Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going
We've all heard the expression about the journey being more important than the destination. However, when you're lost and driving around in circles, it's a challenge to take comfort in this thought. Last weekend, I was intent on being an early bird at what I heard was going to be the estate sale of the year. Bright yellow signs were posted everywhere in the small town where I live. With visions of antique treasures for a song swirling in my head, I set off to follow the arrows. Soon I discovered that one arrow led to another and then another and then -- back to the original sign? I hadn't felt so confused since going on a road trip to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, but that's another story. I retraced the arrows, which led me once again back to that first sign. Was this a prank?
Not only was my patience running thin, but I was starting to feel a little miffed with the sign makers. (I am so not a morning person.) On probably my third go-round, I was thinking 'Antiques Schmantiques' and considering calling it a day. But then Cathleen, my pilates instructor, popped into my mind.
Cathleen has a phrase she uses a lot in class: 'Know where you're going and get there -- elegantly, confidently, and with perfect posture.' Should I be surprised that I wasn't getting 'there' since I didn't really know where I was going? There was, indeed, an address on the first sign, but I figured why take the time to look up the address when I could just follow the arrows? What I didn't know was that the wind had not only blown some of the arrows to face the wrong direction, but a very key sign had evidently come down as well.
And so I backtracked to the address sign. After consulting MapQuest, I confidently retraced the route (elegance and perfect posture were too much to ask for at this early hour), and I was soon in antique heaven. The 'sign makers' turned out to be extremely nice people who really appreciated my telling them about the missing sign and errant arrows, and all was well.
On my way home (with treasures in the trunk!), I thought about how we tend to replicate this scenario, both metaphorically and actually, in our lives. We follow someone else's directions, and then when we get lost, we become frustrated and either waste way too much time driving around in circles or just give up and go home. I thought about the simple wisdom in Cathleen's words: 'Know where you're going and get there.'
This year, let's think long and hard about where we want to go, be it a new career or a more healthful lifestyle. Rather than heading for the hills using someone else's arrows, let's do our own homework and get the 'address' of our destination. Sure, part of the joy is in the journey, but why not avoid the detours, chuck-holes, and (God forbid) drop-offs if we can? Rather than doing the same thing over and over again or driving off into oblivion after we've made a wrong turn, let's backtrack as soon as we can.
Here's to a happy new year for us all! May we figure out where we want to go and get there, 'elegantly, confidently, and with perfect posture!'