Detours

23 Jul

“Embrace the detours”. Kevin Charbonneau

I love this quote.  It applies to life in general.  I guess the challenge is actually embracing, and not cursing, the detours, as we may want to initially do.  But some road blocks, or detours, can have a great outcome!  It’s all in how you look at it.

 

I have had many detours when cooking, throwing dinner parties, and meal planning.  I remember one dinner party that I was throwing on my new screened porch to celebrate its completion.  I worked for weeks on my guest list, menu, and decor.  A short time before guests were due to arrive, the lovely early summer weather turned blustery and rainy.  I had to quickly move my dinner party inside.  I was scrambling with this last minute change of plans.  Plus I had to deal with the disappointment that my perfectly planned dinner party was not going to be, well, perfect.  I could not have been more wrong.

It’s a beautiful thing when all of the dishes line up, the flavors are in harmony, and the food is presented beautifully.  The stars were lined up that night, because it all just worked.  I embraced the detour and all went well.  The company at that particular party had an amazing dynamic too, so no one seemed to notice the change in venue.  It was a great night, and that dinner party has become one of my most favorite memories.

 

When I was in college, I had my life planned out.  I was a very ambitious 20 year old, with aspirations to travel the world, experience exotic food, and write about it from my home base of New York City.  International friends.  Amazing parties.  Glamour!   I ended up landing in my hometown, married, and then had children.  Motherhood was not really something that I had considered, and it was not in my plan.  But I embraced the detour.

This detour into motherhood has truly been my best detour ever!  At first it scared the heck out of me. I’m not gonna lie.  Becoming a parent is a humongous deal, and creating a family is monumental.  Quite frankly, I was a little too chicken to tackle that, or so I thought.  Becoming a mother has brought more joy, love, beauty and warmth to my life than I ever could have imagined. There is a mathematical exponent involved in having children in which happiness is multiplied.  I marvel every day at how embracing this detour from my immature 20 year old perspective has made me happier than I ever thought possible.  I am eternally grateful for the joy that this detour has given me!

Clearly I have had many detours in life.  I made a decision as my first child entered high school to tackle an educational goal.  I wanted to complete my Masters.  That was a very lofty goal for me, very challenging.  A detour into student mode was a huge change.  Oh, and did I mention that I wanted to complete it by the time he began college?  So I dove in.  Well the detours (or should I say road blocks…) began frustrating me.  With family and professional obligations I was not able to go as quickly through my classes as I wanted.  But then I noticed something.  I was so focused on the outcome that I really wasn’t enjoying the ride.   I just wanted to finish.  But when I embraced my life as it was, and slowed my classes down, I began to realize that I started to enjoy the journey and the “road blocks”, or should I say detours, didn’t bother me anymore.  And I began enjoying the people in the classes, the learning, and the experience more.  I am sending my oldest off to college next month…and still taking classes.  But the detours have been terrific!   I am now embracing them.

Sometimes the negative thoughts win out.  Let’s just admit that.  Some days feel like roadblock after roadblock.  And that can wear a person out!  But with these 3 simple little words, roadblocks can become detours, a change that can become empowering!  Embrace the detours!

 

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