When we travel together my husband is the driver and I am the navigator; sometimes he plays with the GPS to predetermine a route and I just ensure we are on it; but there is always an atlas with us for back up. This summer, on a return trip from the Oregon Coast I directed us off of the main highway onto a parallel road as directed by the GPS unit. Both of us questioned the turn, but we took it anyway. Stop lights and narrower, twisty roads caused some angst as we continued, but the GPS route ensured we would make it to the Washington border, so we continued. Bikers and runners along the smaller, picturesque roads were obviously perplexed at our trailer towing, but we ignored their querying and accusatory looks. Obviously we made it home, but we quit following the GPS route since it wanted us to take the roads parallel to the main thoroughfares in Washington as well – we knew that area better and wanted to get home. Why didn’t we look for a way to get back on the main highway rather than continue to brush against trees and force pedestrians from the road as we passed, while blocking the way for cars behind us? Rhetorical now, but it provides a basis for my current thoughts.
How many times in our lives do we persist on a road just because we are on it? What finally makes us decide to change course and reevaluate our progress? Driving the trailer over fields and through trees wouldn’t have been wise, but there were several times we crossed roads that would have taken us back to the main highway and we didn’t choose to take any of them. Everyday we make many choices; some days present crossroads that should encourage us to pause and take stock of our journey, but do we even slow down to see what options are available to us?
Last night I had a phone call from my son, he has had just over a month of choosing his own way. Once he had a place to sleep, which was with a friend-of-a-friend kind-of-thing within days of getting out of jail, he seemed to quit looking at those crossroads. He didn’t want to talk about getting his GED or finding work; he didn’t want to fight with me he said. Much like the bikers and runners on our journey home, my comments and looks were ignored.
Apparently he is now needing to find another place to sleep and he has not prepared himself in any way to do it. He could have had his GED or been close to it, he could have been working, but there were reasons why that didn’t seem to be possible either. Paralysis in the face of crisis is a typical response; how rapidly paralysis is replaced with purpose can make a difference in negotiating the crisis successfully – we will see how this situation develops.
I am in the unenviable place of having to maintain that distance I spoke of in prior postings to ensure he experiences his own journey and chooses his own course. There is no GPS to suggest routes, he ignored most if not all of the lessons he should have learned when he was younger and has to develop a foundation for decision-making at the same time he has to decide how to proceed with his adult life. He admits this, but has done nothing to help himself when there was not a life-changing situation, something that he is afraid of, forcing him from the road he travelled into the fields and trees where traversing is more complicated.
This morning’s temps read 39* with a daytime high of 66*, which was last weeks nighttime low, anticipated; Autumn has arrived. It weighs my thoughts that he has but a few days to find another warm place to sleep; but I must remain steadfast. He has to walk his own path, regardless of the terrain and how prepared he is for it.