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Take the Road Less Traveled

car encountering obstaclesRoad construction and repair following a typical West Virginia winter is in full swing. (Our last snow was in May.) Detour signs are popping up all over and it seems that some of my favorite routes will be closed for a while. This has certainly been the case in so many aspects of our lives since “safer at home” and “social distancing” entered—not only into our vocabularies but into our lives. The alterations to our normal paths can be frustrating inconveniences to our ability to get where we are going as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Short, local road trips have become anticipated outings for so many in recent months. However, detours slow us down and send us in directions we might never have chosen to go.

Hold on a second! When I reread that last sentence, detours don’t sound like such a bad thing. Too often we get up at the same time, go through the same routine preparing for our day, take the same route to and from work, shop at the same grocery store on the way home…well, you get the point. Such consistency leaves little opportunity for exploring the new experiences that the road less traveled might offer.

Ask yourself what you can do differently tomorrow and jot down some ideas that might refresh and enliven the day. Just changing the time we wake and go to bed might give us a new perspective. When was the last time you watched a sunrise? Take a different route to work and enjoy the new scenery it provides. Listen to your favorite music or watch the moon rise. Just pick out something to change up the routine and avoid the rut. Consistency is important but must be balanced with change to keep us flexible and adaptable.

We are taught to set a goal and take the most direct route to achieve it. However, some of the most amazing and greatest encounters I have ever had were not on the main road, but on a detour. So, enjoy the discoveries you make on your next detour. There is sure to be one, because we have definitely learned that life is not totally predictable. Maybe a joy you never knew you would find is waiting for you just over the next hill.

I Care, Barb

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