Tag Archives: detours

Interruptions and Explorations (and the New WOW)

Divine interruptions are sometimes the universe’s way of keeping us out of harm’s way. Or bringing us an adventure!

I’ve got to look at it this way, as I write this week’s post from the Tampa Airport Marriott…a hotel I had not planned on staying in, because I had intended to be on a plane to Philadelphia.

The  plane got to Philly Friday night, but without me.

I was finishing up a work meeting with plenty of time to spare to make the flight.  Ten miles from the airport, a dreaded standstill drained all of my lead time – and more.

I arrived in time to board, but they wouldn’t take my bag and offered no solutions to get it to Philly. And in my bag was my LIFE.  Ain’t no abandoning the bag option for Brenda!

I try to go with the flow when my life is interrupted, but when involves or affects other people, I get a bit antsy.

One thing was certain: Come #$%@ or high water, I was NOT going to miss my sister’s play on Sunday afternoon.

It was clear that no flights out on Friday night on ANY airline would get me to my destination without blowing up my credit card inordinately, so my next option was to search for Saturday morning flights.

Picture me traipsing from ticket counter to ticket counter – United, Delta, American, Spirit, Frontier, Southwest…only to discover there were NO reasonable seats to Philadelphia.

But Newark!  Now there’s an option!

So yes, I got a flight for Saturday AM that would get me to Newark in the early afternoon.  This would mean I’d miss coffee time with Renee and Steve (boo) and an afternoon visit with Roseann, Mike and her parents (boo) but at least I’d be in South Jersey in time for an evening with the star of “Our Town” and her husband (my brother-in-law), Tony.

Getting a room at the Marriott was the easy part.  I thought it would be equally easy to adjust my Budget rental to a pick-up in Newark and the original drop-off in Philly.,

After placing me on hold for 45 minutes they said (basically), “Nope.”

Dollar Rental to the rescue!  A few clicks, and it was done (at the same price as Budget.)

So now I am here in Marriott-land, unintended and upended…but planning on embracing our word of the week, EXPLORATION. 

First, I want to explore a menu. My stomach is growling!  And I will go down to the restaurant EXPECTING something wonderfully serendipitous to happen.

Because that’s how I roll.  Who knows why this all happened? But it did.  Maybe I am a bozo and should have left earlier.  Lesson learned.  Maybe there’s a person on this newly booked Southwest flight that I am meant to meet.  Or an accident somehow avoided if my plans had gone as…well, planned.

We try and script life and yet each day can be fraught with plot twists.  We can either let them frustrate us – or we can see them as adventures in the making.

Yes, first I cried.

Now I am going downstairs to lose myself in an order of French fries.

I hope YOUR explorations brought you happy surprises this week.  Next week I hope to have a full report of how this all played out! And I close out the word with my thoughts about exploring our INTERNAL lives.  Take a listen:

To HARMONY!

(And perhaps a few less interruptions!)

xoxoxoxo

Brenda

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Relax and Enjoy the Journey (and the New WOW)

It seems like everywhere I turn I see inspirational signs that say the same thing: Relax and ENJOY the journey.

As I took Shasta on what was supposed to be a short walk through the neighborhood on Saturday, this phrase jogged my memory…because I got lost.

Intended as a half-hour stroll with some garage sale browsing, the walk turned into a two-hour trek with no sign of home as the sun beat down and our energy wilted.

Ha! I can relax and enjoy the journey IF it goes according to plan.

My internal GPS is usually spot-on, but this time it took me to neighborhoods I never knew existed.  So surely headed in the right direction, I didn’t bother to ask for help (because I didn’t think I NEEDED it) until several miles out of my way.

When I realized just how far from home I had traveled, I wanted to scream a little.  ‘Cause there was no way to get home without walking.  My thighs were burning; I dreaded taking another step.

Life itself is quite a trip, but we often are tripped up by the speedbumps, roadblocks, detours, snowbird drivers and traffic that make the journey imperfect.

To ENJOY the journey, the trick is to embrace instead of despixing those bends in the road.

What keeps us from relaxing and enjoying the journey?

JUDGMENT.

We perceive we should have gone further, arrived, accomplished, or achieved far more by now.  Our progress pales in comparison to those around us and we find ourselves lacking. We judge ourselves for taking a wrong turn that led us astray from our view of where we should be.

I could vote with aggravation or instead to relax and enjoy my long, long, long walk with Shasta.

Aggravation almost won, especially since my little girl decided to sniff EVERY bush and tinkle her mark on almost every homeowner’s patch of lawn.

I know, it’s hard to stay aggravated at a face like that.

Then I felt a cool breeze.  Waved to a friendly lady with a golden retriever. Realized that I was burning almost as many calories as I would have if I had woken up in time for Zumba.

Silver linings are there if you look for them.

May I suggest that each detour; each speed bump; each traffic jam might be the very respite we need to slow our pace; smell the roses; miss an accident five minutes down the road or make or new friend?

Imagine that we’re taking a road trip from my former home state of Pennsylvania to sunny Sarasota.  On the way we’d pass Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina –  you get the picture.  Would it be foolish to quit in South Carolina – after having traveled so far –  and judge the journey as a failure?

We may not be in Sarasota yet…but we’re on our way!  Maybe we need to relax and taste the peaches in Georgia, or see a race in Daytona, but if we keep going…we’re going to get there.

Let’s stop JUDGING our journey and instead ENJOY the journey.

Each of us are headed somewhere.  We may not be there yet…

But we’re on our way.

Here are parting thoughts on RELAXATION and a brand, spanking new Word of the Week:

Ah…they do go together so nicely, don’t they?

This week, may we be flexible when those bends in the road try to mess with us!

