I despise detours, extra steps, or any similar thing that makes me take a path that varies from the most direct route possible. You see, I am a natural goal achiever and I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I get from accomplishing a task– especially when I’m told that it’s challenging or nearly impossible. To me, a detour from my chosen path represents a waste of time that could be spent working towards the goal. Am I an overachiever? Some people who know me might agree. I prefer the comment that a friend made, which read that I am passionate about my choices and do everything to the best of my ability.
As I contemplated the current physical relocation of my family, I found myself questioning the reason for the change. Did I make a poor choice somewhere along the way? How will my family react to the new living conditions? Will anyone be harmed along the way? And why do I have to take this damn detour anyway?
It occurred to me that maybe this small alteration in my path isn’t a detour. Maybe it’s an intentional route that will lead me to undiscovered beauty. I feel like I’m at that point in mountain climbing when you can see the sky peeking through the trees near the summit, but then you encounter another switchback and temporarily lose sight of it again. I remember (from my hiking days many years ago) that sensation of exhilaration when I saw the brilliant blue sky peeking through, only to have it hide again at the next turn in the trail. The point is that each step brought me closer to that summit and the awe-inspiring and long-awaited vista.
It’s the same with internal journeys too. I have a specific goal toward which I am working, and sometimes the attainment of the goal seems just out of reach or otherwise elusive. On the days when I feel tired of trying and frustrated by the seeming amount of detours and switchbacks that I just keep putting one foot in front of another. If the goal were so easily attainable, then everyone would do it and the thrill of completion would lose it’s luster.
So when life changes and it feels like you are on a detour that is going in the opposite direction from where you want, look for the positives in the situation. Perhaps you will meet new friends, find out something new about yourself, or develop your skills and talents more fully by taking the scenic route. Maybe you’ll find a flower you’ve never seen before on a road that you had never intended to travel. Or perhaps you’ll find more of yourself there.
Enjoy the scenic route, my friends! There’s lots of beauty to behold.