Mother’s Day and Forgiveness

Bunch of Tulips
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While most people are celebrating Mother’s Day today, remembering all the good things mothers do and have done in their unconditional love for their children, I saw a post on Face Book by someone who did not share this experience. It was obvious that the mother in question had caused a great deal of pain and Mother’s Day reminded her of all this past hurt, rubbing salt in her wounds.

I felt for her as I saw some connections with her previous posts and looked for quite some time on google for the right article expressing the thoughts going through my mind to make her feel better. From years of research to find answers and solutions for my own (different) issues, I felt I may have some insights of interest to her, but failed to locate an article able to express everything I wanted to tell her.

Many years ago a Tibetan Buddhist Monk told me that they believe that stress creates poison arrows in the body. At that time I was going through a stressful period and did not understand the mechanics of this, however could see the negative results it had on my own health. In my quest for answers I read many articles based on scientific research and learned that the body produces very different chemicals in a state of stress than when feeling happy and in harmony. These chemicals cause indeed a lot of havoc from digestive problems to psychological disorders and can eventually even lead to terminal illness, if not corrected in time.

In my case most of my stress was caused by habits absorbed into my subconscious during my early childhood. How this exactly works is very well explained by Dr. Bruce Lipton, (https://www.brucelipton.com/about and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pJwYcK08iQ) for anyone wanting to understand the mechanics better. I absorbed these habits by observing my mother and yes I did blame her a bit for raising me into a stress filled person, until I looked at our family history in more detail.

She had been through a very stressful period in her own life not long before I came along. She was the sole caretaker of 3 elderly men, including my quadriplegic grandfather, after her mother passed away from a stroke at the age of 53. My grandmother also had been through a lot of difficulties during her short life.

Most people react from their subconscious the majority of time (research suggests 95%) and are unaware of the origins of most of their responses, because they relate to a part of their life that has very few conscious memories left! This is due to the fact that the mind works in a different state after the age of 6, compared to when a lot of these memories were made and “recorded” into the subconscious before that.

Understanding this, it becomes clear that my stress response habit was subconsciously “inherited” from at least 2 generations before me, if not more. Thankfully I also absorbed a lot of good habits, that show to me that subconscious habits are extremely important for functioning well overall.

I am grateful that nowadays access to this sort of information is so easy using the internet and that I found an understanding that there was really no one to blame for my predicament because the people that had passed it to me were in reality victims themselves! The good news is, I was able to break this chain by educating myself and work on changing my subconscious patterns.

Going back to the start, how can this post help the situation of the person suffering pain from the childhood memories? The understanding that this mother inadvertently may have been a victim herself, reacting unconsciously out of subconscious habits, can possibly transform her pain and grudge into compassion and forgiveness.

Pain and grudges cause stress resulting in disease, whereas compassion and forgiveness lead to health and happiness! Education, understanding and awareness are the key to healing the past! Maybe today is a good day to break the chain of past suffering and start healing?

Happy Mothers Day!

 

 

Anzac Day

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Why reblog Jack Easons post about remembering war heroes in a blog that aims to uplift? As an Aussie now, how can I not?

These questions took me a while to get my head around as I do not feel glad the Anzacs had to give their lives following orders for a mission that in hind sight was a bad idea. I do not want to go down that depressing road.

Jack is right however about the importance of remembering this day. There are people nowadays that say: “How long do we have to remember them for?” What significance does something that happened 100 years ago have now, in a completely different world?

Or is it?

Yes, technology has altered our lives dramatically, but did we learn from that experience? Has the world overcome violence and war?

We do have the power to change that as soon as we focus our thoughts NOT on the cruelties that happened, but what they happened for.

The Anzacs signed up so we could all live in harmony in a free country. They achieved a part of that, now it is up to us to keep working and focusing on harmony so history will not repeat again!

Lest we forget…

Pollyesther

Have We Had Help?

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

We Will Remember Them.

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If you grew up in New Zealand and spent the vast majority of your life there as I did before returning to England, the land of my birth, Anzac Day is the most important day in the calendar for any Kiwi or Aussie…

 

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Rest in peace my brothers…

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Flower Passion

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In some of my previous posts I have hinted at my love of nature. Spending time outdoors is good for everyone, especially on a nice sunny day in Autumn. I am very grateful for the generous size garden around my home and love tending to it. So in this post I’d like to share my passion with you.

The chore of weeding has become a form of yoga as I am tiptoeing through the garden beds, stretching to reach that sprig of grass that self seeded from the neighbors yard through a crack in the fence. I have learned to be mindful of my body and move in beneficial ways that leave me feeling great afterwards.

