by Jennifer DePriest
This year definitely came with no instructions, not that any year does, but this has been like an IKEA project with a thousand parts and no instructions enclosed. It reminded me of a time before we had a GPS app on our phones, when we used a map to guide us as we set out on a journey. Someone would drive and someone would navigate. Part of the adventure was in refolding the map when we reached our destination, or getting lost and asking a random stranger for directions.
2020 has felt more like a giant neon sign that is flashing “Stranger Danger” as the map flies out of my convertible. It has left us with choices on this journey through life. We can either let this time get the best of us or stop, or look at where we have been and, possibly, plot a new course for the rest of our journey. We can use this time to enjoy the sights and sounds around us.
Think about it. When people reminisce, they often think of events from their youth. Times when we were often poor, just starting out, taking life one day at a time. There was no smartphone or GPS to plot our course. These are the most endearing memories that have stayed ingrained in our hearts.
Not having a map for this unprecedented time has forced many of us to stop and reflect. Stop and reprioritize everything from our spending habits to how we celebrate life events. It has made us view the jobs of our friends and neighbors from a different perspective. It has made us look at our own careers from a different perspective. While the virus is known for taking away two of our senses, taste and smell, this time has also made many of us so aware of the sights and sounds all around us.
Back in the day, the most memorable time of my life centered around exploring the forest on a three wheeler, with no cell phone … no GPS … no map, just a love for adventure and the great outdoors. No selfies were taken. No “checking in” was done because no social media existed, and yet, believe it or not, that time, those memories will be ingrained in my heart forever. Did danger lurk in the woods? Yes, just like the times we are living in now. But. But. We have a choice. We can either panic because the GPS for 2020 has malfunctioned, or we can let this time become an adventure that, while it has taken us off road to parts unknown, could end up producing the most beautiful memories and unexpected blessings in our lives.
With less than 6 months left in this year, and while most would say “thank goodness,” some of us who chose “focus” as our “word” for 2020 still have time to stop and reflect on what our focus has looked like up to this portion of our life. What do we need to change so that our focus, not just for this year, but for the rest of our lives, is truly 20/20? Maybe it’s time to really Dream Big, like I often write about. We can take our maps and turn them into paper airplanes, tossing them into the direction we want to go, and just let the inspiration and carefree spirit of our youth bring new inspiration and vitality back into our lives.
I often quote Helen Keller … ”Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” So what kind of adventure can you experience during these unprecedented times? After all, we once made tents in our living rooms during our youth, so some of the best adventures can take place in our own backyard. Some of the best adventures can encompass the crafts we create at our kitchen table or the cakes we bake for our families. Yes, the GPS app for 2020 may have malfunctioned, but going off road can often leave you with the most memorable times of your life.
Until next month, take care, my friends.
To learn more about Jennifer DePriest, visit her blog at CuriosityCottage.org. She welcomes email at CuriosityCottage@yahoo.com.