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Pride and Joy

Life on the trail is of two parts: what your body is doing and seeing versus what your mind is thinking about.

Today my body climbed over the second highest peak in Ticino, 3,272m, while my brain thought about the attractions between men and women. I've been away from home for almost two months now; I'm allowed to think about such things.

During the flight over to Switzerland way back in June I read about a new study about sexual attraction. It seems women are attracted to pride in men, while men are attracted to joyfulness in women. I could easily understand the latter, as my motto to all the husbands I've given advice to is: "A happy wife is a happy life." Joy is contagious, and we all want to catch it. Too often my life feels too serious, and there's nothing that comforts like joy in the one you love. Of course it sounds selfish when put in this way, and I do want Adele to be happy for her own sake and not just mine, but we're talking about attraction, and I sure feel it when she's happy.

But what is it about a woman's attraction to pride in a man? That one confused me for a while. But I think I figured it out. Pride is a symbol, a badge of accomplishment. It comes from a man who feels he's done his task well. Accomplishment is success, and we all know that women prefer successful men. They provide a better life for the family. The kids have more opportunities to succeed as well.

I've thought about this a lot during the last six weeks of hiking. Partly because I miss Adele, but largely because I know I fall short. Rarely do I feel much pride in what I've done. I'm too busy stressing about the things I haven't done. While humility is good, a certain measure of pride in accomplishment might be better. Lord knows, I want Adele to be attracted to me.

The easiest thing in the world is to make self-improvement resolutions during an expedition like this. The hardest thing is to keep them when you get home. At 55 years of age some of my habits are surely engrained. But I've had a lot of time to reflect, and even to begin adjusting my attitude. Positive thinking. I'm working on it, Adele. I'd be proud to achieve it.

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