Happy Trails–Beyond Our Fears
Recently, en route to a Virginia speaking engagement, I stopped for dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. Relaxed and happy, excited to share our new projects with one another, I at last confessed that I was nervous about speaking the next day.
My son-in-law, surprised, bluntly asked, “Why? What are you afraid of?”
My first inclination was to tell him that I wasn’t afraid, but I suddenly realized that indeed I was. And because confession is good for the soul—I’m told—I admitted that I was afraid of getting lost or missing my turn while traversing the Washington D. C. beltway, of losing my place or dropping my notes while speaking, of saying something stupid, or that my clothes mis-matched the event. I was even embarrassed about the dent in the back of my not-very-new but definitely non-classic automobile (please stop laughing—at least I don’t have to crank it)!
But my son-in-law, young and strong and sure of himself, dismissed all those things out of hand, as if they didn’t matter and would never happen.
The next morning I left my hotel bright and early, allowing plenty of time to make my way to the church where I would speak. The first thing I did was miss my turn, and yes, got lost. Fear #1 in full play. Thankfully, I’d prepared as best I could with the phone number of my contact, google maps directions, and had even brought my GPS as backup. Unfortunately, my GPS chose that trip to give up the ghost. The phone number came in handy, and I received directions to circle the beltway one more time.
My husband has a saying, “When you’re lost, enjoy the scenery.” I saw a lot of scenery, but drove into the church parking lot in the nick of time.
The church provided a podium for my notes, and because experience had taught me that sometimes my notes DO get out-of-order, I’d devised a new plan to organize them. It was all much more comfortable and pulled together. Fear #2 never materialized.
While speaking, I did say something stupid—at least once. But the audience and I laughed together, and I knew they forgave me. Fear #3 didn’t matter.
What to wear is always a mystery to me, so I tend to opt for black. A simple palette makes it easier for me to forget about myself. The church committee presented me with a beautiful orchid corsage—which they were so happy showed up well against my black. Whew! Fear #4 turned out great.
All of that goes to show that my fears—which Andy Andrews calls “imagination run amuck”—materialized, but without the punch I’d anticipated. Everything worked out—I’m not still driving around the D.C. beltway. My notes behaved themselves, even when my enthusiastic gesturing nearly knocked them off the podium. Saying something stupid just included me in the human race. And I’ll probably never stop wondering what to wear. So, that’s it.
Oh—about my car. Well, let’s just say it has lived and will continue to live (I hope) up to its illustrious name, “Happy Trails.”
So, what are your fears? Are they founded or do you, too, usually find they don’t pack the punch anticipated?
Perhaps you’re traveling this pre-July 4th weekend, so how about I pack you a “to-go” thermos of sweet tea to share with those you love, and a picnic basket filled with fried chicken, biscuits and blackberry jam, potato salad, and broccoli-bacon crunch. We’ll top it off with strawberry/blueberry trifle—red, white, and blue! There’s a roadside picnic table part way. Bring along the blue and white checked tablecloth. I’ve got the ice.
Happy Travels and Happy 4th of July!
Looking forward to seeing you back home in the garden next week~~
God’s blessings for you,