Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Where are you going?

I had the mundane task of having to wait yesterday...I hate that! What's worse is I expected it to take maybe a half-hour, so I didn't bring anything along with me to busy my mind. I was sitting in the lobby of an office building. I'd parked quickly and rushed in for my 9:30 appointment. But here's the thing, it seems I was the only one who was on schedule. Two hours later, the appointment complete; I finally left...frustrated, mad and...enlightened. What? How could that be?

The space I was trapped in had windows on two sides and was near our downtown area. I found myself people-watching. I started to play a game with myself. I'd watch as a business person in a suit or a kid on a skateboard went by and guess where they were going and then watch to see if I was right. There are many destinations nearby and though a few just went by the window, for most, I could watch as they went through the door of their destination. So I watched their body language to see if I could figure out where they were going. Sometimes they glanced periodically at the destination. Sometimes there was a purpose in their step, in the way they walked. And my guesses were almost always right.

Here's what I learned;

We focus on where we are going, no matter how far away it may be. We may focus with our eyes, with our hearts, with our minds, or even with out physical bodies. When we have a destination in mind, we can't help but take steps toward it. It would be impossible not to do so. Where are you going with your writing?

Sometimes we encounter obstacles. A businessman approached a crosswalk, but there was a utility truck parked across it. He looked across the street to his destination and walked around the obstacle. He didn't say, "Oh gosh. I guess I just can't get there. I'd better go back to where I started." No, he figured out a way to get around it and persevered. What are the obstacles to your writing?

Sometimes we must change directions.
Occasionally someone would seem to be going one place but then go to another. At times we get on a path that leads nowhere. And when we finally figure it out, we have a choice; we can either make the best of our path, or we can purpose ourselves to turn another direction. Have you ever taken a wrong turn?

Who knew that two-hours of watching people go about their lives could teach me so much? The next time you have unexpected downtime, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this?" It's really quite amazing. ~Karen
photo: My recent trip to Bainbridge Island, Washington. Three generations are represented on the path.


Shannan Powell said...

Wonderful post!

It is amazing the things we notice when we are forced to stop and sit still. You certainly got me thinking!

Karen L. Alaniz said...

And it's the hardest thing to do too...to sit and do nothing. Our worlds are so busy. It's a good lesson, I think. Thanks for stopping by! ~Karen