The Important Thing is Getting There

 

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Last week I drove to Mississippi to visit my sister. I pass mile after mile of unplanted farmland. Slice across and down the state. Crisscross the corner of another state. Cross the bridge and drive over the Huckleberry Finn River, which is overflowing its banks. I touch Tennessee. I am on I-55 heading into Memphis.

I have been traveling since about 9 AM and now it is about 3:30PM. A podcast is playing in the background and I am confident and relaxed. Maybe to confident. I have driven this way before.

Stop and go traffic welcomes me at Memphis. Not the warm Southern greeting I was hoping for. I grip the steering wheel a little tighter. Nervousness tingles my spine.

Even though I fought this kind of traffic for years in Seattle, I dislike these driving conditions. My Worry-O-Meter rises, and my sweat glands awaken.

I inch along, top out at 27 MPH, then back to a stop.

At this point I should have turned the podcast off, but I was to the exciting point. Prying my hands off the steering wheel would have also taken too much effort. So, it continued.

I followed the car ahead of me, feeling like a lemming with no exit.

I was concentrating so hard on staying in one piece and remaining calm when some car zipped in front of me, leaving me a whopping three inches to stop, that I forgot where I was going.

You ever do that? You stop and can’t remember where your body was taking you or why? You are heading into the living room, but why? You are at the grocery store, but for what?

Hopefully it is not only me.

But there I was concentrating on surviving this traffic and getting through Memphis, that I forgot where I was going and I not thinking ahead to what road I needed to be on. Yup, I forgot I needed to exit right to stay on I-55 and get myself out of Elvis Town.

Suddenly the Interstate divides and I follow it to the left. I wonder where I am. I start watching road signs. They say I am on I-44. Hummm. Maybe I-44 turns into I-55. Maybe I-44 is also I-55.

I start wondering if I am on the right road. It is now 4:15 and Memphis has been taking a lot longer to get through than I remember.

Miles pass, and I realize that I am not on the right road.  I work my way to the left lane. Weaving through the slow-going traffic.

I exit, stop the podcast, and turn on the speaking map lady that lives in my phone.

Turns out if I get back on I-44 and keep going the direction I was, I will get to my sister’s house by 7:30. Ugg.

I get back on the road. By now the traffic has cleared a little bit and I am able to get above 30 MPH. Then I notice a sign, “Downtown Memphis next exit.”

I read it once. Then twice, thinking I read it wrong. Nope. Even though I passed downtown Memphis an hour ago, here I am passing it again. Now how did that happen, I wonder?

And then I realize, I have circled the whole city. Taken the scenic loop around the city. And lo-and-behold, in ten minutes when I pass the I-55 exit for the second time, this time I take it. No way I am going to loop around again.

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.By the time the suburbs are behind me and farmland is stretching out in neat rows left and right of me, I am laughing at myself. At my scenic detour. At my over confidence. At my lack of attention.

But you know what?

I arrived at my destination. And without any further mishaps, which is a small miracle in itself.

 

Life has detours. Embrace the detours. 

 

Because I will let you in on a little secret. Things like this happen to me on long road trips with just myself. Not every time. But with enough regularity, that I just have to laugh and enjoy the extra unplanned scenery.

I arrived a bit later than planned. Later than my sister planned. But all was good.

Because this happens. My road trips have detours. I end up seeing more than I had planned. Arriving a little later than planned.

And this happens not just on road trips, but in real life. I am constantly having detours in life. I look around and I wonder, how did I get here? Where am I? Or, where was I headed.

I need to remember not to be surprised. Detours are a part of life. They happen. And more often then not.

Don’t worry. Just repoint your steering wheel and get back on track.

Don’t get embarrassed. Upset. Worried. Angry. It doesn’t help. Just use your energy to get back on the right path.

And here’s the secret. Look around. You are not the only one that gets stuck in a detour or heads the wrong way. Circles the same real-estate. Or wonders just where you are lost at. It happens to everyone. So, you are in good company.

It is not so much that you took a detour that is important. It is that you arrive at your destination.

Know what your destination is. Remember, you will get derailed. When this happens, just readjust your direction and head once again for your destination.

Do it again. And again. Keep going. You will eventually get there.

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What detours have you been on?

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.Detours are a part of life. They just happen. So, remember your destination.

Email Euphoria

Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you. Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you. Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you. Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you. Sometimes we do things without really thinking through the consequences.

Okay, in all honesty, sometimes without even thinking. Sometimes it is just to tough to think about what we need to do next, and during those times I certainly don’t plot a straight line as to what this step will lead to all the way into the future. Especially when that thing is a little thing. Or what I think is a little thing. And especially when I am running on automatic pilot. Full steam ahead, sit back and get it done.

Well this kind of automatic pilot can sometimes get me into trouble.

Especially when I am not thinking through what I am saying. Which happens quite enough, in my world. But luckily, this event had nothing to do with my tongue.

It involved my fingers.

Now I won’t go into the technical details, because I am most definitely not a techie Gal. But let’s say it had to do with email and my phone and my fingers and wanting to clean up some storage space and my in-box, which already sounds almost to techie for me.

There I was watching football with my son, scrolling and deleting and not paying attention to my email any more than I was paying attention to the football game. I guess I got a little delete happy.

I realized I had never deleted any emails on my phone and decided I would do two things at once. Delete and spend time with my son. I got so delete happy that by the end of the game my finger was a little sore.

