Land ho! Remember the journey

One of the places where I slow down and reflect on life. My neighbor doesn’t have much to say, but he’s a great listener, especially when I bring apples to the conversation.

Reflecting on life has become an almost daily occurrence in my current situation, which could be described as a reality show that I’ll call Suburban Survivor. Outside of cooking, sanitizing and filling my grocery pickup basket AGAIN, I find myself frequently taking inventory of my little world and the people in it.

Deep thoughts won’t give me any rest.

And it isn’t that I’ve been given extra hours, even though each day feels almost twice as long. It’s because there is finally a break in the noise from the frantic parade I was chasing every day. Trying to keep pace with the lineup was distracting and exhausting. Most days after working and parenting and adulting, I was just too tired to think. This would probably explain my affinity for shows like The Bachelor and Married at First Sight.

So…in reflecting on our collective quarantine experience, I picture the RMS Titanic before it sank. Cue Celine Dion, do you hear her?

RMS Titanic

Photo Credit: Brittanica.com

It’s a bad and unfortunate analogy, I know, but it’s what my mind sees. I see a colossal ship sailing across the ocean, heading toward a port where we hope to arrive soon. It’s one man’s prison and another man’s escape. It’s luxury and retreat for some, and it’s survival and sadness for others.

But together, we are all passengers on this unfamiliar and unpredictable journey. We must ALL wait patiently before disembarking to find where this vessel has landed. Because let’s be honest – the place where we boarded some six to eight weeks ago is not the same place where we’ve arrived. We have traveled to a distant shore that looks very different from the homeland we once knew. 

And thankfully, unlike those aboard the Titanic, most of us will make it to shore.

Nautical clichés aside, I hope that when we slowly and cautiously rejoin the world, that we don’t forget the journey and what we learned along the way. Hopefully we learned that not everyone is meant to be a chef, a singer, an artist, an athlete, or TikTok famous… and that’s okay (stay in your lane bro – at least you tried).

Hopefully, we also learned resiliency, self-sacrifice, the practice of slowing down, and what it means to be a good neighbor again.

Ironically, it’s trips like these – when we feel like we’re stuck in a station wagon with the Griswolds on some remote, scenic highway – that change us forever.

Let’s not walk away from this journey unchanged.

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My family’s version of National Lampoon’s Vacation almost one year ago. It was equally exhausting and amazing, but trips like this stay with you forever. Ride on!

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