Some of my married friends that have been married a long time tell me that they just want to feel that heady feeling of falling in love again. There is nothing like it, is there? I thought that crazy, out-of-control, obsessive feeling was the teenage reaction to love and sex until I was divorced and fell in love again. And, being single, I’ve gotten to have that experience a few times. It is the most delicious time in the world. Nothing matters but that person. Every moment there is a smile on my face whether I’m with them or anticipating being with them. The same feel-good hormones that push the pleasure buttons for any addiction are at their strongest when you are falling in love. Question whether people can get addicted to sex or love? You’ve forgotten what it feels like. You absolutely can.
I was thinking about hiking this morning. It seems like it’s all I think about these days. I’m looking for gear, reading Backpacker magazine, choosing recipes to try from a hiking cookbook, hiking with friends or planning hikes. And I have to be honest, work seems to just be an obstacle to hiking. If I didn’t have to work, I could be hiking!! Or shopping!! Or planning a trip!! I felt exactly the same way when I fell in love with both of my husbands and three boyfriends. Except, in this case, I’m not really worried whether hiking likes me or not. Can you fall in love with a thing?
I found this article this morning on the 10 Crazy Things That Happen When You’re Falling in Love. Yes … Yes … Yes …. all the way down the checklist.
- Hormones going wild? My adrenaline is pumping. I have more energy than ever. My backpack is sitting across the living room, and I have this serious urge to throw it in the car and spend the day in the woods. I have sick days, right? This is sort of sick…
- Wake up and go to sleep thinking about hiking? Absolutely … sometimes I’m even dreaming about it. I woke up this morning and was disappointed when I remembered this wasn’t a hiking day!
- Smile when I’m alone? I can’t stop smiling. Well, last week I had a down time, but all I had to do was start planning my hiking vacation, and I was good as gold. I’m not just smiling … I’m singing.
- Becoming a bit obsessive? I find myself wondering “am I talking about hiking too much”? Am I irritating people talking and writing about backpacking? Did I really need to bring my gear and do a hiking presentation at the family Christmas party? What about discussing that Female Urinary Device at dinner?
- Am I doing embarrassing things? Am I gushing over my new friends? Did I really go pee in the woods in eyeshot of three single and available men? Did we really discuss it afterwards?
- Doing things outside of my comfort zone? Hmmm … that’s the best part, isn’t it?
- Sudden concern about my appearance? Well, for a change I’m not worried at all about going without makeup, my curls or what I’m wearing. Seems like the opposite, but that’s how hikers look! Do I look like one? Do I have the right gear? Does she or he have better gear than I do? I got envious that my fellow backpackers had chairs and I didn’t, so I immediately spent $80 on one.
- Am I singing? See #3.
- Am I going out of my way? Am I really considering driving to Houston for an REI garage sale on January 2? I may save $100 on the stuff I need, and the trip will cost me at least $200. My head just doesn’t compute math when I’m falling in love. Who cares? It’s GEAR!!! And, yes, I’ll go out of my way … out of my bank account .. out of my mind getting it.
- Am I going blind? This one concerns me a little. It’s the place where I’ve always screwed up in relationships. Will I one day look at my backpack sitting in the living room and wonder what the hell was I thinking? Will I force myself to go backpacking just because I’ve already invested a lot of money in this this but feel myself being dragged to do something I don’t want to do? Will I get caught in the rain on a hike and realize that I was in love with the IDEA of hiking … not the real thing? Am I blinded to the little things that will turn out to be big barriers to a life-long relationship with this sport?
Yep, I think I’m smitten. I hope this is the real thing.