Happiness comes from what we do

Somewhere inside me I always knew this to be true. It’s not about what material items you may have in your life, it is about what you do with your life.

If you find yourself with some extra money, consider spending it on a weekend get-away, or hiking gear, rather than the new Android you think you’ve wanted. It’s one of the few things researchers can agree on when it comes to money and happiness.

At the age of 29, I am finding myself saying “I’ve never done that before,” a lot. Just a few days ago I went to an airport for the first time (BWI). I flew on a plane for the first time from Baltimore, Maryland to Birmingham, Alabama to attend the wedding of one of my best friends. This was also my first time ever traveling alone.

While I was there I tried Indian food and loved it. I went caving off the Vulcan Trail at Red Mountain. Walking into an abandoned mine and depending on small flash lights to light the way was surreal for me. Fellow adventurers included Jamie (friend of the happy couple) and Paul (cousin of the bride).

Red Mountain Park is located in the southwest corner of Birmingham. It rises approximately 200 feet above the surrounding neighborhoods and is the dominant geographic feature in the city.

To get to the mine we walked about half a mile from a small parking lot, passing beautiful views of the city below and even the WBRC Radio Station. Jamie had been there before and so he knew where to start climbing up to the cave/mine entrance. The climb was steep and we depended on roots and tree branches to help us. (Especially me).

Once we were inside the cave we walked over loose rocks and pieces of slate, along an abundance of red clay, mud and dirt. My guess is the furthest we descended and then climbed was about 30 feet. Some of the time we had the help of old cords left behind and secured in place by what we believe were the old miners. Occasionally you could find some old tools and steel ladders.

In retrospect it was silly of me to be so daring. This cave was not meant for beginners. But I did it and am thrilled. This will be one of the stories I end up telling great grand children.

I wish I knew more about the particular cave/mine we adventured through, but I don’t know if it had a name or number. I’ll have to investigate further.


1 thought on “Happiness comes from what we do

  1. I totally agree with this sentiment! I’ve just been talking about this with Ben – like, how I have been camping before, I’ve never done it without a big group, which is something i’d like to try. When my dad and I went out west to the Philmont Scout Ranch, I’d never hiked an 11 mile trail, or climbed the side of a mountain. That trip changed my life, but since then I haven’t done much that I ‘haven’t done before’ like you said. The Day Zero project is good for ideas like that.

    Anyway I’m so glad your travels went well, and so stoked that you got to explore that cave, that sounds amazing! Can’t wait to hear about your next adventure!

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