Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What if?

Last week I took a road trip to Montana with my high school friend. Our focus was to visit another friend from the class of '77, a mini reunion if you will. It turned out to be so much more than that, for me. An experience and life lesson I shall not soon forget.
Anyone who cares much about me knows that I keep a pretty heavy summer calendar and this trip was put on the calendar sometime last winter or spring. I don't recall. I just know that being a former future tripper, I didn't think much about it until about two weeks ago. That's when my wheels (so to speak) started spinning. When that happens, I get less sleep.
I've not done long distance driving without my husband. He's the man with wanderlust who kissed me and infected me with the desire to see new places quite a few years ago. We have traveled by truck across the country and back, including Alaska and Canada. He is the one who taught me how to read a map. He is the one who has changed flat tires and told me to turn the radio up when there is a noise in the motor for no apparent reason. He is the one who said, "Susan, never go home the way you came". He is the one who has taught me to put my hand out to people, look them in the eye and have a conversation.
Traveling without him, if the truth be known, scares the shit out of me. I hadn't really given it much thought until a few days before my friend and I were to roll down the road. The what if's kept creeping in and I struggled to ward them off.  What if's can paralyze a person into a life coma. I've seen it happen. I don't want to be that girl. Truth:  I've been that girl. Too afraid of everything ....
So, I ran the car through the carwash right before I swooped up my friend from the airport and we rolled down the road Thursday afternoon with a clean windshield, sour gummy worms and 12 years of life to catch up on. I kept my smart phone charged and ready and only used it to get us to the hotel in Spokane. The next day, we followed written instructions for the long road leading to our friends' place in Big Sky country. We both felt so proud that we made it there on the first try. I worried about getting out of there and trying to follow the instructions backwards but worry is such a waste of time.  We decided to take a different, much less traveled highway home for a more scenic route. I worried what if I get a flat tire or hit a deer. No cell service for most of the trip. I survived by mentally picking the what if up and placing it on a mental shelf. It worked.
It was a beautiful trip with many treasured memories.
What if I let worry rule my world?  I'm not going to think about that another moment. I'm out of here!

Do you get the what if's?

love, susan


  1. My only what if is ...what if I don't get to visit you and Gene this fall. I worry about it a lot. I need to put that what if away. You don't need to see someone to feel them inside you and the friendship and love. Like you and your friends, twelve years just seem to have not been that long and you take off right where you left off. Love you both..

    1. Love you too! We'll just make it happen!!! Call you soon!

    2. I think we all catch the what-if virus at least once. A recent what-if spurred me on to an 11-year-in-the-planning trip to Chicago. Mine was, "What if I wait too late and never get to visit my daughter at all?" I have taken solo road trips from Texas to Florida, and trips with her from Colorado to Texas, so tripping to Chicago with her father would be a cinch. The biggest what-if was, "What if I freak out if I get frisked?" Flashbacks happen even if we try our hardest to be in control.

      Well, desire to visit my only child over-rode the worry, and I had a trip of a lifetime. Turned out the flight was the first her dad and I ever flew together. First class is something everyone deserves at least once! So is "living" at the Westin River North!

      Now my only what-if starts with, "What if I go for MY birthday and . . . ?"

      Thanks for reminding me of what it took to jumpstart my summer vacation! It's the best I've ever had.


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