Lessons from Utah...

lessons for clara

Dearest Clara,

Mountains always look better when covered in snow, don’t you think? There is something about those white capped natural structures that takes my breath regardless of whether I’m seeing them from the ground up, or from the sky down.  When I was in Utah just a few weeks ago, I was elated to finally see mountains all around. Last year I made a trip at about the same time and didn’t see a single one—in fact, I could barely see two feet in front of me because of all the fog and snowstorms.  This year, during my week in Utah, I also learned to:

  • Drink water, water and more water: The climate in the mountains, especially in the wintertime, is dry as can be.  If you notice you’re thirsty, it’s too late.  Start drinking water in advance of your trip and keep drinking more than you think.  Your body and skin will need it more than you realize.
  • Bring a bucket of lotion: Well…not a bucket but you’ll need a lot.  Again, because of the dry climate and the changes in weather, you’re skin will need a little more love and care than it usually might.  Add some strength and add some quantity to what you normally use —and don’t forget those hands! Lots of lotion if they’re out in the cold—remember, your hands will show everything first.
  • Consume food as you consume alcohol : Seems like it would be natural right? Because of regulations in the state of Utah, you need to order food at the same time that you order alcohol.  All in all, that’s not a bad general principle to live by—a little something in the stomach when you grow old enough to have a drink is a generally a good idea.  When I think of all the times I enjoyed a glass or two (or perhaps even just a little bit more) and the morning wasn’t as bright, it was always because I had forgotten to eat or didn’t eat very much.  Ordering both at the same time could be a good rule of thumb as you navigate your way through your young adult years.
  • “Look out for the praiseworthy, virtuous..or lovely”: I confess I’m not very familiar with the Mormon religion, which is quite present in Utah.  But one of the principles that I’ve learned about through my travels and conversations, is that there is a specific element of faith that addresses praise for the good or the deserving.  Perhaps it is simply a longer way of saying that credit should be given where credit is due, but I can’t help but think that it is a wonderfully generous and selfless principle to be on the lookout for things that deserve praise and then to actually give it.  So many of us go through this world feeling like our actions or efforts of gifts are unnoticed—and so many of us mean to give credit but don’t.  Be the person that looks for genuine opportunities to offer a bit of notice for that which merits it.

All my love,