In the spring of 2011 I planned motorcycle ride from New Jersey to San Diego to visit some friends and see the country along the way. Unfortunately it had to be postponed due to a ridiculous work deadline – a decision I later came to regret.
Two years later the stars were finally in alignment and I had the green light to make the trip.
The day before everything was prepped, the bike was ready, bags packed and a comprehensive route planned And then I woke with the realization that I just wasn’t into making the trip anymore!
There were logical explanations of course. Being away now would mean missing my son’s 13th birthday, Mother’s day and possibly our wedding anniversary. There’s also the expense, loss of earnings, risk etc.
None of those had anything to do with it.
Two years ago I couldn’t wait to get started. I needed it. Work was incredibly stressful and I needed a break. But after several weeks of working from home I find I’m the most relaxed I have been in years and the need to escape has evaporated.
I was moving forward with the trip because it was expected and I came to the conclusion that wasn’t a good enough reason to go.
The trip had stopped being an adventure and had become a chore, so I gave myself permission to change my mind.
It’s amazing how difficult it can be to give yourself permission to do that, even if every instinct tells you that you’re doing something for the wrong reason. Instead we feel the need to keep going at all costs and pretend that everything is OK.
Why do we feel that way? How often do people keep going in the wrong direction out of fear of criticism? Whether in battle, politics, or relationships how often should something have been stopped that was not, and at what cost?
As for me when the decision was finally taken I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. More importantly I surprised that everyone involved not only accepted my decision but supported it.
Will I ever get around to making that trip? Possibly. But only if it starts to feel like an adventure again.