Sometimes the simplest actions create big insights into life. I had a great few days recently visiting good friends in our beautiful Okanagan wine country. Since I have lots of time on my hands these days (more on that later) I decided to forgoe the fast highway home and take a back road, quite literally the road less traveled. The trip became a reflection on my life at present, I have absolutely taken a detour off the well trammeled path and strayed into, for me, uncharted territory.
I was on a leave of absence from work since April and am now on a permanent leave – as in I don’t work there anymore. The circumstances of that parting means that I have the unexpected and completely unknown luxury of an exended period of time to decide exactly what I want to do next. Wow. I have’t not worked since I was 17. The longest period of time I’ve had off was 2 months in my early twenties. And the big question is, stay on the career highway or use this as my exit ramp to a totally different life?
I drove the Summerland – Princeton road, 100km of well maintained gravel and blacktop Forest Service Road through the South Central interior of British Columbia. The road goes from the well-tended vineyards of the Okanagan valley through the mountains and plateaus of the interior and ends in Manning Park. I found some great driving advice on a blog called Don’t Get Any on Ya.
I was prepared to be traveling alone, but surrprisingly there were quite a few other people out there also enjoying the backroads. Another metaphor. Once I stepped out of my designated box in the tower (the much sought after office with a view) I’m discovering that there is a whole world of people who don’t work in boxes or cubicles and who have an entirely different take on their personal journeys. They wouldn’t give you a nickel for 12 hour workdays (my standard) chained to a computer screen doing work with little intrinsic value that benefits on the chosen few very high up on the corporate food chain. I wasn’t making the world, or my world, a better place. And I most certainly wasn’t helping the people I thought I’d be helping when I went into Human Resources. Looking at those words as I type them, they should have been a clue. People aren’t “resources” – human or otherwise. They are real people with real lives, real famlies and real feelings. Treating them as just another resource, like a piece of lumber or box of paper, to be utlized to serve “the needs of the company” or used up, burned out and thrown away – is that really how I want to spend my life? Emphatically no.
And it could be that a long rest in a gentle place will restore the soul.
Although I love the roadtrips and adventures LK and I share, traveling alone has a few perks – I get to sing out loud as much as I want and listen to whatever ridiculous nonsense takes my fancy. This song has never failed to make me sing out loud and get up and dance – which you can do while driving – carefully!!