Life: An in-the-moment adventure.

Eleanor napping on top of a cat toy

Eleanor napping on top of the Turbo-scratcher cat toy

I hardly ever let Jack choose the route when we take a trip. My history with Jack and trips is that he inevitably chooses the longest route possible. He likes to take roads that get you to your destination eventually. I generally choose the shortest distance between 2 points. The other night I was tired and for some reason, I let him pick the route. About half-way home (one and a half hours into a normally two-hour and fifteen minute trip) I began to feel an old familiar feeling toward him: irritation.

We stopped at a gas station and while he was inside buying water, I let my head flop onto the steering wheel and sighed “I am dreading this trip home.” But the thought that immediately followed was, “Why? Why are you doing anything in the spirit of dread?” I didn’t have a good answer except that it was a habit to feel annoyed when things didn’t unfold in the way that I would have planned them or done them. The next question that I asked myself was, “Can you look forward to the rest of this trip?” As I pondered this question, I can’t say that I suddenly felt happy anticipation, but my irritation eased up and surprisingly, I felt less tired. So I then said, “We will get home at the perfect time” and I felt happier.

Within 3 minutes Jack was back at the car handing me a treat that he’d picked out, and I was feeling good. I never said a word to him about this, so he’ll be surprised when he reads it tonight.

Dreading anything is a dreadful thing to do to ourselves. What is dread, really? It is fear. Fear that things won’t go the way we want them to go. Fear that our plan (which of course we think is the best plan) won’t be realized, or we’ll be harmed in some way. But as I sat in my car dreading the rest of that trip, I was the one hurting myself. It wasn’t getting home later than I’d hoped that caused me pain, it was my thought that it was somehow wrong.

 No matter what we are going through, we all have the ability to embrace it. It might sound insane to say, “I am looking forward to a colonoscopy” or “I am looking forward to being unemployed” or saying that we look forward any other thing that society tells us we should dread. But why? Why do it? Why dread things that we are expected to dread? If you watch very young children, you’ll notice that they have a natural curiosity about everything. They look at life as though it is an in-the-moment adventure. Could we do that too? Could we look forward to everything that life presents and refuse to call anything (that we need to do, or that has been handed to us) bad or wrong?

At the very least, it is fun to try. So, take something, anything, right now, that you are dreading and begin to say, “I am looking forward to it”, and watch what happens….allow yourself to be like a little child; full of wonder and full of trust.

 

I still have a few skin balms available from the batch I made several weeks ago. If you are interested in purchasing any, they are $8.95 each

I still have a few skin balms available from the batch I made several weeks ago. They are $8.95 each. You can let me know by email, mmuncil@verizon.net if you are interested in purchasing any and I’ll get right back to you.

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19 thoughts on “Life: An in-the-moment adventure.

  1. Thank you, Mary, for this lovely and meaningful musing. Serendipitously, it could not have arrived at a more opportune time!

  2. Your post is perfect for me. I have been dreading this coming week at work. I’m a grocery cashier, and I’m sure everyone know what the week of Thanksgiving is like at a market. This will be the 40th year of holidays that I have worked., so they are becoming a bit more tiring than in years past. I am going to try to take in my customers excitement about the upcoming weeks, and make an effort to alleviate any stress they might be experiencing. ❤️

  3. Hi again Mary ,is so good to read your post this morning . I had been up all night Thursday with dread and worries, as happens to me sometimes. So much can’t be predicted about life and future – and I’ve never been comfortable with uncertainty . . In recent years I’ve gotten much better but fall into old patterns of thinking and then have a sleepless night over it. I love the reminder to remember how it was as trusting children , everything was new , open to discovery and adventure. I want to return to that trust, flexibility and surrender. So your post was the fresh air that filled my thoughts with new hope. My late husband, William was so good at spontaneity. He always did the driving , ( he loved navigating!) chosing the longest, slowest route.. He always stopped to photograph ( he was a professor of photography) .. I got really good at daydreaming and photography too as a result of surrendering to surprises and long trips! I really started to love the wonderful things to be discovered along unplanned routes , and now, when I get in the Subaru with River, I look for the backroads routes -all the better to let the unexpected ( like a magnificent bighorn sheep ) jump onto the gravel road ahead me ..

  4. Perfect timing, Mary. Thank you. I’ll try this for this week as I dread all the pre-holiday work I am doing.

  5. Dear Mary, boy oh boy does this post hit home for me. Catching those negative opinions and assumptions is the first step (one which I find challenging, to say the least), and then of course re-routing the mind-set even when my ego is screaming ‘No! We have to think negatively here! It’s what we always do….being skeptical is the safe thing to do” It takes courage, strength and a willingness to let go of preconceived control, allowing the power of positive good to sweep us along even when we don’t want to be swept. Your posts always bolster me up, give me hope and remind me that we are all human. Many thanks.

  6. Dear Mary, God always shows you what many of us have or are experiencing. And yes I really need to be more child like in my expectation from God instead of dreading many things or questioning many things that we are faced with and God allows us to go through. He keeps showing me this so do not have to worry or have an aniexty attack and just trust our Father like a child that He has it under control. So far in my past 66 years He has done that! So thank you for reminding us to stop dreading and stop worrying and relax and enjoy the adventure He has for us!

  7. PS…I just read this to Mike and he said to me, “oh you are so Jack!” and I said back to him, laughing, “and oh, you are so Mary!”

  8. Thankful this week for many things, not the least of which, is your blog and the members of the flock. As always, hugs to the cat of the day, Eleanor.

  9. This caught me really close to home! I’m a day late reading this because I was doing a much-dreaded job. Well, of course the timing is impeccable. I love you Mary, your perspective is a gift. 😘

  10. Mary, I’ve been missing White Feather Farm dropping into my inbox. Along with that is unspoken clarity and peace. Life amounts to an attitude, yes. I will remember this when I look at my husband’s overwhelming collection of treasured bits and pieces in his garage, the basement, etc. wherever there is room, which to me loom greatly in my mind as junk. I will try to maintain this attitude when and if I or his son are faced with cleaning this out.
    SandyP in Canada

  11. Perfect! Twice in the last 24 hours I’ve said to people “I’m SO not looking forward to the holidays!!” and now I’m changing that – starting right now!
    Bless you Mary, and wishing you the very happiest holidays!

  12. I want to ride with Jack! Tim is like you– and I want to veer off the beaten path! Great message as always.

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