What do you pack for your journeys?
It seems particularly pertinent to think about journeys when children transition to their next chapter of learning, friends leaving, everyone moving on in different directions to pastures new.
When we know that we are to journey we plan, where we will go, who and what we will see we have an idea of some of the destinations, we may even put a time scale on things. And as we journey, there will be set events, things that are inevitable like, birthdays which can occur with increased regularity as we get older. You will expect some family events – births, marriages, funerals and every event will have a different effect upon us.
It’s exciting, this journey into the unknown, there should be a frisson of anticipation, excitement perhaps even a touch of nerves.
Journeys require preparation, and this life-journey is no different – you need to pack your metaphorical bag. I was thinking about what would be useful things to have – apart from Kendal Mint Cake.
· Curiosity – always be curious, never be afraid to wonder and ask questions.
· Good humour – no one wants to spend lots of time with people who are negative all the time and sometimes difficult times can be helped by having a smile, and kind words.
· Courage – this journey, there will be tricky bits and you will need to be brave – but know that you can be.
· Resilience – you will have setbacks, I can guarantee that. Resilience will help you to deal with them.
· Humility – accept that others will know better, see that as a safe thing and it goes hand in hand with Trust, don’t forget to pack Trust.
· Adaptability – you may have to change route, mode of travel, with little or no warning, stay calm, think, problem solve and adapt what you do in order to carry on.
· Self-reflection – never be complacent or arrogant, thinking that your way is the best and only way, be prepared to admit your mistakes and then do things better. There is no shame in that.
· Compassion – care for those around you, those who you love and those who you don’t love. Have empathy and understanding.
· Faith – your faith if you have one, but also faith in yourself. Believe that you can. Tell yourself that you can – you are stronger than you would ever believe.. if you allow yourself to be that is.
Where will you go? There is no fixed destination, go where your heart leads you. Circumstance may take you in one direction and serendipity may take you in another. Sometimes you just need to accept, go with the flow. Know that the journey will be filled with twists and turns – that is what will make it interesting, there will be bumps, and potholes and after a while you will learn to recognize them and walk around them. You will fall over, you will get knocks and bruises – think of them as learning injuries. Don’t let the fear of getting hurt stop you from journeying on. There will be flat and uninteresting parts, some easy downhill bits and some steep climbs. There will be joy along your road, don’t forget to enjoy it, don’t be in too much of a hurry to miss the view, try not to avoid conversations, you will meet some interesting people along your way. Connect with what is around you, don’t be so busy that you keep your head down–look up, see the clouds scudding across the sky; listen to bird song and wonder at waterfalls. Connect with people, some will be with you all the way through your journey, others will drift in, stay for a while and drift out – they were there for a reason, connect. Some people who wish to travel with you may not have your best interests at heart –choose your travelling companions carefully.
Enjoy it, it won’t be easy all of the time, it may not be easy most of the time, but if you have the right things packed in your bag, you can rummage through and unpack what you need to help you along the way. Remember, this is no one else’s journey but yours so walk, skip or scamper, it’s your journey, your way.
“Life is a journey filled with unexpected miracles”