I also love scooting around in the ordinary, the mundane “oh, that’s no big deal” places in the neighborhoods where the locals go and the tourists usually don’t.
I have started a top ten list of surprisingly wonderful places to go in the DC area that might be a new spot for you as well as a list of places to visit with children and/or how to approach such places with special needs children.
What surprised and delighted me the most, though, was my own ability to roll with the punches during this trip. I didn’t have a single melt down or need to stand up for myself, most likely because I was primarily on my own. There were several times my plans were thwarted because my primary responsibility was to be the almost invisible support for Emma who was attending a high school leadership forum which was the reason we went at all.
My daughter, Katherine, stayed home to be with Samuel all week.
One of her comments to me has continued to resound through me: “That’s one of the qualities that is so good about you. When things don’t go your way, you just pick another way and manage to enjoy it as much as what you wanted to do in the first place.”
It is a beneficial quality whose origins were not necessarily the best. I became one of the best “lemonade maker from lemons” I know because I never expect things to work out in my favor.
What I was reminded this week that while things may not work out in my favor or according to my plan, when I nestle myself deeply into the moment, the moment was what I wanted in the first place – not the activity that filled the moment.
An example: I tried to get to Baltimore on three separate occasions. I was so excited to go on the afternoon Emma and her group were taking a field trip away from the conference center. I bought a bunch of snacks for them earlier and put them in a purple, polka dot bag for her to share with her friends and within moments realized my rental car keys were on their way to Emma’s field trip in the purple bag.
I could have stomped my feet and shaken my fist at the sky and barked at the
I did things like nap. I took a bubble bath. I wrote a blog post. I went to the hotel restaurant and had some chicken noodle soup better than I’ve ever had and a seasonal beer. I sat on the patio and wrote the sunset.
When you travel next, please remember this:
- 1. Make a wild, crazy, absolutely out of this world list of things you would like to do on your vacation or trip.
- 2. Start doing those items one at a time without concerning yourself with the ‘what’s next’ on your list.
- 3. Stay alert to the surprising places that call to you. I found my favorite new park and a very intriguing, hidden cemetery this way.
- 4. Take some time off intentionally in the middle of your trip and treat yourself to a “spa day.” Not with a ridiculous price tag or anything, simply take a day of rest where you can take a bath or drink a glass of wine or simply let the kids play on the lawn at sunset while you sit on a picnic basket and eat fresh fruit, veggies and maybe one sweet craving and call it dinner.
- 5. Document with images on your camera and bits and pieces of writing on the way without worrying about telling the whole story “now”. It will ripen as you go. It always has and it always will, as long as you are willing to allow it to be so.
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