Ok, to the hard questions.
Barb asked What was my most memorable experience and what did it teach me about myself or others? Excellent question.
People are far more important and far more interesting than positions.~ Me.
I kept thinking through the incredible places I went and the cool things I did but I kept coming back to one seemingly ordinary evening. Robin Shropshire spontaneously invited me and Jenn to park our campers in her driveway in Helena one night. Robin and I spent that evening drinking good bourbon and discussing some fairly deep stuff but mostly we acknowledged that we are political polar opposites. We are prime examples of the people who scream and yell on TV and at political rallies, tearing each other apart. And yet we were able to have a great conversation and accept that we’re not going to agree on much but that we can still be friends and learn from one another.
Like I said, it seems like such an ordinary thing, an ordinary conversation. But with all the insane stuff going on in our nation and world, I needed the reminder that it just doesn’t have to be like that, that people are far more important and far more interesting than positions.
Robin took this picture the next morning. How incredible is her view?!
Pat Wilson asked, “The easiest route home isn’t the best. Why?” Obviously, Pat is really smart and we can just assume my response won’t be.
From a practical standpoint, I can tell you all that I took the easiest route home from Canada and I totally regret it. I was tired and in some pain and I just wanted to get home so I took interstates all the way. So boring.
But I’m pretty sure the question is a little deeper than that.
Maybe the easiest route isn’t the best because it doesn’t test us. Taking the road less traveled, both literally and figuratively, forces us to do things and meet people that our ordinary worlds block out. What do you all think?
Susan Chambers wins with the hardest question of all! She asked, “What did you learn the most about yourself on this adventure?” Ouch. Awesome question that kept me thinking for a couple of days.
I learned a ton. You all will probably think less of me for some of it but here goes.
- I learned that kayak paddles double well as snow shovels. Not responsive to the question but interesting just the same.
- I learned that I need more frequent vacations and that’s ok.
- I learned that it’s time to stop putting everyone else’s wants and needs above my own. Like, so far above mine that mine no longer exist. That’s really hard for me to write because it can sound self-promoting, like, “I’m so kind and giving,” etc. That’s not why I’ve done it. I truly never believed that my wants and needs were important. But throw me behind the wheel for 100 hours or so with nothing but Sirius radio and a couple of audiobooks, and some reflection is going to result. In truth, this one started a few weeks before my trip with a painful experience and realization, but the trip provided time to think it through and to recognize that I’m the only person who determines how others treat me. A lot of people are going to hate the results of this one, but it’s time.
- I learned I’m kind of a bad ass. There’s not much I can’t do, which is a huge surprise to me. Ok, I can’t kill a mouse but that’s about it!
Thanks for the questions! I’ll throw out one more post, probably later this week, with more pictures and the outcome of Mighty. I think he’s gone but I’m worried he died somewhere in my car.