Super Highway or Backroad – Which Are You On?

I had a mini epiphany the other day. It was right about the time when I was knee deep in a bout of am I really good enough self-sabotaging guilt.

Ever been there?

It’s those days when no matter what you do, you feel like it’s not enough. Yeah…right there.

So I turned to my journal because for me, journaling is the best way to turn my negative thoughts around. Sure it starts off as a stream of pure, unadulterated negative energy, but I always find my positive gnome inside and she helps me push through.

Note: My inner critic is male and my positive attitude is a female gnome. Don’t judge 😉

It was during this bout that I discovered that the source of my guilty stress could be summed up quite easily by looking at life as a series of roads. Stick with me here, people. It will all make sense in the end….I hope.

For the last 18 (or so) years I’ve been on the Mega-Super-Highway. I’ve been speeding along with a million other people (cars?), desperate to reach the end. To get “there”. No time to stop and pay attention to your surroundings, oh no! The Mega-Super-Highway is NOT for dilly-dallying, sight-seeing or lollygagging. It’s about fast-paced, GO, GO, GO, get there NOW.

Eyes forward! Stop looking around! No LOLLYGAGGING!
Eyes forward! Stop looking around! No LOLLYGAGGING!

I dislike this road.

For years I’ve been trying to find the nearest exit. I wanted to dilly-dally. I wanted to sight-see. I WANTED TO LOLLYGAG! I wanted to enjoy life and the Mega-Super-Highway was just too fast. Life was literally flying by. I was rushing towards…well I wasn’t sure. I hate to be morbid but if you look at life as linear, then I suppose I was rushing towards aging and dare I say death? Except for years I didn’t see it that way.

In my head I was rushing towards the days when I didn’t have to go to that crappy job. When my days were my own spent doing what I love. I was rushing towards RETIREMENT. Good gravy, that’s no way to live! Especially when you have just as many years till retirement as you’ve already lived.

I’ve been longing to get off the Mega-Super-Highway and take the Super-Lovely-Backroad. Ahhhh the Backroad! Where you can stop and smell the proverbial roses. You can enjoy the journey without the crazy chaos. Without the GO, GO, GO mentality. For me, the Super-Lovely-Backroad represented doing what I love. Following my heart, my dreams and passion and making a career of it too! It represented LIVING instead of EXISTING. I was seriously longing for that.

Super-Lovely-Backroad!
Super-Lovely-Backroad!

And then an opportunity arose, or should I say my exit came up. I was able to get off the Mega-Super-Highway and slip onto the Super-Lovely-Backroad to enjoy my life! And do you know what the very first thing I did was?

I tried to SPEED.

Have you ever tried going really fast on a gravel backroad? Let me tell you, it’s not good. You kick up dust that clouds your vision and stones that leave dents and welts. It’s like the Super-Lovely-Backroad is saying,

This place ain’t for rushin’, Yo! Stop and enjoy.

18 years of GO, GO, GO, get there NOW attitude is pretty hard to break. I was conditioned for rushing through life, wanting everything NOW and ignoring all those roses I so desperately wanted to smell.

Okay they aren't roses but whatever!
Okay they aren’t roses but whatever!

What I’m trying to say is that sometimes even the things we really want require practice. This is a new way of life for me.

A slower, more thoughtful life and I need to practice how that’s done. I need to get over the GO, GO, GO mentality and smell some roses. When I forget, which of course I will (18 years is some pretty strong conditioning) the Super-Lovely-Backroad will cloud my vision and throw a few rocks to remind me that this is what I’ve wanted and NOW is the time to slow down and enjoy it.

And now gentle readers I leave you with one last thought.

Sometimes the Mega-Super-Highway is useful – even necessary – but if you’re always rushing for the end you miss a WHOLE LOT along the way.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “Super Highway or Backroad – Which Are You On?

  1. I tend to take the back road…as it allows distraction, maybe I should get on the highway for a bit, lol. I need to find a balance, I find way too many pretty laybys and viewpoints when I should be metaphorically driving!

  2. You know, it’s funny because I always imagined the writer’s road would be the slow back road of relaxing artistic expression. Self-publishing has taught me that there is no end to the highway, it is always stretching further and further out, and everyone around you is racing toward the same destination (higher rankings, better sales, recognition, etc.) It’s exhilarating, but at the same time it is exhausting. There is so much to do and only so many hours in a day, and you can’t let your writing suffer by trying to catch up with everyone around you. You have to find your own pace. It wasn’t until releasing book 3 this spring, that I finally felt like I could give myself a break. I re-joined the gym (I’d let my membership lapse for almost a year!!), started doing yoga once a week again, and forced myself to get outside more. It really takes a lot of effort to turn off the highway and take the back road route when there are so many other people whizzing by you. But sometimes for your own health and happiness you just have to take a break.

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