perspective

Speed Bumps and Detours

Every day we travel to get from point a to point b. Sometimes there is traffic. Sometimes road blocks. Sometimes speed bumps and one ways. Road signs are a lot like life.

Rules. More rules. Laws. Taxation. At some point you may not like the rules, the laws or even taxation but you have to deal with it or face the consequences for disobeying.

I have hit my fair share of roadblocks in life. Ran up on some speed bumps too quickly. Even went down a wrong way a time or two. Not intentional but just happened that way. I may have skinned my knee, shed some tears or better yet paid a penalty of sorts.

I’m still here writing about my escapades. I’m definitely a rule follower so if I hit a one way I will find a way to circle around or back track to get to my destination. If I hit a road block, I’ll wait patiently and find a solution. That’s what I do. I find a way. I find a legal way to get to my final destination.

Sometimes the journey I take is a bit longer than desired but that doesn’t mean I can’t look out the window and enjoy the scenery on the scenic route. The trip is what you make of it. Point a to point b can be a direct route. The fastest way, but the fastest way isn’t always the best way. 

My GPS even knows this. When I’m off on a motorcycle ride I opt for the path less traveled every time. The rural route. The small towns. The detours of sorts.

Those in life that think they can put up a one way sign just for me only yields a giggle from me. That’s the beauty of my life. It’s not one dimensional. I would never even land lock myself with one way in, one way out. I need unlimited possibilities. I need the hoops of life to jump through. It makes life worth living.

In life anything is possible. Just dream it. If those around around you try to put the brakes on your car, take a walk. You can stay legal and enjoy the ride you want when you want. In a car. On a motorcycle. Pedaling away on your bicycle. Running with your two feet. No matter what your mode of transportation, enjoy your ride.

Life will throw you many twists, turns, speed bumps and caution signs. It’s all part of living the dream. The dream another can never see because they are stuck on a dead end road to nowhere with signs all along the way say NO, Don’t, Beware, Keep Out, among others.

I’m toasting all those I know near and far that are so stuck in the mud on that dead end road that they need to try to ruin my ride. You can’t ruin my ride even if you flatten my tires on my fleet of vehicles. I still have my two feet to keep on walking. 

challenges

Flexible, Agile, Pivot

These three words have come up multiple times in the past week.

First, from my friends in the teaching profession. Those are the three words they are being told to embrace as school begins in person (don’t say face to face it sounds too close) as we return to the buildings. Don’t plan too far in advance, as things could and probably will change day by day. In fact, since we started writing this post, we’ve already switched from in person to online school in many places to start the upcoming year.

Be flexible and ready to adapt to evolving conditions and unexpected challenges. Be agile, able to move quickly, efficiently and confidently from situation to situation. Pivoting to change direction is almost inevitable. With so many unknowns and twists and turns on the horizon those words are valuable to latch on to. For teachers who are trained to plan, abide by calendars, and be as routine and predictable as possible, it’s a bit against their training and possibly their nature. Time to rethink, reframe, and expand in a different direction, and help students and their parents do the same.

Me on the other hand, I giggle a bit on those three words. They represent my life In many ways, during a pandemic or just a routine Tuesday afternoon. All the twists and turns. All the adapting. The organized chaos I call life. I thrive under pressure and beg for adversity most days. It’s fuel to my fire.

Then the conversation hit on a Friday night at the ball field. We all had masks on. Following the rules. The sun was scorching despite the evening hours. I took my face mask down briefly for fresh air. It was still hanging on an ear. Technically I was wearing a mask. The directions didn’t specifically define what mask type, how it needed to be officially placed and so on.

Out comes a gentleman I knew well. He saw my mask and followed his glance with an affirmation (or was it an accusation?) of me not being a rule follower. That spurred a discussion that lingered. I am a rule follower. I just choose to follow the rules within the terms I choose. He implied that I am an A, B, C2-C3-C4 person. As if all the rules have an asterisk. Options within the boundaries.

Yes, that is correct. I always have a backup plan and C4 may be a good pivot point description for me. Explosive. Dynamite in a way. Always with a second, third and fourth plan. I call it depth. It’s layers deep. I make the rules work for me. It allows me to not only survive but thrive.

Some may see it as grey. Operating in the grey tones of life. Pushing the limits. Especially if the limits don’t make sense in certain situations. Staying in the black and white only confines me. Shades give life texture, interest, originality, make me memorable. For some, it makes them rewrite the rules with more care and specificity. It forces people to be agile in their mind and in their lives. But I am always at least one step ahead, if not more. Rewrite the rules and try to corral me. Just another challenge for me to find the gray and keep growing.

I see it for what it is. Depth, diversity, dynamic layers ingrained within. How the mask conversation turned into an unmasking of sorts

perspective

New Normal

I thought I had adjusted to a new normal post-pandemic. I carry hand sanitizer and mask for when the need arises. I keep my distance. I limit the number of people I gather with and so on. I even utilize the x marks when needed.

Then I took a road trip for a funeral. It wasn’t a pleasure trip. I was forced to travel. I didn’t want to fly and deal with that drama so I opted for a road trip that I made many times in years past without issues.

Oh, but what has changed. Let’s start with the big one, everything has changed.

The simple task of going to the bathroom on a road trip. Stop in well lit areas, aim for clean and well-known spots echo in my mind from my parents’ early teachings. Those simple rules are history because we now have pandemic rules. Fast food and restaurants are take out only, no bathrooms. Gas stations are employee use only for safety. Hotels are for patrons only so no option for lobby use. So where does the car traveler go to use the bathroom when in rural areas? That’s the question at hand. For me it was a hole in the wall grocery store. Good thing it was the day time due to their operating hours. Am I the only one who has had this challenge arise?

Nutrition: you want to eat a good meal while traveling. You want to have energy to endure your travels. Where do you eat? In your car. How exciting, you get to eat in your car. The car you are traveling in. No break. This is just another way the pandemic has changed things we took for granted.

Mask or don’t mask is a question for me. I’m traveling through 6-7 states to mourn the loss of loved ones. Each state has their own rules and regulations. It’s hard to keep up. When I think about this new normal I just bury my head in the mask.

I thought dogs had it bad when they wore their cone of shame after surgery. I now feel their pain as we all adjust to the new normals of life and I don the mask of shame. At least I’m sporting sushi in this mask.

Of course I can’t forget about the riots that broke out amidst my travels. Circumstances bad enough to shut down cities and make me wonder where to stop for gas when I get alarms on my phone with major warnings like below. This world today is crazy and ever changing to say the least.

For now I will end this post with you thinking about if I need to go buy depends or not to make it to my destination. Enjoy that visual.