Does a bump in the road necessarily have to throw you off course from your ultimate destination? Can it serve as a wake up; a reminder that you’re still travelling to a destination you have yet to reach? Must a wrong turn be synonymous with frustration? Is getting lost, really losing at all?
In preparation for commencing the journey that is “the Challenge”(see previous blog for details), I had actually mapped out a path for the up and coming month and in it, included a few bumps in the road. I planned for them, thinking it best not to unexpect the expected. I was of the mind that if I scheduled myself to go off course, the detour wouldn’t lead to considerable disappointment or cause for concern. I was planning in advance to stray from the course, knowing that this allowance was the only way I could conceive beginning the trek at all.
Taking on such a “Challenge”, a complete lifestyle presto chango, is actually quite simple when you have the luxury of making it your full time job, as I have. This month for me is void of business travel. I’m basking in it! Before I know it, I will once again be living out of a suitcase and spending more time with my head in the clouds, than I do with my feet on the ground…literally speaking, of course ;). The past few weeks have required me to do work in my soy candle lit, cozy office, or in front of the fireplace on my divine, down filled, chaise. I’ve had ample time to search websites and blogs like VeganDad, to persuse and ponder new recipes (like spicy Kale chips @ilovemydehydrator) and make my daily shopping list so I can saunter to Aura Whole Foods to discuss my recipes! I chat to Sue and the other girls expressing my curiosity about things I haven’t tried before (think Tempeh). Aura is like the best kind of retail therapy there is for me! I’m totally elated the moment I walk in to load up on fruit, veg, and all things nut. Weird? Maybe.
Following my grocery stop, I coast on down to YogaNirava for a class. Walking into that space is like walking into a big, warm, hug. A hug that offers peace, love, support, and suburbly kick ass Pad Thai (more on this in a bit). I engage in my practice with any one of the phenomal teachers at the studio, and I walk out feeling centred, balanced, relaxed, and then float to my warm and bright little home. I spend the evening listening to the CBC, preparing dinner, possibility whipping up a batch of soup for the week or taking my bulldog Eleanor for a walk to visit with a friend or two before a hopping first into a bubble bath and then into my king sized, feather filled, cloud of a bed, and call it a day.
As I sit here writing this, I think “gosh, that really sounds lovely. I’m so fortunate”. And it is. And I am.
This is how I would continue on in life to infinity if it were possible. I believe to a certain degree that it may be… a certain degree.
Eventually, something or someone, will come in contact with the bubble you’ve inserted yourself in and cause it to burst! This doesn’t have to be a “bad” thing, however it may end up leaving you feel a little vulnerable, and more exposed to hustle and bustle that is the ‘real world”. Let’s say that sooner or later, you’ll be faced with a challenge within your challenge.
My charted bump in the road arrived a half an hour late into Bangor via La Guardia. I had a friend who had planned a visit, long before the “Challenge” began. As the start date grew closer and consequently, the date of the visit, I found myself wondering how on earth was I going to survive on sprouts, beans, and ginger tea while planning a weekend with a good ol’ boy from Long Island who would sooner starve than eat a sprout!? A feeling of hindrance was imminent.
Not unlike many of life’s “roadblocks”, this was one was self constructed. Did I have to have a Bud Light (so American) with lunch at the pub? Could a make a vegan homemade ravioli (dough from scratch and all) for a dinner party that would suit the expectations of my company, who are accustomed to dining chez moi on many a noodle, basking in a heavy cream sauce, con carne? Could I hunker down for movies and take out pizza; pizza sans fromage? I had decided that the answer to all of these questions was, no. I could not. Looking back, did I really need to be so concerned or conflicted about any of it? No, I did not. Would New York, or any of my day to day entourage, consisting of my very well dressed boyfriends who would much rather shop than shovel and have no problem letting me know when my outfit it “all wrong”, notice or care if I sipped on a strawberry smooth in leui of Shiraz? Maybe a little, but not near as much as I seemed to.
But that’s what tends to happen when doing what nurtures us, what is best for us, and what is a little bit new to us, is for a set date on the calendar, or a blocked off timeline. We get nervous at the possibility of any deterrent that may spiral us back into our old habits, undue all of the good work we’ve accomplished, and regress on the the progress we’ve made. For some of us, the “Challenge” is to quit smoking, stop drinking, refrain from biting our nails, or commit to running a marathon. For others, the “Challenge” may involve being kinder to people, expressing more gratitude, or volunteering more of our time.
Regardless of who you are or the journey your on, you can bet your bottom dollar that any road you may choose will be laden with bumps (…especially the one less travelled by). Smooth sailing requires extremely specific and perfect conditions… not to mention a sailboat 🙂
I ate some cheese, more than I planned (the creamy stilton purchased from Fredericton’s own Boyce Farmers Market served as the base of a beautiful cream sauce for the ravioli). I drank some wine, much more than I planned (it went so well with the pizza and pasta)… and I felt a little guilty (but not too guilty).
The fun filled weekend came to an end and my friend and I set out to the city of bright lights and big sights, otherwise known as Bangor (joking), so he could catch a flight home the next day. A pit stop in Woodstock somehow led us to the covered bridge in Heartland (photo opt), and then upon retuning to the highway, I somehow led us most of the way to Edmundston, in the complete opposite direction of the Portland boarder where we were meant to cross. A bump in the road, indeed! We were lost. He’s never been to Canada eh! He assumed as one would, that a girl who spend the majority of her life in the little province of NB could be trusted to head to the boarder without incident. What’s that saying again? Oh yeah.. “To assume makes an ass of you and me”. Yes, that’s the one. We stopped for directions, rerouted our trip, made peace with the fact that the 3 hour journey had more than doubled in time.
We crossed the border in Fairfield, Maine, and within minutes crossed paths with a horse and buggy, drawn by the Amish residents of the community… it was the first of many to come! Little did I know that my friend was completely enthralled with Amish Country, and it appeared that was exactly where we were! Our wrong turn has actually sent us in exactly the right direction to finish off a a fantastic weekend watching the sun set across a desert of blowing snow. Unreal.