|Photo of southern Minnesota by unknown photographer. |
On Friday I traveled from my current hometown in South Dakota to the Twin Cities to see some friends. My normal route is under construction until at least this fall, so I traveled a different route. Here are some of my thoughts on taking a different route.
Short parts of the route were familiar to me, and I was able to turn on the radio and sing along with the music, while giving only minimal attention to the road. The majority of the route was unfamiliar, however, and I found that I had to really pay attention. I wonder how much of my life is now so familiar and so routine that I no longer pay attention. The days start to rush by, I blink, and suddenly it is a week later, maybe a month has passed, or it's been six months or longer since the last time I felt I was really paying attention. Maybe I should do the equivalent of "taking a new route" more often. Perhaps it would be a good idea to build in some little change in my routine at least once a week.
I avoided a huge road closure by changing up my route, but I wasn't able to avoid road construction altogether. My life has been like that, too. There have been a number of times where I was fortunately able to work my way around a serious issue, but you can't avoid problems completely. Some of my readers know that I survived a crash with a small truck. My chiropractor still cannot believe I didn't break my neck, and that I had no other broken bones, particularly since I have osteoporosis of the spine. There have been other issues, however. The scrapes on my knee and at the base of the thumb on one hand healed over, but there was infection going on under the skin. Sometimes the smaller problems seem almost more troublesome than the big ones. Maybe it's because we have more smaller problems.
Because I was unfamiliar with the road, I missed a turn that I could have taken (although I didn't plan to take that particular turn. I wonder now whether it might have shaved a few minutes off my journey. I guess that's like life, too. How many times in our lives do we realize too late that we could have decided differently? Sometimes we can make a pretty good guess as to what might have happened. Other times, we will just never know how things might have played out. Sometimes we are not even aware that there was another option. That brings up another point: How many times have we missed an option because we didn't even realize it was there? There is always a choice, but it's not always a conscious choice.
A couple of times, the road turned sharply, and I was grateful for the signs that were posted to warn me of this. What if I hadn't seen the sign? I would have traveled in the wrong direction and gotten lost. Isn't that also something we do in life? Sometimes we "miss the sign" and lose our way.
In any event, I'm glad I made it all in one piece, that the roads were pretty good, that there wasn't too much construction to contend with, that there was very little in the way of traffic, that the weather cleared up, that the rain we had made it unnecessary for me to have to wash my car, and that the car behaved beautifully. What more could I ask? :-)