Life often has different plans.
I had been planning, wanting, hoping to participate in a local parade that happened last night. It was called an ‘electric parade’ due to the requirement for all vehicles to be adorned with lights. The Jeep group that I am a member of was participating. My Jeep Compass is not the easiest to attach lights to, my plan was to walk along side the group and hand out candy. Several years ago I had purchased several strands of lights that are battery operated. I could be a part and be following the theme. However, I never found out if there was a safe place to park, or manage to get a ride to the parade. I only asked once so my request could have been missed and then buried in all the other posts that followed. I accept that this is one of the drawbacks to being somewhat of a recluse.
I ran into another member of the Jeep family while I was out with my mother hours before the parade. Among the many other things we discussed the topic of the parade came up. Turns out that neither of us planned on going. The not wanting to attach lights to our Jeeps and the cold temperatures being main reasons. We parted ways, and I went back to helping my mother in her shopping. Even if I had changed my mind and tried too get to the parade, by the time I got home it was too late. I resigned myself to waiting for the photos and videos of the event to come. I poured myself a cup of coffee and turned on the television. Then, my son came in from work.
He meandered about the house for a moment, then asked me, “Do you want to go and walk McAdenville?” His point in that this was probably going to be the best time weather wise as it is predicted to get very cold in the coming days. I called my mother to let her know we were going, grabbed my coat and keys, got the dogs inside, and off we went. After parking in a well lit parking area and beginning our walk, the cold I feared, did not materialize. It was actually very comfortable considering the time of year. While I am sore from the walk as it has a labyrinth of roadways, hills and a few stairs, I am glad we went. It was well worth the aching muscles. A smallish town just off the interstate that is touched by and with magic every year at this time.
But, I had not planned on going. The friend I talked with, who had not planned on attending the parade, received a call and was needed. They did end up at the parade. They sent me a message, not wanting me to think they had deceived me. Sometimes, life has other plans for us than what we ourselves had come up with. I could have told my son no, if I can’t do the parade I won’t do anything. I could have told him its too cold and I don’t want to risk getting sick. I could have piled on the excuses but I didn’t.
I’ve seen photos and videos of the parade and it looked amazing. It looked to have been fun and exciting and everything the planners had hoped for the event. I don’t know the final count of how many Jeeps participated but it appeared to be a good turn out. I’ve read comments made from those who fully enjoyed the parade from those who participated and from those who stood on the side of the road and watched it pass. I have not spoken with my friend, but I’m sure in the end, they too were glad they went.
As for me, when we first started walking, there were not that many others around. The roads and sidewalks easily passable. We could take our time viewing what we found along the way. As we walked, the crowds grew. By the time we reached the main part of town, the sidewalks were crowded and nearly impassable. Traffic through town by vehicle was slow but that is a given. One does want to see what they can. Those in cars though, have no idea the sights they are missing as traffic has a set route and that doesn’t include many or maybe most of the side streets. By the time we had made our way through the main part of town, my fitness band was letting me know I had made my goal of ten thousand steps. Along the way kids and adults were shouting and wishing all a Merry Christmas. If you open your eyes, heart and imagination to the moment, it was incredible, magical, special. I greeted people. I spoke to and pet dogs. We supported the local fire department by getting a cup of hot chocolate and giving a donation. I was a kid in an adult body, enjoying every light, every sound, every moment.
Often we make plans. We think or wish or decide that we are going to do something. It doesn’t matter what that may be at the time. It is what we put on our to do list. Only life laughs at us with a hearty, ‘Oh yeah? Watch this.’ and those plans are all tossed out the window.
We may find ourselves doing the very opposite of our plans. We may find ourselves putting ourselves out there in an uncomfortable situation. We may find ourselves working in a way to help those in need. We may find ourselves doing anything but, what we thought we would be doing. In the end, we find that it was where we were meant to be all along. Because somewhere along that moment, you may touch a life in a way that changed how their day was going. Without realizing it, you may make this incredible difference that they needed at that very moment. Or maybe, it may be the thing that makes a difference for you. I’ve been stressed lately. Walking in the night through the lights and magic, made a big difference in my heart.
I’m glad I went and I hope my friend was glad they went as well.
I thought of you when I heard about a local Jeep parade.
I should have gone somewhere to enjoy lights but I spent the weekend doing nothing.
I saw a post moments ago where our group is planned a drive through of the town my son and I walked through. After walking and seeing how much is missed by driving through, it won’t be quite the same. Still fun though.
The area I want to go is all canals… can’t see a thing from cars and hours for boats are limited. I’d like to tour it by waterbike or kayak but it’s too cold for locals!
Now, with the exception of the cold, that sounds fun.