There is not a lot of thinking involved in weeding and with the improved blood flow to the brain from bending over, inspiring ideas come in freely. I regularly walk outside, away from the computer, to have a play with the dog, appreciate the garden and find weeds and inspiration.

Hosta in flower

Hosta in flower

It is interesting to see how my garden has grown with me, from as easy as possible to maintain when I was working full time, with lots of natives to attract local birds and minimize watering, to the current state.

My vegie patch

My vegie patch

Nowadays, working part time and having more days off, I have added a vegetable patch to save money and have a supply of fresh organic vegetables to pick from any time at my leisure. I also planted some small yellow Marigolds for a little color and pest control along the edge.

Fuchsia flowers

Fuchsia flowers

I have added a lot more flowering plants everywhere else as well, bringing the ones in pots into the house as a temporary indoor plant or craft cut ones into flower arrangements to brighten up the room.

I have started collecting a variety of Fuchsias, which have always been high up on my favorite list ever since loving the Fuchsia flower fairy in a childhood picture book the most.

Pansy baskets brightening up a shady area

Pansy baskets brightening up a shady area

The more flowers I see in my garden, the more I come to appreciate my own piece of nature surrounded by high fences for privacy. This is my own patch of paradise. There is something special about a flowering plant that highlights the impermanent nature of everything. Looking closely at a flower makes you appreciate it while it is in its full glory, before it will be gone in a day or so…

Cacti flowers only last one day

Cacti flowers only last one day

One of my smaller Cacti in flower

One of my smaller Cacti in flower

One of natures little miracles

One of natures little miracles

Another collection I have kind of stumbled on is my Cacti range. Even though they are a little nasty to handle without gloves, the flowers are an absolute miracle of nature and just looking at them takes me on a fantasy journey. The centers of these flowers are like looking into a different universe. Imagine if you were seeing them from a bee’s perspective…

Every Summer I look forward to one or more of them displaying their magic, which does not happen every year and only for one day!  One of the varieties I have yet to see flower, decided to time it right on a day we were not home, so I will be keeping a close eye on that one for the next few years to get a photograph of it too.

Succulent in flower

Succulent in flower

Yes, looking around my garden, seeing the beauty of nature, it is rather easy to be Glad about life while appreciating the flowers I have allowed to blossom in my little patch of Paradise!

What is your favorite flower?

Happy Easter, …it is what it is…

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Easter in Australia is always a big long weekend when a lot of people take advantage of the last pleasant days before Winter sets in and go out for a camping trip. For us it usually is a trip to the house in the mountains to do the annual wood chop for Winter and make sure the wood shed is ready to last us at least till the weather is allowing another opportunity to do some replenishing again towards late Winter or early Spring. Because the house is heated by fires, we need a lot and ideally need more storage to be able to cut enough to get us through to the end of the ski season.

 

I have been working a lot in the last couple of months and was really looking forward to getting away and relaxing in nature, besides helping out loading the timber. I got all the shopping done in a mad rush after work on Thursday and had started packing some of the things we take. The plan was to get as much ready as I could, so we could “throw” it all into the car in the morning and get away early and beat the traffic into the country. Once I am in the car I start to unwind and relax.

 

In the morning, on Good Friday, hubby looked at the weather forecast and it was not looking good at all with a big front moving in and a lot of rain forecast throughout the weekend. What was the point of driving all the way up there, to just sit inside looking at rain and fog, waste fuel and not being able to cut dry wood? We decided to stay home for the first time in years, awaiting a “better weather weekend” to go and do the wood chop at a later date.

 

I felt kind of relieved for not having to keep rushing and packing, but mostly very disappointed, because I needed a break and some “me” time, which is always so easy when up there in the middle of nature in the mountains. I love taking Gibbo, the dog, for a long walk without the need for a lead, due to lack of traffic. I love the clean crisp mountain air in my lungs and watching the spectacular view of the sunrises and sunsets from the house. I was looking forward to getting the old, nostalgic Dutch box of eggs out to decorate my Easter tree, which was left up there last year when I decided to take it. Some of the decorations were blown out, real egg shells, painted by myself over 30 years ago! It had not seen any light since we arrived in Australia for the fact that we are always elsewhere for Easter. I was exited about the prospect of catching up with our local mountain friends too…It is what it is…

 

Good Friday was a gorgeous day back home and I took advantage of the breezy sunny day and got a few big loads (mainly sheets and towels) of washing done and dry before the anticipated weather change, to start the long weekend fresh and clean. In between I did some tidying up in the garden and really enjoyed being outside on this lovely Autumn day.

