I was tempted. I couldn’t help it. There’s something about an open door or a new trail. It was no reflection on my current path. I’d been perfectly happy with it. But with this newly paved one in my sight…I just had to…
I started to imagine the possibilities. Where would it lead? For better or worse, I had to know.
It didn’t happen overnight. Despite my excitement, it was also a bit stressful. It was a change after all. The dog and I had been walking the same path religiously for some time now. Frankly, with our current rituals and routines, there just didn’t seem to be space for this new way. It just wasn’t time. I decided to wait until the weekend to make the change. This allowed me some flexibility just in case this new way required more than my allotted 30 minutes.
Even with all my planning and best intentions, it still didn’t happen. I guess muscle memory had kicked in. Somehow, I was still on my usual path. Apparently, even making such a simple change required deliberate, conscious attention. This new way wasn’t natural for me yet. It’s clearly going to take focused effort to even take the first step. Ugh. Okay. There’s still tomorrow.
I started to worry that maybe this path just wasn’t for me. The dog…that’s what I was worried about…not me…I could handle it. But maybe the dog couldn’t. She’s very set in her ways after all. She doesn’t like change. More than planning, it was clear that this new way was also going to require preparation. I had to be ready for that stop-dead-in-her-tracks- and-sit thing she does, especially at that first unfamiliar turn. Extra doggy bites were crunching in my pocket. We were ready.
A black widow. She was what immediately faced us as we crossed the bridge toward our new way. I suppose I should have taken the hint. After safely navigating passed this initial obstacle, I suddenly dropped off the bridge onto the newly paved path. It was a severe drop, nearly twisting my ankle. At this point, I was having serious second thoughts. I was even starting to question why I was doing this in the first place and wondered if it was worth it. As I recovered, finding my footing again, I looked ahead of me. Suddenly it was clear. This wasn’t a new path; it was some kind of access road! After all the planning, preparation and challenges, it was a dead end!
I was disappointed to be sure. Before crossing the bridge back to my old way, I had to take a moment. It was a beautiful spot. Standing there, I noticed all the fish clearly visible just below the surface of the water. This would make a great fishing spot. That’s nice. But more than that, I appreciated each step taken on this brief journey and was proud of myself for being open to making a change. Despite the dangers and the unexpected ending, I was ok. For her willingness, the dog earned an extra doggie bite. And for mine, I discovered the potential of possibility, even if this new way wasn’t the one.
Since then, we’ve returned to our old path. But it suddenly seems “buggier” and less enjoyable to me. Anticipating a change and being available for what’s possible has made me more alert to my next new way. I’ve planned, I’ve prepared, and now I’m ready. My eyes are wide open for when it presents itself. I can’t wait to find it. Wherever it takes me, I’m looking forward.