Taking a road trip can be a stressful experience. There is the planning, the packing, the money, the time, the scheduling – all that can make leaving the house a real hassle. Adding into the mix any sort of scheduled activity just further complicates the matter. Then, tossing in children, pets and a spouse and most moms would rather stay home.
This week all my best-laid plans completely turned upside down and I found myself needing to make an unexpected 260-mile road trip on Friday afternoon. Logistically and rationally, it didn’t make any sense, but nevertheless I booked a hotel, packed my bags, took off from work a few hours early and loaded my daughter and her ski gear into the car and headed for the southeastern Sierras.
Being the type of planning oriented person I am, spontaneity can often really stress me out. Having children
is teaching me that sometimes life is unplanned, uncontrolled, and I’d better just learn to go with it. I’m
trying to take life as it comes, but sometimes it’s really hard. Like many things in life, the more I practice
the easier it becomes. Still, stress otfen wins out until I’ve slammed the door shut and there’s no
After several hours of cruising down highway 395 we crested a pass and before us lay the most awesome expanse of Mono Lake. Descending the hill and climbing closer and closer to the shore the sun began to set, encircling us with a cotton candy pink glow. As the highway lined the lake I began to see a white edging against the jade green water, and ice cream cone shaped ivory turrets starkly jutting up out of the lake. Snow? The rest of the landscape was dry and brown, so I began to look deeper. I stopped to get a closer look, and realized that what appeared to be snow was simply rock taking on a different hue at that precise moment as the sun went down.
Hopping back in the car, I realized how lucky I was to be in that exact place that exact moment with
daughter by my side. I realized that if I hadn’t let go, if I had resisted and refused to change plans, this
day would have been very different. What I saw with my eyes was awe-inspiring, and what I saw with
my heart was awe inducing. That simple moment with my daughter reminded me of the power of being
present, and the weakness of being in control.
So when you think of the days and plans you have in front of you, imagine what would happen if
you stopped, let something slide, and slipped into the present. What would take on a different hue for you?