2 min read

Live like the mountain is out

Make the most of those days when the mountain is out, but don't destroy yourself in the process
Live like the mountain is out
Photo by John Peters / Unsplash

Sustain issue #21 (Get Sustain in your inbox next Thursday)

There’s a local saying where I am: Live Like The Mountain's Out.

Here, south of Seattle in Tacoma, we say the quality of the day can be measured by the visibility of nearby Mt. Rainier. Is it a classic Pacific Northwest overcast day? Or a rarer sunny and mountain-y day?

So the idea is to make the most of those days when the mountain is out.

Last Friday, my company gave us a much-needed rest and recharge day. I had planned a long-haul bike ride I’ve never done before through a beautiful mountain pass rail line turned to trail. I was really looking forward to living like the mountain was out.

As luck would have it, Friday we had a heatwave come through and lots of wildfire smoke blew in. I decided to bail on my mountain-is-out day plan which bummed me out since it was just the recharge day I was looking for.

While I was sad, I remembered I could still live like the mountain’s out. Just in a more low-key way.

Instead, I got some exercise, I picked a bunch of my cherry tomatoes that had come ripe, read, and nerded out a bit at our state history museum. Oddly enough, the museum had a super cool train model of the area (the original terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad), including where the train travels through the Cascade mountain pass I was going to bike. Things have a funny way of threading together.

You don't always need a formal plan

Living like the mountain’s out is a call to make the most of the day. But that doesn’t always have to mean some grand plan. Sometimes the best-laid plans are simple.

If you’re trying to balance work, family, taking care of yourself, and living like the mountain is out with extensive plans all the time, you’re going to start dragging.

You can think about following this mantra in spirit, not necessarily always in extensive plans. No one way of relaxing, enjoying, and making the most of a day is better than another.

At a sustainable place,


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Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

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