When I Grow Up

Yesterday I turned another year older, and this website celebrated it’s 5th anniversary.

The (in)frequency of posting here is not a direct reflection of my desire to write, nor does it imply lack of potential content or things to say. Rather it is a reflection of how I typically do not make enough time to actually get things done unless there is some sort of deadline or monetary gain involved.

Somehow I thought I would have it more “together” by the time I hit 33. Or 30 for that matter. Like I would have this “being a functional adult” thing all figured out. My house would be clean, my kids would be cultured, my website would be filled with witty anecdotes and stunning photos of tents and mountains. Also I would be fit and my bank account would be full, I would host dinner parties and people would enviously whisper among themselves about how amazing and “together” I am.

Well, only a few of those things are actually true. However, at the ripe old age of 33, I’ve learned a number of things about myself that 25-year-old me hadn’t accepted yet. First, I hate housework, and I am kind of a hoarder, but I keep it under control so that my house never ends up on TV or filled with the corpses of dead cats that were crushed under avalanches of jars and magazines. Second, my kids are amazing, and they love the outdoors, so I am winning there. Third, my computer is full of stunning photos and my brain is overflowing with somewhat witty anecdotes, but I am too busy adventuring (or binge-watching anime) to write them down.

I am working on that getting fit thing, because my body isn’t 25 anymore, and the onset of early arthritis and the thought that maybe I won’t be backpacking into my 70’s has spurned me into action. For my birthday I got a new pair of cross trainers, a FitBit One, and a bathroom scale. Those are the only things I really wanted. And cake, of course.

I don’t know if people perceive me as “together” or amazing, but I do have some good friends who consider me great enough to hang out with. I spare them from coming to my house, where they may be mauled by ferocious dust bunnies. I’ve developed a certain level of snobbery that makes it difficult for 33-year-old me to hang out with most people who aren’t my age, or at least my level of dry sarcasm.

But I digress.

Basically, I don’t make time to write as often as I would like. Mostly because there always seem to be MORE IMPORTANT ADULT THINGS that need doing. Sometimes writing gets pushed off as an indulgence I just can’t make a priority right now. Also nobody pays me to do it or says “If you don’t post once a week, you’re fired!” and I am glad of that, because I did write as a job and that sort of ruined it all for me.

So, here’s to 33-year-old me thinking that 40-year-old me will certainly have it all figured out and that somehow I will get it all “together” in the next 7 years, and you’re all going to be invited to the fanciest dinner party in the land when I turn 40.

About the author

Mike & Cal have been backpacking around Alberta for the past decade. This site is where they share trip reports, photos, and tips and tricks for getting outside.


  1. Caleen, yes I writer you certainly are, and yes again you certainly have it together like no one I have ever seen
    Its a time like this when you have to ask yourself…..would muself mike and my kids like to have a large bank account and no time to spend with them, would they like to have lavish dinners, or would they rather go to some remote island at the ocean and spend quality time together and instead of lavish dinner parties eat your delicious dehydrated food……their lies the answear U have every thing….
    When we lived in Rocky we had lavish dinner outings, beautiful house, all the toys one could imagine, a lake lot complete with dock and boat
    To support this life style I was always working away from home if not in some other province, some other god forsaken country with little time to talk to the kids let alone play with them
    My neighbor who worked at a service station would come over from time to time and we would sit in the garage with some of the toys and have a beer, he always asked the same question…..how do you do it???
    Every weekend and lots of times after school this same fellow could be seen walking with the kids or him and his wife playing with them in the park, they would have weekend barbeques and their was always an extra hot dog
    One day it was my turn to ask him…..how do you do it????

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