The Road Less Traveled: Embracing a Change of Plans

My morning commute is pretty much down to a science. I know exactly what time I need to be driving through the specific points on my route, and even the smallest setbacks can throw off my delicate routine.

Early this morning, one of the main arteries I travel was closed completely. I’d heard something briefly on the news about a water main break (it’s about 8 degrees here in Pittsburgh, so those are to be expected, I suppose), but I’m not completely sure that was the cause.

I tend to tune out the news, so I didn’t pay much attention to the traffic report today. I didn’t even realize the road was closed until I was greeted by a police car re-routing traffic. Whatever the reason, I’m sure the closure delayed a ton of people on their way to work.

Although I’ve lived in the Pittsburgh area almost my entire life, I’ll admit I’m not great with side roads or alternate routes. The only alternate route I knew would cause me to back-track about 20 minutes, and I didn’t have time to waste. I felt slightly frustrated. It’s already hard getting back into a routine after a long weekend, and this setback really didn’t help.

I entered in the address into Google Maps and realized I could take a few side roads parallel to the main artery to get to work. According to the navigation, I’d eventually pop out along the route I usually take, and could probably still be at work on time.

The alternative route was (luckily!) really easy to follow. It was absolutely beautiful, too. It took me through streets of old Victorian homes, some still twinkling with Christmas lights. It was early, so the sun was just popping up over the horizon. Bright white snow covered every tree limb and roof. Smoke flowed from the chimneys. I felt like I was driving through a real-life snow globe.

I’d like to think that today’s closure happened for a reason, and I’m actually happy I was rerouted this morning. If I hadn’t been, I’d never have seen this unique, picturesque neighborhood.

My usual route is crowded and the speed limit is around 45mph – at that speed, there’s really no opportunity to look around and take in the scenery. It would’ve been “business as usual” and I wouldn’t have taken the time to slow down and see things from a new perspective.

I actually had another post lined up for today, but I was so moved by this morning’s unexpected change-of-plans that I felt inspired to write this post instead.

Life doesn’t always follow the path we think it will. No matter how well our plans are laid out, life often has other intentions and takes us in different directions. I think that accepting setbacks and changes is essential for living a happy life. Sometimes, the alternate route will be even more beautiful than the original.

Wishing you a happy Tuesday!

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