It has been a few days of work and nights of sleep adjustment for us, so we’re finally getting back into our routine. I can’t quite say that we’re back to normal because we’re still feeling some of the effects of our out-of-paradigm experiences from trekking in Nepal. But now we’re able to look back and see how we’ve changed and what we learned. Richard had some specific objectives for himself as far as leading his family through the adventure, overcoming his physical challenges, and making some personal decisions. He really wanted to give his teenage boys some memorable experiences to help shape their character and give them some footing in life. He also wanted to get past the setback he had a few years previous from injuring his leg, which took him completely out of action for many months. Another personal motivation for him was the guidance he had gleaned from books he had read on leadership that all told of the great effect of taking personal time for such a grueling challenge (and they directly mentioned high elevation) to come upon personal revelations. Through the fog of his return to the United States he already sees that he reached his goals solidly and he’s making the adjustment to deal with what’s really important in his life.
My objectives were much less defined and during my part of the encounter with the opposite side of the world the only goals I had were to keep up with my writing and to get through the experience half cordially with the rest of the group. Of course I reinforced a few things about myself I had learned before, such as how I can push beyond my physical limitations with perseverance. I also knew I could live without many of the comforts to which I’m accustomed. However, after my poor integration with the group and getting lost as we were returning from Pangboche to Khumjung I came to understand how I really belonged with the group and couldn’t continue to live in my own microcosm. I tried to extend myself a little and worked with the boys to get all their math homework done and to use my GameBoy for the best motivational leverage. I also learned more about Pema seeing him in his natural element. During the past summer we spent a lot of time and hijinx together in Utah, but I grew to respect him even more to see his genuine character, his expertise, and his devotion to worthy principles. I guess that makes up for our time over the summer. Coincidentally, I was reading Covey’s “7 Habits” book during the trek, and that’s where I really learned the most about myself. That’s a tough book for me to read, and there was no way I could just flip through it, you have to actively participate in it. I think that’s the part of the experience that has me still reeling.