I was looking forward to the rain, which inspires me to work on my writing, which had been a bit on the backburner since work had picked up in unexpected ways and my computer had given me grief. It still needs a few more adjustments before it is back to how I like it. I really started enjoying a few days off at home, not having to do anything but what gives me pleasure! I filled a bowl with caramel filled chocolate eggs and put it on the bar for picking whenever I felt like it. I might even make another apple pie with the last of the apples I picked from my tree a few weeks back.

 

The next morning I woke to another clear blue sky and sunshine! What had happened to the rain that was forecast and put our plans on hold?

Because we did not go away I was able to take advantage of the special offer of a leaf blower/vac in a local store that was only on sale for the weekend of Easter and scored some well priced hanging baskets at the same time, (I needed to replace some broken ones). I tried out the new garden vac on this beautiful day and found myself very pleased with the result. Finally I found a way to get the leaves of the crushed rock areas without losing all the pebbles!

It was warm enough, so Gibbo got a wash in the backyard too, which is so much easier than doing it in the bathtub, which is the only humane option during colder weather. Unfortunately his black hair always covers the white tiled bathroom and calls for a complete bathroom clean up afterwards.

Surely the rain should get here soon, so at the end of the day I also set up a new gazebo that I had purchased before Christmas, which would keep our garden setting dry for a change and I had somewhere to sit or retreat to when playing with the dog in the backyard in the rain. It gave me a great feeling to accomplish all this and have a “holiday” at home.

 

Easter Sunday came and finally we had a few millimeters of overnight rain. Not really enough to water the garden, but the greyish day encouraged me to do a bit more on my computer again.

Despite the fact that we could have done the wood chop and enjoy our weekend away in hindsight, I am Glad we stayed at home and I got all the things done that I had put off for so long and more. “It is what it is” , I am really pleased now with how my Easter is turning out. How is your Easter so far? Wishing you a happy one!

Gratitude and Appreciation

Sun set from my kitchen window
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My computer picked up a bug a couple of weeks ago. I am sure that a lot of you know the feelings of panic and despair that immediately surface as the realization sets in that you have to wipe the whole setup and go back to factory “scratch” mode. I tried to stay calm, but after several days without access to my computer during the fixing process and a lot of other things going on that needed immediate attention on line, I lost my patience and cool. I had a bad day, because I let my circumstances and thoughts about them dictate my mood.

I picked myself up quite a few times that day, only to fall back into the same mood again and again. I asked myself what I could be grateful for, found something small, to be overshadowed by my reality soon after. I had not felt this bad for a long time and decided that I was not going down that road again and letting it get a hold of me completely. In the end I dusted off my old lap top and handled the most urgent issues from a pink screen with double letters and went to have a coffee with a friend up the street. Now I appreciated the fact that I had hung on to my old laptop instead of donating it to a family member, as hubby had suggested after I bought the new one, and having a friend living so close that is often home for a chat. It is always good to listen to someone else’s problems for a bit to get your mind off your own. It makes you realize that problems are part of life and everyone has them. In hindsight they are always less dramatic, even beneficial!

This event had me annoying dear hubby to the max too, because he is my only “go to” person when it comes to computer issues. Unfortunately he is no “nerd” and knows only a little more than me, so what I am asking him to do for me is very stressful for him as well. The first attempt that took several days, failed to produce a useful result (our upset state of mind surely would not have helped), so he did it again when we both had calmed down a bit more. (mentally sending him some gratitude and appreciation once more right now)

This time worked a lot better and now, after a busy week away with extra work and little time besides breakfast to look at my screen, I can finally say that I am happily typing away again with everything I need in place. It has been a time consuming process with many hours waiting for things to download and looking through my 400 page notepad for hints to all my passwords to regain access to all my accounts. My old computer has started to cooperate a bit better in the last few days too, with the screen in a more forward position propped up on an angle that allows me to see it clearly. I have decided to leave it on the table a bit longer to watch the odd movie or lecture from my relaxation spot in the house and am grateful I pulled it out again.

Seeing that I had not had too many happy things to write about lately, let alone could write much, it was time to put a story to my blog page about an earlier event that I had wanted to write about for quite some time now.

It was not long after Winter that one of the neighbors over the back fence decided after a bad storm that it was safer to create a bonsai out of their old gum tree near their fence. Gum trees are very hardy and when cut, the stump will grow shoots again. I had always loved how that majestic tree attracted the lorikeets when in flower and I looked at them a lot from my kitchen window. I could not help but be at least a bit disappointed with their decision.

A couple of weeks later we had a beautiful sun set and all of a sudden it dawned on me that I had missed all the previous ones because the tree had blocked the view! I could now finally find appreciation for the missing tree that gave us back our sun sets!

