Month: October 2018

What a Ride…by Lois Hewitt

I cannot believe that my next blog post will be my 200th!  Wow!  That’s incredible!  A lot has happened between now and then.  The person I was is barely known  to me now.  When I started this epic journey I was a scared, depressed, totally unaware person.  I thought I knew things but I did not really.  I thought myself brave but had no clue until I was tested.  I wanted a new and different life from what I had and I got that wish a few times.  Wow! What a ride it has been!

It is an odd phenomenon that the place you occupy right now seems like the place you have always been.  At least for me anyway.  When I was in that “dark” place I felt there would never be a change.  That what I was experiencing was going to last forever. For a long time, I just stood on the proverbial diving board.  Then I realized standing on the board does nothing until you actually leap into the water. And leap I did.

Fear used to consume my life.  I was so aggravated with myself for not making the changes I needed to make.  Once it was decided to leave behind everything and start completely new, it was like jumping into a pool of ice water.  All the plans I had made ahead of time, flew out the window.  I was unprepared for the realization of what it all meant.  No more home to run to. No more things to have.  What if I got Ill on the road? What if the car breaks down?  Those issues evoked real fear!  Now it wasn’t some ethereal concept in my head but an extreme possibility.

I did not know where I was going to land or how I would live.  I thought I could waitress my way across America.  That might have worked in the 70s but not today.  I found I was living in a way based on a whole lot of unrealistic ideals.  I thought I was being free when in reality, I still had bills to pay and gas to buy and needed a place to sleep among other things.

Then I met North Carolina.  She made me work to get to know her.  Crossing the mountains to get to her was about the last straw.  I was not sure my car could make the trip or, for that matter, if I was up to the task.  After a dark and rainy night of mountain roads, we met.  It was definitely not love at first sight. But her presence grew on me.  Because of her I have been able to shake many of my existing fears off.

The veil finally lifted and I saw a new life.  The struggle, as they say, was real but I found out I was not alone.   I tried new things and learned about people and places I had never even dreamed about.   I had adventures I could not have even imagined. Working on a real train…how lucky was I!  Traveling to work everyday to a castle…how lucky am I!  Mountains and beauty available from every vantage point!

Things are not perfect, but oh how they have changed, oh how I have changed.  As I look back on the last few years I can hardly believe all that has happened.  But I would be remiss if I did not thank all of you who supported my incredibly insane dream.  I could not have done it without you and I still look to you all for moral support today,  My husband does not get mentioned much in this blog as I try to respect his privacy but I could never have taken the first step out the front door without him.  He is my rock!  Thank you to the Land of the Pines, for letting me make this place my home.

That scared, shy girl may be gone now, but because of her I was prepared to make this journey.  I am really hard on her but all of her experiences, good and bad, gave me the strength I did not know existed inside of me.  I have learned so much.  The greatest lesson I have learned is to never discount who you are.  You have no idea what your life experiences will show you in the future.  Some days are harder than others, hang in there.  Life gets pretty good once you allow yourself to open up to the unimaginable possibilities!

Thank you all for your love and support!  I honestly could not have done this without you!  Here’s to another 200 posts!

Looking Ahead by Lois Hewitt

Have a good trip AVERY

I work at a major tourist attraction.  I have been there for several months now and have noticed a few things about human nature.  This is something I have done myself, many times, so I am in no way passing judgement.  I watch people walk into a room but instead of enjoying the room they are in, they start careening their neck to see what’s up ahead.  What is there to see next?  Then when they get to the next place, it happens all over again.

I used to be, and still am from time to time, the person who would make a plan to visit someplace.  Then stress while we were getting there.  Then once there automatically start thinking about the next stop.  Then get home and wondered why I felt empty inside.  I totally missed the views on the way to the destination because I was more worried about parking, time or some other thing.  I missed the destination because I was worried that I spent too much money and or time to get there.  On the way home, I would be thinking of all the things I had not done that day, for example laundry.  When I finally got home from my “fun-filled” outing, I was exhausted and disappointed.  Two things I felt all the time.  Now I notice I am not the only one.

I remember my first video camera.  I loved taking videos of events and people.  When the tapes were full, I would put another tape in and keep going.  Then one day as I was cleaning up in preparation for my epic journey, I found boxes of tapes I had made.  The realization hit me that I had never looked at most of them after they were made and I completely missed the time with loved ones and friends that I could never get back.  I was so worried about preserving the moment that I forgot to live in it.

I have been Mary from the Bible.  Remember her?  Jesus came to visit her home and she was so preoccupied with food preparation and house keeping, that she nearly missed Jesus.  I may not have had Jesus at one of my parties, but there were people important to me that I missed because I felt I had to have perfect food, perfect decorations and a spotless house.  I missed the real moments because of things that would not be all that important in the long run.  Who cares what you ate or what wreath was on the front door.  I missed being with people who are no longer with me.  I cannot get those moments back.

So why do we as humans prioritize in such weird ways?  I cannot speak for everyone, but I know a few things I have felt in the past.  I was always afraid that I was going to miss something really big.  Like the best thing I could ever see was going to happen up ahead and I would miss it if I wasn’t looking that way.  I felt I had to put on a show of how organized and efficient I was, even though I was falling apart on the inside.  Maybe I thought the people around me would always be there.  Little did I realize that would not be the case.

I believe humans, for the most part, are optimistic beings.  Looking ahead has brought about magnificent changes in our lifetime.  Sometimes you have to look ahead at better times when the times you are currently in are not so good.  I now understand the difference.  If you end up looking ahead all the time or focusing on unimportant things, you miss being in the moment.  It’s like buying a book you have been waiting to read, but reading the last chapter first.  Knowing how the story ends does not explain how the story got to that point.  You miss the journey when you head directly to the destination.  That is an empty feeling, I know.

Now I try to remember where I am right now.  I may think of the next stop, but not to the inclusion of missing this stop.  I still plan ahead, I cannot live without that structure but I am learning to enjoy the here and now.  Once this moment has gone, it will not return.  I could videotape it or take a picture but I run the risk of missing the most important thing, this very moment.  Good or bad this moment is unique in my life and I want to experience it, not spend a sleepless night trying to remember what I should have seen.

Every day the saying “enjoy the journey” takes on more meaning.  Now I am off to enjoy the moment of doing laundry….it’s all a part of living.