Last night I was on my way home from dinner with a friend. I usually take the main highway to the bridge that carries me over the Ohio River and directly into my new(ish) home of Newport, Kentucky. However, if you live in Cincinnati, you know that the roads have constant construction. Last night my exit was closed.
UGH! Detour it is.
As I passed by the bright orange cones and construction lights, I felt frustrated. This detour is inconvenient. It’s taking me a way I didn’t want to go, adding ten extra minutes to my drive… at least! I just wanted to be home.
I drove through a tunnel and when I emerged on the other side I saw the most incredible, clear view of the Cincinnati skyline. There were no clouds, no traffic… here in this city, on this highway, it was peaceful, quiet and the view was breathtaking.
Time felt like it stood still.
I was heading away from my home, my destination, but there was beauty beyond the frustration in this extra journey. This unexpected detour.
I crossed over a different bridge, which brought me into Covington, Kentucky. I took the first exit and rolled my window down. It was a cold, crisp, Autumn evening. I weaved through the quiet streets of the neighboring town and took a few deep breaths.
Find happiness in the detour. In the unexpected journey.
A gentle breeze seemed to whisper those words to me.
I felt my initial frustration fade into gratefulness. I’m grateful my exit was closed. I got to take a moment to slow down, take in the beauty around me, and breathe.
That’s exactly how I’ve felt after these last five difficult months. Like I am on a road trip to a great destination, but my route is filled with detours. Frustrating, time-consuming detours.
For a long time (and every once and a while now), I focused on the frustrations of this unexpected divorce, this unexpected detour to my life plan. I would think about the time I wasted, the financial and emotional mess I was left with and I would question my future. Lately, though, I stopped looking at the bright orange cones, the deep potholes, the inconvenience and I started looking at the beauty and peace around me. This new landscape that I would have just driven past otherwise. I now focus on my two awesome dogs, my friends (old and new) that I get to spend quality time with, my flourishing relationship with my family and myself. Even a fresh cup of coffee provides me with more happiness than it used to.
This awful set of circumstances has re-routed me and provided me an opportunity to look at life a new way. Enjoying things I see or experience everyday.
That skyline was more beautiful than normal last night. Maybe because the moon’s light hit the cityscape a little differently, or maybe because I am different. Maybe because rather than being so focused on my destination, I am focused on the positives of right now. The views, the peace, the bright lights of my future.
I’m just taking a different bridge.