A neighbor was asked me where we were going first on our trip. I explained that first we’d shoot over to St. Louis for our annual family reunion, run down to TN to go to a Vols football game, and then we’d be darting up to Maine quickly before it got too cold. Seemed like a normal conversation. Too normal, in fact. But I walked away with a slight uneasiness. Something wasn’t sitting right. There was something about my upcoming trip, the one I’ve been desperately excited for, that suddenly brought dread. And then it hit me! That old familiar question I ask myself about 10 times a day. How am I going to get all this done? With people see, and games to catch and weather to miss…..oh my gosh! We only have a year and already I’m wondering how I’m going to fit everything in? And even though I’m only talking about the first few months of our trip, I can already see how words like “shoot over“, “run down“, and “darting up“,  aren’t setting us up for success.

Success? I love Maya Angelou’s definition of success. ” “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Simple and precise. Enough said!

And remembering the reasons I am wanting to take this trip. To slow down. To learn stillness. To connect to my family. To connect to myself. To reset with the intention of living my next 5 years kinder and gentler than my last 5 years. Yep! And that pretty much confirms it! Shoot over, run down, and darting up have no place in vocabulary once the rubber hits the road.

Sounds good, right? But what exactly does that mean?

It means that we might drive all the way to New York and skip Niagra Falls. It means I might not get to Franconia Ridge (FAVORITE HIKE) in time to beat the winter weather. It means we might stay in some obscure, Podunk town for much longer than intended just because we love our campsite. Or happen upon a random moment with stranger in small town just because we have no where else we need to be. Most of all, it means I might get to linger over the fullness of my children’s laughter or take a deep, loving breathe with my husband.

We’re getting one of those sticker map thingys that tracks all the states we’ve been to. This is my official and very public claim that I will not look as those unstickered states as some to do list that I must get to. I WILL not look at that map and think “We didn’t do enough.” This is my proclamation to the world that I want to adopt the mindset that the fewer states the better.

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