Hiking up the Guilt

This post is about a hike. I think. Part of it is about time management, and part of it is about a visit to Children’s Hospital, but the majority is about a hike. I think.

I’ve done the Whyte Lake trail in the summer, and now I can also add early spring to my repertoire, and I can tell you that both were equally as beautiful. I’ve also noticed that many more people have been ‘gramming about Whyte Lake, and I can only imagine that’s because I shared my experience. After all, the world (or at least Vancouver) revolves around me.

Now, one would think that since I am posting about this today, that I must have hiked it this past weekend. No, judgey-Mcjudgerson (thanks Kyla), it’s been 2 weeks. I don’t wear my time-missmanagement as a badge of honour, but a series of events derailed every chance I had to sit down and write this post … And I carry guilt around for that fact — guilt I’d like to share with you in the hope that you can rid yourself of yours as I do mine.


Peaks & Harbours has been a labour of love for the past 2 years, something that I have considered not only a creative outlet, but also a social and psychological outlet. Many times, when the stress of life has become unbearable, people close to me will ask what I can “get off my plate” — often eluding to P&H, as it seems to weigh heavy on me. But it’s a different kind of heavy. It’s a commitment to a group of women that want to be a part of something special, and have the work ethic to keep it functioning. It doesn’t bring me stress, the thought that I can’t contribute enough to this group is the source of the stress.

Back to the hike. The hike took place on a Saturday afternoon. Just warm enough to wear a light jacket, under a canopy covered by the intermittent showers that epitomize spring in Vancouver. My boyfriend hadn’t done Whyte Lake (though well-versed on all other North Shore mountains), so it was great to have him come along. I’ve written before that it’s an easy 45 minutes to the lake, and about 35 minutes out.


Sometimes my kids (like all kids) run too far ahead, and sometimes they need to be coerced to put one foot ahead of the other, but for the most part, it’s an easy incline with the promise of a lake (and some snacks) at the end. As usual I get stuck with said snacks, and the preparation of snacks, and the carrying of the water. And then I get all gender-roles in my head, and sometimes on my kids, but then I start to wonder why I expect men to carry my stuff, and I get all feminism-smeminism on myself, and then I get over it. A lot is going on in my head lately. Hiking is a good release.

So times are good. I’m fortunate I have a car to get to West Vancouver, I’m fortunate we have hiking gear, I’m fortunate my kids are as adventurous as they are … I’m fortunate that I have this forum to share my musings … Where my fortune runs dry is in time-management. Easter was supposed to be the day I sat and wrote this. We were going to clean the house as a team, and then I would sit and write this in a clean living room, and then we’d head to Easter dinner. Even the best laid plans can be smashed to smithereens when your kid decides to do a header with the dog and needs stitches to sew up his forehead gash.


And so we spent much of the day at emergency in Children’s Hospital. 6 hours to be exact — 5 of which were in the waiting room as 100 happy children (seriously, don’t take kids with colds to emergency) coloured and laughed and got whisked into the doctor’s care while we sat and waited. At one point, when the room was empty but for me and my son (after Carina volunteered to come to emergency, pick-up the un-injured and very bored other-child, and take him to grandpa’s), he turned to me and thanked me for coming with him. We hugged, I assured him there’s no place I’d rather be. The hike and the post seemed so far away at that point, not unimportant, but far out of reach. One was becoming a memory, and the other seemed like an insurmountable task.

That’s why I’m writing about the hike now. And really, it’s not about the hike. It’s about a bag full of guilt (of the time and mom-variety — always the best) and some perspective. I got to it. Posting this is like making it to the lake, regardless of who carried the snacks. I can do this, so long as I have the support of this community, and I am fortunate to offer that support back to this group of women.


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  • Reply
    bethany schiedel
    April 5, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    A header with the dog!? (giggle…) I love this post. You’re a beautiful person!

  • Reply
    Samantha @MyKitchenLove
    April 5, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    You’re doing great! I’m right there with you on the time management. The struggle is real. Hope your injured boy is ok.

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