Enjoy the journey, my friends.

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Detours to Clarity and the New WOW

Our mother-daughter shopping adventure began miraculously.  We landed at a bridal salon called “The Perfect Dress.”  When mom described what she envisioned wearing to her granddaughter’s wedding, the lovely lady assisting us nodded with recognition.

This was a good sign.

She pulled out a gorgeous, flow-y, chiffon dream of an outfit.  It was simply stunning and mom looked just amazing in it.

The look of joy on Mom’s face made me say, “Ole Jed’s a millionaire!  We hit the jackpot on the very first try!” I began snapping photos and texting my sister with the good news.

Surely, I lived a charmed life.

Until they brought out the color swatches and her hoped-for shade wasn’t available.  And to order this perfect outfit would mean biting our fingernails to see if it could be delivered in time; equally unsure that it would not require alterations.

The potential angst led us to decide that with all of the yet un-tried shops in Sarasota, there had to be something on a rack somewhere that fit the bill perfectly.

Let me just say that the sheer fact that mom and I didn’t off each other in the process of driving hundreds of miles, sampling dozens of outfits and speaking to scores of retailers is a minor miracle.  We did Sarasota, Venice, Fisherman’s Village, Bradenton, University Park.

A tipping point was when one not-so-helpful clerk said, “Gees…if you couldn’t find anything in Sarasota, you’ll NEVER find anything.”

Glares ensued.

The frustration built to a crescendo until a moment of…CLARITY.

Wait a minute!  Why don’t we go back to that very FIRST shop and see if we can pull that magical outfit right off of the rack and take it with us?

(By now, the color was inconsequential.  Nothing else made her feel as wonderful as outfit #1.)

True, there were no guarantees that the store would allow us to buy a sample .  But I was willing to slit my wrists, hand over my American Express, kneel and plead to take that @#$%# outfit out of the store.

We left, outfit in hand.

But the point of the story is that sometimes it takes TIME to have your “aha” moment.

Wouldn’t it be great to just wake up in the morning and know EXACTLY what you needed to do, what to say yes and no to and how to navigate the day?

I’m still waiting for my script to show up.

This wedding reception outfit story is simply meant to encourage you NOT to give up.

At some point, you’ll know.  And when you know, you can DO.

There are far more important decisions in life than what to wear.  Along those lines, here are my parting thoughts on CLARITY as well as the new Word of the Week (which you’re gonna LOVE!!!):

Oh yes, friends.  I am celebrating a successful trip with mom and that a gorgeous outfit is going home with her today.

I’m also looking forward to celebrating every little thing this week.

Won’t you join me?

xoxoxox

Brenda

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Broken Things, Mess-Ups and the Word of the Week

It was a week of lessens learned from broken things and mess ups.

My dear friend Cynthia had mentioned a quote that meant a great deal to her months ago, and I asked my sister, Shirlee, to create it in calligraphy.  As is her practice, she went over the top and made a beautiful work of art with these words:

“She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.”

I searched for the perfect frame to send it to Cynthia; it wasn’t a Christmas present, just an “I love you gift” – but I was so excited to carefully package it, imagining how it would touch her heart.

It did.  She sent me the loveliest thank you message.

But didn’t tell me until weeks later that it arrived smashed to smithereens.

She’s nice that way, knowing how excited I was to surprise her and knowing how disappointed I would have been that it didn’t show up in pristine shape.

But the rest of the story resonated with me as a lesson for the year’s end and new one to begin.

Cynthia went in search of a new frame to replace the broken one, and stumbled serendipitously upon a shadow-box with sparkly accents and room for the feather on the piece to truly show.  When she sent me the photo I could see:

It was meant to be.

IMG_3726It wasn’t what I intended or envisioned, but it ended up exactly as it should have been.

So I filed that away in my “Hmmmmm….” drawer and ran smack into a professional dilemma.

I marketing brochure I had instructed the designer to set up a certain way went to press and was instead COMPLETELY different dimensions than I had instructed.

I kvetched, moaned, grumbled and had this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, knowing that the larger size meant a bigger price tag – one that was over the approved budget.

It was Christmas eve, but I had to talk to my boss and get it over with.

His response?

I think it was meant to be a bigger size.

Meant to be.

There were those words again.

I am a perfectionist in many ways, and hopefully not annoying ones.  I am gleeful when it comes to nailing the details of work and creativity.  I love to envision a task and carry it out as planned, making it come to life!

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, it ends up something entirely different.

And I think the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me (and it turned out to rhyme):

When I have done all that I can, there may be more that’s not my plan.  Perhaps a fail is the only way to make entrance for the Divine’s part to play.  In that truth I can rest and know not to fret at the unplanned turn in the road. Not every outcome is up to me…

Sometimes some things are meant to be.

There have been much harder fails and breaks in my life than a frame or a work project. But when I look back over my shoulder, they all worked out as they were meant to.

My friend Renee has taught me many things, including Yiddish words!  And the one that describes the lesson learned this week is:  Bashert.  It means “meant to be” or “destiny.”

So while my take on the “Question Mark” word of last week was that “I am the CEO of my own life and the heroine of my own novel” (which I do believe is true), it was balanced by this life lesson that it’s not ALL on my shoulders.

There is a Power at work, greater than I, who can work all things together for good, fix my fails, improve upon my best laid plans and give me the peace of “bashert.”

Which is a perfect prelude to our new WOW to end 2015 and begin 2016:

When you think of your own healing, know that the broken things and mess ups can, in time, look like beautiful detours on the path to what is meant to be.

Much love to you, and thank you for taking these journeys with me in 2015…

xoxoxo

Brenda

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