Wait, what? And just like that, an unexpected diversion. Both on the trail, and in life, unplanned reroutes can occur unexpectedly. And while your destination is still the same, it just might take you a little longer to reach it. In the past, reroutes or diversions would push my emotions to the edge, to say the least. I would think; “how could they?” “why?” “Well, there goes my plan.” “Ugh, so what now?” Sometimes, OK, many times, to the point of anger. Enough anger that it even could ruin the adventure that I was on, as I would cast aside any joyful experiences I had along the way just to dwell on the “spoiled plan”. Then, in angst to stay on schedule, I’d drop my head with hurriedness to make up for any lost time, without taking in or appreciating the journey. Go, go, gooooo… Stressing over the things that I can’t control is a personal issue that I, and no doubt many of us, need to work on.
As I work to control this self-inflicted characteristic of mine, I’m going to embrace life’s reroutes and look at them from a different perspective, to slow down and fully live in the moment. To not rush through life, but to look at every moment as an experience and recognize that maybe the reroute was part of another plan by the Universe for a reason that is yet unknown to me. Now when I am rerouted on trails, instead of getting frustrated, I’ve been accepting that it just may take longer. I mean really, how can it be bad, I’m on the trail doing what I love to do. So, embrace the experience and see it as an opportunity through exploring eyes, and from a perspective that is anew, afresh.
When you think about it, life is full of reroutes, and it’s how we react to these unforeseen changes that can define us as individuals. Have you ever had a friend that just lives and loves life, goes with the flow but still manages to be accomplished and focused? It’s one thing to just be a “surf bum”, but it’s another to be a surf bum who owns a successful business or has a job that they love, is caring, giving, and has amazing friends, and family. These people are simply amazing and a joy to be around.
So anyway, getting back to the big reroute in my life right now. This month I was presented with a reroute, I was left pondering which way I should go. A few months ago, I put my dream plan in place; to retire from my career job and to pause my work life, so that I could embark on the 2200-mile life and a soul-searching hike of a lifetime, from Georgia to Maine, that is the magical Appalachian Trail (A.T.). I had even gone as far as announcing my retirement to my employer, and also to friends and family so that I could prepare for this adventure. However, the Universe had another plan for me, a reroute.
Ok, I will just cut to the chase. I’ve decided, with mixed emotions of both happiness and sadness, to postpone my Appalachian Trail thru-hike start date until 3-23-2020. I know, WHAT? It wasn’t an easy decision to make I really convinced myself that 3-31-2019 was my start date. However, divine guidance often times reveals itself unexpectedly. A life reroute, that maybe whispers, or sometimes shouts, to say you’re not just quite ready, slow it down and enjoy the side trail, and don’t worry because the destination hasn’t changed. It’s now becoming a little clearer to me that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t 100% ready mentally. There were a few obstacles that I would have had to navigate through, which would weigh on my conscious during the hike. These hurdles could impact my ability to fully embrace the spiritual journey that I’m looking for.
Bottom line is, I still have some important family commitments that I need to navigate through, which would have been tough to manage from the trail. It was looking like I would have had to leave the trail at least 3 times to accomplish this. To fully embrace the spiritual A.T. experience that I’m looking for, I feel that it will be best to not have the pressure of having to hike with “a trail schedule”. While one could make a case that there will always be a commitment or hurdle, these simply had to be planned and scheduled, and that’s not how I want to start a journey of a lifetime. So, in the end, what does this all mean? Back to work for another year, embrace the reroute, and know that the final destination is still the same. Be_flexilble, Be_again. A.T. 3-23-2020