to think a little more and consider some of these life changes. The trail, environment, weather and energy output to thrust oneself into an alpine setting in winter, much less any season, is no easy task. Planning, education and preparedness are essential to a safe and enjoyable outing. But that challenge is our gain, forget the positive results we get from each and every trek we head out on, those are just bonuses carrying out in the background. Being in such a place just seems to invigorate us, cleansing our souls, calming our minds and leaving us in such a physically pleasing state that we are able to just sit back and know well the feeling of fulfillment.

Time spent together learning, growing and making memories to share and think back on in years to come.

Taking Shelter From High Winds in Glacier Gorge
Taking Shelter From High Winds in Glacier Gorge

What an amazing day in the high country of Colorado. We knew it would be windy, we knew there was a storm brewing… Prepared as we could be we headed off for a few high lakes to get in a good hike before the weather came crashing down with yet another good ole fashioned Colorado snowstorm. Packed powder underfoot, drifts to the side, we made our way up the trail.

The wind howled over head giving clues to what lay ahead. The views nothing short of high quality postcards around each corner as we managed our way forward going ever higher and deeper into the wilderness.

What came next was just amazing… semi-clear skies and hurricane force winds stopped us dead in our tracks! Knowing full well where we were on the trail and where we needed to pass though to get to our destination it was a no-brainer that we needed to abort this hike and turn back. Bummed? Perhaps a little. But as we like to say, “live today to hike another time.”

We sat behind a large rock out of the incredible winds and realized how, once again, the experience was amazing. Nature was at its finest [raw and real] and we thoroughly enjoyed what we had done, seen and witnessed. There was no failure here, just more fulfillment of life, love and the desire to be in an environment we find so much peace in. Indeed these are the feelings and life lessons we want to go forward with as we continue our life together.

Watch a video of our experience with the winds on the MAD Facebook page. [Don’t forget to turn up the volume on your device to hear the wind in all its fury!]

Peace,

MAD πŸ™‚

Resisting the Wind, Absorbing the Experience

Flattop Mountain [12,324'] in Rocky Mountain National Park
Flattop Mountain [12,324′] in Rocky Mountain National Park
Our latest outing took us back to Rocky Mountain National Park on a summiting adventure atop Flattop Mountain [12,324′]. Well equipped, we met nature head on as fierce winds were blowing off the peaks as if to say “try if you will human, but this place is for the determined only.” Determined we were…slowly, methodically and carefully we put one foot in front of the other and pressed on. Climbing ever higher, the energy release and altitude gain quickly reminded us where we were. But the reward today was not the destination, it was the trail, the many views…the energy of a raw and unrelenting nature that had welcomed us into its high alpine playground. Indeed, we were resisting the wind while absorbing the experience. We love hiking the Rocky Mountains, in any season, as they all hold unique opportunities to experience the beauty of Colorado.

See more photos from this latest outing on the MAD Hippies Facebook page.

Peace,

MAD πŸ™‚

In the End What Will Matter…

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Who made these rules that we need to survive
Who made these rules that keep us barely alive

If in the end it’s not who we truly want to be
Why do we stay and endure when we should get up and flee

So here we are living the life we’re told to accept
The daily grind we’ve allowed and has us kept

And while we long for dreams to manifest and become alive
We’ll ponder tomorrow where only our hopes seem to thrive

Thank G-d we have each other and don’t go at this alone
Let’s break free of this mold and grab the vision we’ve been shown

Time is ticking blowing effortlessly with the wind
Let’s get up and go together my companion, my wife, my friend

In the end what will really matter
All these so called rules and methods are nothing but economic and social chatter…