It’s that Destination v Journey Dilemna!
I’ve always been averse to planning, much preferring to enjoy the reality of the present rather than deal with the abstracts of the future. My school master observed it, kindly describing me in my final year report as “a happy go lucky lad, as likely to come top in class as half-way down.” Employers determined it, profiling me as spontaneous rather than strategic.
For my part I’ve always seen myself as genuinely gifted, blessed with a marvelous mix of intuition, instinct and “divine intervention!”
My “gift” has always served me well when motoring, whether in the UK or on holiday expeditions across Europe. Mind you there have been moments. Failing to anticipate the Alps in Switzerland. Crawling for an hour around the Paris Peripherique unaware we had joined a protest convoy. Dead ending ourselves in traffic-sign-bereft industrial estates in Italy.
But we always reached our destination, and enjoyed the journey.
Program or Happenstance?
That’s probably why I’ve rejected Sat-Navs all these years. It would spoil my fun and stifle my special gift. Then my brother kindly gave me his old Tom Tom (always happy with brotherly hand me downs.)
So last week-end when contemplating Lynda’s 60th at The Tower Hotel and the drive through London and Whitechapel, a location as unfamiliar to me as any Italian industrial estate, I thought let’s play with this thing.
They’re very good aren’t they?
Lynda loved it. Politely extending an occasional “thank you” to the very helpful voice. Especially when I decided to go off Piste at the M1/A1 junction, got a bit lost, cursed a lot, before being graciously welcomed back at Archway.
By now I was well sold on my Tom Tom, but the lady did go worryingly silent on the final approaches to Tower Hill.
Fortunately my special gift, and perhaps happenstance too secured us the most up-close view of St Paul’s Cathedral before we happened upon St Katherine’s Dock bridge where the Tower Hotel’s cheerful doorman piloted us into the car park.
Never Get too Old to Learn
So thanks to our trip I discovered that Sat Navs are really useful, in some situations I’d now say essential, and I should have been a lot quicker to embrace and benefit from the technology.
Also there were a couple of lessons/reinforcing insights into myself:
I’m not a willing follower. I don’t like being told what to do. I like backing my own judgement, taking a chance on my own actions, and enjoying the unexpected.
For me the destination is relevant but not paramount. I enjoy the journey with its randomness and opportunity to see, hear, and feel what’s going on around me.
Too often we remain on a path in life that is conventional and prescribed by others. We’re encouraged to program our future with goals, planned paths and measurable objectives.
If you feel unsettled in life it could be that you are on that programmed life style when it’s happenstance that you really want.
For more thoughts and advice on making the rest of your life the best visit www.onwego.co.uk
Incidentally the 60th Birthday Week-end was a great success. The Jersey Boys at The Piccadilly was fanatastic. The Tower Hotel staff were terrific (maybe not the different Doorman who mockingly scanned my parking ticket for me.) Unfortunately Borough Market and the National Theatre Foyer bar were both closed.
But that’s happenstance for you.