What Resonated This Week: Road Trips

image via theodysseyonline.com

This is the fifth installment of "What Resonated This Week," where I share my observations around a common theme or topic that made an impact on me, and hopefully will be a catalyst for conversation and further discussion.

For the last four weeks I've published posts about what's resonated with me. Connecting the dots was the initial theme, followed by the idea that you need to customize your message and be mindful of your audience. After that I wrote about finding the courage to ask for help and the power of "Coffee Talk" and connecting in person.

This week it's road trip time.

616 miles in 72 hours.

That's how much ground I covered driving in my car the past few days. (It's why, in fact, this post is a bit delayed and was meant for last week.)

Granted, this wasn't one trip but a series of road trips mushed together, each with a distinct purpose and with varied passengers.

The first road trip was business-related. My good friend and colleague joined me for a three-hour drive down to Paso Robles for an industry board meeting and series of events over two days. Carpooling seemed like the most practical option — why should both of us drive our cars if we were headed to the same destination?

While our trip together may have been initially planned because of its logical nature, it was the happy consequence of uninterrupted time with my friend that sealed the deal.

It had been awhile since we'd seen each other, and during our drive we were able to catch up. She needed to vent and bounce a few things off me; I was happy to oblige by being an active listener and offered my perspective when asked. We broached many topics: personal relationships; work woes and career aspirations; parenting little ones versus teens; what happiness really means and how its definition has shifted for both of us over time and according to life stage. After we arrived at our meetings, we were always in close proximity but with a myriad of distractions; it was nothing like our road trip time.

My second road trip was personal. And solo.

After arriving back from Paso Robles, I had a quick respite at home with our older daughter before leaving early the next day to make the two-hour drive up to the Sacramento area where our younger daughter's team was playing in their season's final softball tournament.

At first I was really bummed about making the drive alone. I had even offered a ride to another team member's Mom but the timing didn't work and I set off on my road trip alone.

But about 20 minutes in a funny thing happened. My mind began to work in an almost flow-like state. Ideas and to-dos floated freely. I wasn't stressed; I was acknowledging all the craziness that my life is these days and letting it wash over me. Accepting it even.

Being alone in the car for hours gave me something

I haven't had much of lately: uninterrupted time to think.

By the time I arrived at the game, I was calm yet energized. The solo road trip had given me the unexpected gift of time.

The idea of using the sanctity of the car isn't new to me. In fact, it's something my best friend I have perfected over the last 25+ years. When we were teens, our drives were epic, even if we just tooled around town. We shared our hopes, our fears, our ups and downs. We still get a sliver of that these days when we carpool to our weekly volleyball games together.

And I treasure those times.

Because I've learned that regardless of the destination, it's the journey that matters most.

So, what resonated with you this week?

#consulting #listening #journey #roadtrips #thinking

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