And then I looked down. I mean I really looked down and saw the date on the next email. It was one-and-a-half years from today’s date.

I was a bit startled. But then thought, surely it did not delete them from the big email in the sky location, just from my phone.

Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you. Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you.

Oops! Well when I looked at my email on my computer a few hours later (you see how worried I was), I had deleted every email I had back to a year and a half ago. Gone. Kaput.

I began to panic a little. There was a day and a half of emails I hadn’t even looked at or read. Hopefully they were not any more important than a sale at JC Penny’s, a coupon at Michaels, or a promotional flyer. The kind I usually deleted without opening, unless I am needing something from their establishment.

And then I began to float. I mean it. I felt like I had lost half my weight. I looked at my in-box and nothing was flashing or calling for me to do something with it. No decision had to be made on whether to attend an event or not. Read this or that. Answer this survey. Watch this short video. Answer this question. Give me 5 minutes of your time. Respond to this. Listen to this.

There was nothing to decide. Nothing to do. Nothing to print and file. Nothing to print and discuss.

Blissfully I stared at my email account and felt free. Like my life was given back. Like minutes were being added to my day. Like I was truly free to relax.

Some mistakes are really blessings in disguise.

It was wonderful.

I felt like dancing. Singing. Doing a cart-wheel.

I remembered the days before email. When none of my time was spent trying to wade through incoming data. Delete this, answer this one, forward that. Before every teacher, coach, business, boss, co-worker, friend and enemy was using inbox to slice my day into frantic moments of processing their communications so I can get back to doing something else. When I was so unaware of all the things I did not know I was missing.

Before we had to sign up for discounts and coupons and points and then receive emails almost daily letting us know how many more visits we needed to save a few dollars. Back when we clipped coupons instead of loading coupons. Back when I didn’t even know that I was still 50 stays from that free hotel stay.

Yes, the idea that I may have missed something important did cross my mind, and then I figured that I forget enough things, even with all my daily email reminders, that life would proceed as normal.

And in case you are wondering, I guess most of the email was not important. I only got one text saying, “We are here at Panera, where are you?” Which just goes to show me that the majority of the clutter that clogs my email is not that life shattering.

Now I am not suggesting that you delete your email on purpose for a day or two, or even a year or two, but I am thinking about how to spend less time on email. Not more time. I may miss out on some important things, but FOMO is not my biggest concern.

So, if you sent me an important life shattering email last weekend and I did not respond, I am not ignoring you or writing you off. I just gained some free time and am a lighter, almost floating soul.

P.S. And if you have any tips for managing the pesky but necessary email inbox, please share. I think all of us could do with a little more free time.

Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: What have you done recently without thinking that turned into a blessing in disguise?

Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you.

May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Sometimes we do something without thinking through the consequences. And that mistake turns into a blessing in disguise. Need some encouragement and humor? This story is for you.

A Peek at My Week


peekatmyweek2peekatmyweek3My Biggest Blunder this Week (Also My Biggest Laugh)

I am talking with two friends when A says, “Okay, I am going to share a story with you. It’s a little,” and she shakes her head, “embarrassing. I hope it doesn’t cause your opinion of me to drop any lower.”

“Don’t worry,” I interject, “my opinion of you can’t fall any lower than it already is.”

Friend B says, “So it’s already that low?”

By now we three are laughing and I am trying to dig myself out of my word hole which is leaking water like crazy.

“What I meant was that nothing you share could lower my opinion of you.”

“So you admit it is pretty low?”

(Once again I learn that my mouth and mind are not on the same radio frequency. But like I said, it also caused quite a spree of laughter. And from shared laughter comes much good.)

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Something I am enjoying this week:

 Cooler evenings and mornings with just a slight hint of fall.

 

Something I am glad I did this week:

Reconnected with an old friend I hadn’t seen or talked to for a long time. Nothing fancy, just a walk in the park, iced tea at Starbucks, and soul connecting conversation.

 

Something I am enjoying wearing this week:

Black and white floral shorts. Not only are they comfortable, but they are so me.

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A kitchen success this week:

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

As I am making it, I read the ingredient list four times wondering where are the beans? I have never made chili that did not call for beans.  A few more ingredients go into the pot and I carefully read the instructions three times, thinking there is a mistake and the beans were shorted or forgotten. I am on a mission to find the beans and make sure they are put in the pot. No success. I find no beans anywhere in this recipe. Finally, I figure maybe it doesn’t have any beans and continue cooking the chili. It turned out to be tasty, even without beans. I later learn that not all chili has beans.

 

Greatest frustration the week:

Technology, of course. Hands down. All I am saying is that it had to do with two picture programs on my computer who were as combatable as two tom cats sharing a tiny cage.

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Best gift this week:

A plaque from my sister, which I will write about soon.

 

Something I was craving this week:

Coconut cream pie.

 

Most relaxing evening this week:

Sitting on a porch strung with twinkly lights as the night descended into quiet darkness.

 

Something I learned this week:

Sometimes in relationships it is necessary to hit the restart button. To forget about the past and start anew with better habits, new memories, a fresh slate.

(Isn’t this what God does? Each day and mercy is new.)

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peekatmyweek5The bible verse I am trying to put into practice this week:

Ephesians 4:2 “Don’t be proud. Be completely gentle. Be patient. Put up with each other in love.”

 

The perfect mood changer:

A hug or shared laughter. (Especially after technology glitches.)

Hope you had a good week too.

Join the discussion: Share something from your week.