This is a story of day where everything went wrong and still turned up roses. A story about not complaining. A story of making pivots, being present, and of going with the flow.
This, is a lesson about going left. Yes, left, as in, instead of right. As in:
In life, when things don’t go right, turn left.
Heard that one before?
Tried it? Cool. Tried it without bringing your pouty pants along?
Mhmmm. Trickier question, isn’t it?
Because, as much as we’d like to think we are over our toddler days, even the most grown-up of all grown-ups still throws the occasional tantrum when wants fail to be fulfilled.
We don’t particularly like it when we don’t get what we’d anticipated, expected, and prepared to receive or experience, and we’re usually sure to let others know about it.
However, I’ll spare you the #firstworldproblems lecture and skip right ahead to the point— sometimes,
The reason we don’t get what we want is simply that the timing isn’t right, and there is something better in store for us, if we choose to see it.
For serious. Sometimes, the universe just has bigger things waiting.
Take yesterday as a point of reference.
My summer classes got cancelled, I got zero work accomplished, I drove to the middle of nowhere in a failed attempt to take the kids for a hike to Fairy Falls (this is a tale so entertaining it deserves a post all of its own), and my meal planning abilities neglected to show up for the day. Like at all.
However, rather than launch myself down the slippery slope of self-pity, I chose to respond differently.
I’m glad my classes were cancelled, it gives me the space I was asking for, more time to meet the other commitments I already have, to grow my businesses and to keep my attention and energy focused where I want it.
My work day? Fuck it. I have a very limited amount of time with my kids this summer, and in their lives in general. One lost work day isn’t a big deal. One day giving my kids my full attention? That is a big deal, to and for them.
And the team effort that the AllTrails app and Google Maps made to take us to the far East end of BFE and back via every dirt road in Nevada county? Well, that just turned out to be the best thing that happened all day. For real. It was a comedy of errors, and not a single person complained. Ever.
We simply re-routed into the nearest town, calm as shit and looking fly in our (glaringly clean) hiking clothes, and had ice cream and coffee, because fuck alternatives, that’s why.
There we found delightfully helpful patrons who directed us just down the road to a trailhead that actually existed. Like, there was a parking lot and signs and everything. Paper maps and locals for the WIN!
My son, having found great joy in picking up every stick in the forest ran
away from ahead of my daughter and I, and the two of us had the most beautiful, natural and easy conversation we’ve ever had. Ever.
It was the most precious hour I can remember spending with her. Ridiculously perfect, and sadly, we never get time like this. Not just us two, chatting easily about big, real world stuff. Somehow, I have never scheduled in any time for this.
Until yesterday, when nothing went right, except, of course, that it did.
As it turned out, the perfect day was just a little to the left. All I had to do to get it was let go of the wheel.
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5 thoughts on “DRIVE”
Michelle! I have (literally) been down that road before (we lived in Nevada County for a few years before moving to MD, and yes, GPS is pretty messed up out there trying to find a Fairy Falls), and girl, let me tell ya, I pitched the biggest fit when we found out we were moving here. (“But I’m a West Coast Girl!”). Then I realized that wasn’t going to get me anything but a time out (and more heartache), so I put away said pouty pants and put on my big girl undies. We’ve made the best of it, and now we are old pros at the Metro in DC. And my kids can now take for granted (sigh) the riches of art and culture that are all within a couple hours’ drive. Always easy? No way. But a good lesson for us all! Thanks again, Michelle
That’s awesome Michelle, thakns for sharing. Also- how the FUCK do you get to those damn falls?
Beats me, Michelle. I think it takes a bit of luck. Unfortunately I can’t tell you much more, as we only did it once (for obvious reasons), and I don’t live there anymore. I still have some local contacts and if you’d like me to find out, I’d be happy to. It really is a gorgeous hike.
I will try asking around also, or maybe one day my adventuring will actually get us to the right location. ha!