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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mistakes, Missteps, Regrets – They’re Memories Made

Mistakes, Missteps, Regrets – They’re Memories Made

There is something out the ordinary about experiencing major setbacks and disappointments in your life. It’s as if when you’re not paying attention the Universe will put something directly in your path that you can’t avoid.  You must deal with it
There are no coincidences so it must have been put there for a reason.  Some of the most time-consuming, annoying, and inconvenient setbacks have also been the most memorable because I learned something from them or because it allowed me to explore something new.

One of my most memorable setbacks was when I took a trip to California with my girlfriend. Our plan was to spend a week in San Francisco, hit the wine country, and on one of our last days to drive through Yosemite National Park on our way to Reno, spend a day there and then fly out the following day. It didn’t go as planned.

The drive into the heart of Yosemite takes two hours. When we got there we were just in awe of its beauty. The combination of trees, fresh water creeks and rock formations was breathtaking. It was then that I decided if I could live anywhere in the world, this would be it.

We walked and drove around the area but then needed to be on our way as the drive out of Yosemite also takes two hours and we had to make it to our hotel in Reno. I always did the planning of our trips and since we wanted to see as much as possible in two weeks our time frames were pretty tight. Part way out of Yosemite our rental car stalled on the mountain side. It took hours before anyone actually stopped to ask why two young women were parked along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Sure vehicles went by but they were far and few between. By the time were heard them through the dense forest they had already gone by. Usually it was when a vehicle honked that we were aware there was another motorist on the road. Eventually someone going into the park stopped. They said they’d let someone know about us. A few hours later a tow truck came to bring us back to the main area.

We now had two problems. It was almost 10 PM when we arrived back at the main area and they wouldn’t be able to work on our vehicle until the next day. The second problem is we were stuck there and had no place to stay. The driver found us a cabin with community restroom facilities to use. Whew!
Since we hadn’t eaten since lunch we were starving so the driver took us to a grocery store. We had ten minutes to find what we wanted before it closed.
In a cabin with two beds and two dressers we had the time of our lives. In our haste to acquire food we neglected to get some utensils. There we were with a fully cooked chicken and no way to eat it but with our hands. We had chips, chicken and a cocktail to drown our mishap. We DID remember cups for the alcohol. We sat on our respective beds while trying to eat bare handed and laughing at how barbaric we must appear. We reminiscing and laughed like crazy. Eventually we decided to find the community restroom in total darkness. That was a challenge and a whole other story.

The next day our vehicle was fixed by noon and the tow truck driver asked how our night was. We told him we had so much fun. He then asked if we went to a certain lodge. “There’s a lodge with music!” No, we didn’t go there. Well then he figured we must have gone to another lodge. We were a bit embarrassed to say we didn’t know any of those places he mentioned and that we instead had a blast hanging out together in our cabin. He was a bit shocked.
We never got to see Reno. When I look back I don’t think Reno would have been as much fun as the time we just had.

In the end it taught me to slow down and enjoy the ride. The vacation wasn’t just about getting from one tourist attraction to another but to enjoy the scenery and the company I was with. Mission accomplished.

This is just one story I have about inconvenient setbacks that I’ve experienced. The one thing that stands out in all of them is that they may have been annoying and inconvenient but I always gained something out of it.

How about you? Are your setbacks really a mask for something else to happen in your life?

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