I have been thinking quite a bit about detours. What I mean by detours is those times when you thought you knew how life was going to go or you were pretty sure you knew what direction you were taking, only to have the script flipped on you. So you had to detour.
Generally, I hate detours. Mostly, if I’m honest, it’s because I really am a creature of habit. I like adventure as much as the next guy, but I also really like my routine. I like to know what to expect. I like to know where I am going and when I am going to get there. And detours don’t really figure into that structure.
Not that I have anything to really complain or be upset about. My life is in a pretty good place right now. Our boys are healthy and doing well. Summer was pretty good for #theFloridaWestfalls. School is about to start back, bringing with it lots of new adventures. Noah, our oldest, is starting high school this year. We have had a change up in the sports our boys play, which is going to save us money and time over the next year. Ronda and I celebrated 21 years of being married last week and had a blast doing so in the mountains of North Georgia. Ronda’s business is going very well for her. Things are good for me at work.
But, there is still that feeling of restlessness and underlying discontent. As I self-reflect to try to understand where it is coming from, I feel the root cause is speaking to a deeper issue or a deeper sense of lack. A sense that I detoured long ago and still today I am feeling the effects of that detour. Maybe an example…
Last week, Ronda spent a couple nights at the Len Foote Hike Inn.
It was amazing. We hiked five miles from Amicalola Falls State Park to this amazing inn. Literally, in the mountains away from civilization. We then hiked up to the approach trail to the Appalachian Trail and made our way up to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the AT. When we left the inn to head back to the car, we took the trail that led us up to the AT approach trail and hiked that trail back out to our car. That was an equally great trail, with new sights we hadn’t seen on the way in… because it was a different trail. But once we were on the trail, we were on the trail and we had to deal with the ‘consequences’ on taking a different trail to hike out. Once we were on it, there was no going back. Technically, we could have gone back but you see what I mean.
That’s the kind of detour I feel like I am on. One that I got on a long time ago. One where the ripples of getting on it are still being felt today. And just like hiking out a different trail, this trail is a good one. It is one with new sights and new adventures I would never have imagined seeing or being a part of if not for being on it.
Sometimes, detours take longer to get to where we are going. For a number of reasons this is true. I have been called many things, but patient isn’t usually one of those things. I noticed I have difficulty being patient and waiting for things to happen or come to fruition. I have even been known to try to force things to happen, when they are happening fast enough for me. But often, rushing and forcing things to happen only makes it worse. I don’t think it is always true that good things come to those who wait, but in my case it is almost always certainly true that when I try to force things I make it worse.
Where does this leave us? I can only speak for myself, but it leaves me trying to slow down and be patient. To enjoy the detour for the sake of itself. Detours aren’t always bad, they take us to new places and put us on new paths we might not have chosen to go down if given the choice.