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Going Nowhere Fast – A Travel Blog

2010 July 21
by shana

When traveling down the road of life, it is inevitable that bumps will be met as well as road blocks and detours. The first and most common reactions are usually stress, frustration, anxiety, and overwhelm. I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t had at least a small taste of each of them…

I wanted to hit the road today. Actually, I wanted to hit the road over a week ago, but… that is beside the point. I had my day mapped out, a plan of action, and it came to a screeching halt… because of my brakes. Fitting. But, we are not going to talk about that right now.

What I did want to write about is the figurative road taken. The one that is navigated by our emotions, and more specifically by how we handle our emotions. It is perfectly natural to be frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed… I realize that; however I believe it is what we do with those emotions that steers us down one path or another. Would you agree?

For me, I have found that a sense of humor serves me well. It usually diffuses whatever negative emotion that is brewing up a storm and allows me to look at any given situation with a bit of perspective. It is always hard to see the forest for the trees, and it can be hard to remember not only that things could be much worse, but also that things will almost always get better.

For example, I could be working myself up into a tizzy about all the problems with my camper and the fact that I overpaid for the condition this one was actually in. I could be angry and frustrated and feel like giving up or throwing a fit – but then, I could also just not feel that way. Instead, I can feel grateful that all of this presented itself before I was on the road. I can be glad that my receiver didn’t pop off on the highway at higher speeds and cause more damage than it did. I can be grateful for the help and resources that were available to me here that most likely would not have been readily available elsewhere. And the same goes for my brakes: unexpected, yet most likely better now than later.

I was reminded of a situation at my first job out of college. My boss was a terrible procrastinator and inevitably we would end up behind schedule and scrambling to pull it all together last minute. She actually got angry with me one day because I was not as frazzled as she thought I ought to be. When she asked my why, I told her that I work better when I am not frazzled, that I am more efficient and make less mistakes if I am calm. And since there was nothing I could do about the fact that we were in that situation, the best that I could do was to stay calm and help as much as I could to fix it. After brief consideration, she agreed that probably was best.

However, I have also tried the other route… the high stress, frazzled, scurry around in quick little determined steps, and let it seep into every other aspect of my life… route. I am still recovering from that little experiment. It caused ill health, created bad habits, and rarely made anything better.

So, yes, I am a little overwhelmed by how much has unexpectedly landed on my plate as I am trying to get on the road. And yes, I have had moments of stress and frustration. But, then I remember to take a deep breath. I am reminded by those around me to slow down and not force it. And… if I can still find my sense of humor, I know that I am doing alright.

And if I had not been on foot, I would have missed this sweet little mailbox…

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One Response leave one →
  1. P. Mattheis permalink
    July 23, 2010

    What a wonderful outlook. pm

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