Stepping Outside the Routine

Sometimes a body just needs to do something on the spur of the moment. Just wake up and look at an invitation and say all right let’s go! Road-trip!

Before the pandemic I travelled every year to someplace, sometimes more than one someplace. There are places to go and things to see in this grand world that beckon me to explore! I have the ‘bucket list’ and it is an ever evolving list as I stretch the possibilities into probabilities.

Since the world slipped off its hinges and travel was curtailed and the economics became more difficult to manage, I have only travelled close to home. That’s not a bad thing; if your radius is to be limited, there are worse places than here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. I have so many beautiful destinations to choose from I can’t always narrow them easily.

Another complication to traveling and hiking and exploring the natural wonders around me is my work schedule. I am working extra hours as our company suffers the same lack of help as many others. Those of us who show up have many opportunities to show up even more. I am feeling the fatigue that prefaces burnout.

When my friend sent me a text that she ended up with extra space at her accommodations at the beach, I considered it Thursday night and decided against it. Friday morning, I woke up and asked my spouse, do you want to make a quick run to spend a day at the beach? And just like that we were packing and putting out extra grub for the pups.

It has been a long time since I went to the beach. The drive was extended due to traffic mishaps and congestion on our route, I also plugged in the wrong address so we had to get that sorted out before we at last landed at our destination. We had a fold out couch, a balcony view of the ocean and the sound of the waves. I felt the fatigue and burdens I’ve been carrying lighten. There are few sounds as soothing as the ocean lapping the shore.

We only had a day and we spent half of it sitting on the beach. The water was ice cold, but I could not resist the pull on my soul. I waded out and let it roll across my feet and legs until they went numb, then I walked along the edge the waves rolling across my feet and receding as I covered ground. I made a conscious effort to be in the moment and absorb the comfort and promise of eternity carried by the susurration of the waves. There are spiritual forces at work here and in all things that are bigger than the things and their purpose is unknowable unless it is yours to know. If these truths are yours to know then the knowing will inevitably change you and your relationship to all you think you know now.

I am walking on the edge of great changes and I am trying to make peace with the universe that has thrust them upon me. I thought I knew, I did not. I thought I had been through so much to get me here that I could handle anything. Alas, I cannot. All I can do is treat each day as the gift it is and try not to tarnish the gift.

I lay in the sun, the chilly breeze blowing off the ocean, a happy mix of heat and cool for the most part and I reached out towards the heavens and reached inwards towards my heart and sought a balance between the person I could be and the person I am. The gulf is real, but it is not impossible to cross. I am on that journey now. Nothing in this world is static. It is always better to pursue a goal than just drift along to end up wherever.

We spent the rest of the day eating seafood and then spending time with our friends. Good friends are important to have in this crazy world.

Our return home was a much more pleasant drive and the adventure has helped me recalibrate and I am refreshed and ready now! We have big plans for The Original Neanderthal this summer.

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