Life lately has been a little crazy – last week I taught and co-directed a weeklong virtual science camp for 5th-8th graders, which started just after a quick weekend plane trip to Puerto Montt (southern Chile) to play a fútbol game that ended up getting cancelled after we has already arrived due to air quality (tons of smoke in the air from wood-burning stoves), and I still have a pesky leaking coolant hose to fix on our mini-camera that’s supposed to be the test piece for real LSST Camera operations. But then again, when is my life not hectic?

We’re either rubbing our hands together to talk about heat and friction or giving someone a round of applause (photo: Jacqueline Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)

In that vein, I’ve been thinking a lot about priorities lately. I even flippantly joke about mountain priorities in my author bio: “Margaux is a classic millennial who shamelessly orders shampoo and toothpaste online instead of trekking all the way to the store. She will, however, happily trek up mountains (and climb them, and bike up them, and skin up them on skis) only to go back down again. Because priorities.”

As someone who tends to over-commit, to get excited about too many things, and to stay super busy, it can be hard to say no, especially to myself. But there is only so much time in the day and we all have a limited amount of concentration and energy. Definitely learned am still learning that the hard way.

I’m realizing as I get older that priorities necessarily have a place and a time. I love climbing, and the mountains, and traveling, but I haven’t been adventuring since the beginning of fútbol season here in Chile because between practices every day and traveling for games I don’t have the time or the energy. I miss it, and especially my climbing friends that I don’t see as often anymore. I’m also selfishly bummed that I’m going to suck at climbing for a while when I go back. Re-building calluses is never fun.

On the other hand, I’m super excited about getting to play fútbol on a real (mostly) professional team, an opportunity I’d never have in the US. I would like to write more (including on this blog!), and climb, and do yoga, and beat my friends in bananagrams more often, but those are all things I will still have time for next year. The goal (see what I did there) is to treat this moment in time like a senior-year season — this is my chance to try really hard and enjoy this experience as much as I can before it’s over.

At least, that’s what I tell myself when I have to wake up really frickin early to drive up to the summit so I can be back down in time for evening fútbol practice. I’m mostly convinced.

Just after our second win of the season!