I had a big decision to make this week. I was invited to speak at a major national conference in my chosen profession--but it was a direct conflict with one of our big plans for the summer: a ten-day hike through the backcountry of Sequoia/Kings Canyon.
Oh dear. The conference would be a real feather in my cap.
We checked the calendar, and there really was no other time that we could possibly do the hike. And we'd already filed the paperwork for the permit---and it had been accepted.
So I looked long and hard at the calendar, and then at the permit. And then I called them back and explained that I would be delighted to speak at their conference.
Loc: Portland, OR
Yeah. For me the important thing is to make hiking enough of a priority that I will make room for it, even when it is hard to make room for it. The details beyond that are much less important. SEKI will wait for you, as it always does.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
From the perspective of being fourteen years into retirement, I'm not sure what I'd have done had this situation come up while I was working. Early in my career, I'd probably have picked the speech. I did find from experience, though, that while such things as speeches to outside groups enhanced my exposure should I be looking for a job, they didn't make any difference to the employer for whom I was working at the time. After a couple experiences of that sort of reaction, I changed my priorities in a hurry!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
That's a tough one. One reason is I've always enjoyed public speaking, though I don't really enjoy being surrounded after giving a speech, that's too hectic for me.
But if I had a trip planned that I couldn't postpone, especially with friends, I'd think I'd take the trip. And when I add missing ten days in Sequoia/Kings Canyon into the equation, I don't think I'd give it up unless there was something else big there to draw me.
OM, I agree with your take too. It would make a difference if the task was being duffed off on me, but balzaccom's description sounds like it's more of a request made with respect for his position. And it's a gathering of his peers, so it's really an honor to speak in front of them, and it can be a lot of fun hanging out with a crowd that understands what you do for a living.
I have had the pleasure and good fortune to work with some brilliant people in my life. Working with someone is a chance to learn something, and I've always found that hard to resist. For me, that learning opportunity has always been a high priority. If there were something there that provided that opportunity to learn, that'd make it tougher.
But it's ten days in Sequoia/Kings Canyon.... Geez... I love that area.
It'd be perfect if you could do the event first and leave for the backpack trip right from there. I can't think of a better way to unwind afterwards. So I'm stumped. I'd have to be in your shoes to know what to do, but either way I don't see how you could choose wrong. They both sound like fun!
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I've obtained at least once, a walkin permit over Kearsarge Pass a couple years ago, just get there before they open, but that is a non-issue as whomever is there, they make you draw straws/numbers out of a hat for order to be served when they open up finally. Duane
I have no idea what the situation may be for others but sometimes we have to make decisions about what is good for our career when we are in our working years so that we are able to enjoy life when we are older. I like the idea that at my age I can just enjoy life and do what I want to do without fear of not being able to live a comfortable life. I see too many of my peers who made bad decisions while they should have been planning for the senior years and they are now in their 70's and must work just to keep eating and having a minimum living standard. At my age I can now take off for a backpacking trip without fear of not meeting obligations. Fortunately my comfortable living standard requires less money than many of my peers. Cruses are not part of my life style. A couple of hundred dollars can give a two week backpacking trip while it would not pay for a day at a luxury resort.
I do like the topic. I have (or have had....really worked hard on it the last 20 years) a serious issue with obsessive compulsive behavior. Although my life has sketched out a few lifestyle priorities, backpacking and hiking being one of them, I tended to swing to the extreme for a period on one aspect (career -> burnout; backpacking->disregard of anything else the family wanted to do; fishing->not home enough with family or preoccupied with it in evenings neglecting family). So for me, there are no more priorities, just a manageable number of activities that describe my lifestyle priorities. Boundaries must be set for all activities, and each decision must be made in the interest of where I am now in career, family, health (a biggy! learned during burnout that my recreational passions are pivotal to my physical and mental health). My own perspective on the value of a conference may not track true with reality... I have decided, however, that often business events are unrepeatable in terms of content or opportunity, whereas most of my outdoor experiences (and that's why I love nature) will be there when I get there. Patience - I'll get to it, so business needs do trump most of the time. Nonetheless, I can also create an event storm in my business areas that never lets up, then act like I am a victim of circumstance. Pick my battles, pick my battlegrounds. Only so much life to live, so many hours in a day, so many opportunities to connect with loved ones. It's all a balance.