I feel like my happy self again once more and can’t help but wonder what sort of “beautiful sun set” will be revealed shortly after the “bad” week I have just experienced. I guess what I am saying is to keep trying to look for things to appreciate and eventually all problems big or small will get solved revealing the good that comes out of it all again and again. What are your experiences with this?

Valentines Day, considering a different way

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“Did you get a bunch of red roses this morning?” was a question posed to me by a friend on the phone early today. Not that long ago this would have made me feel neglected, unloved and insecure for the reason that my significant loved one never buys me flowers or remembers special days.

He does not need to, for I have fresh flowers in my home everyday from my own garden. They are free to pick and fresher than purchased from any shop. I arrange them in a floating bowl if the stems are too short for a vase, or use a single flower with some green leaves in a piece of ikebana if the pickings are slim. You don’t need a lot to have an effective display. I am currently looking at three orchids resting on a large green bed of foliage in a floating bowl, which gives my home a tranquil spa like feel. My loved one shows me his love and gratitude in different subtle ways every day!

This brings me to the subject of Valentines Day. Many years ago, on Valentines Day, I bought my husband a coffee mug with a cute picture and loving message on it. He bought me a new TV! We both laughed at the ludicrous contrast and resolved not to fall for the commercial and social pressure any more. I have a history of working in a retail sector for twenty years, where Valentines Day was a major selling day. This fact put me off the way it is commonly celebrated, by buying gifts. We are led to believe by the media that we are not showing our love unless we spend money on gifts! It seems the more expensive, the more we show our love. I feel that by doing this a big factor is overlooked. That factor is gratitude for the other person to be part of our lives. Do we want to show gratitude one day a year (with an expensive gift) or every day of the year (with subtle messages)? What is more powerful for our relationship?

Do you want to be a victim of the “commercial brainwashing machine” or could you come up with your own unique way to make the loved one in your life feel special today (or any day of the year) and show your love and gratitude for them without spending any money? What special talent do you have to draw on? Are you a poet or writer? You could write a special message. Are you a painter? You could paint a picture with a special message. Are you a good cook? Cook a special favorite dish today. The options are endless and individual. The fact that these don’t cost extra money makes it possible to do it more often and not just on Valentines Day.

I feel a personalized message of love and gratitude is much more powerful than going to a shop and buying an exuberantly expensive bunch of flowers or gift. I am glad and grateful for the love in my life, especially because it is shown in a very different personal way, that is far more subtle and frequent than just one day a year.

How do you show your loved ones they are appreciated and special to you? Please share in the comments below:

The importance of relationships

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Someone I knew passed away last week. I know this happens and is always a sad event as you realize you will never see that person again in this lifetime. This one was special though. This person was far too young to die, but managed to squeeze as much as possible out of the short time left.

He ticked off his bucket list in spectacular manner and made sure that all friends knew they were appreciated and loved by him. He always had a smile for everyone, always trying to uplift and share happiness, despite his illness and suffering. The result was that everyone had huge respect and love for him. His life was celebrated with a massive party, featuring live music and spontaneous jam sessions, that felt more like a family reunion than a wake, and brought friends from all over together. There was a sad undercurrent, especially for his closest relatives and partner, but the emotions I felt most, were love and determination to let his legacy live on. To live life as he did, not dwelling on sadness, but living in “radness”, because you never know when your time comes. It made me think about the value of all relationships in our lives and the effect we have on the people we interact with, whether they are relatives or acquaintances.

I contemplated the importance of uplifting rather than complaining and making sure that when our time comes to an end, we leave a legacy that will inspire and be beneficial for all left behind. This is what makes us immortal, for we live on in our legacy! This is the “butterfly effect” in action.

This morning I found a friends post on Face Book as follows:

“I’m going to be watching to see who cares about friendship. Thank you for being a part of my life! So, if you read this, leave ONE WORD as to how we met. . DON’T SHARE!! . Once you respond, if it’s the right answer, I will inbox you this post to post on your wall. Only one word!”

I normally ignore those posts that you see all the time calling for attention that only serves to satisfy the ego’s neediness, but after the above event I could not resist responding to show my friend that I did indeed read his posts and cared. The result was that I had to repost it of course. I felt a little annoyed at this, bothering my friends on Face Book, and explained to my friend in PM that I’d only do it for him and not because I thought it was a good reflection of how many people read my posts, knowing that most will ignore to comment for a variety of reasons, that do not include lack of love.

How wrong I was! I am unsure if the fact that I added a small vague sentence at the start referring to the earlier event that made me realize the importance of relationships had anything to do with it, or whatever the reasons were, but I was blown away with the amount of friends that responded! The words they left brought back so many happy memories! Not only that, but I ended up talking/typing with an old friend on the other side of the world, who I had not spoken to for decades, in PM for half an hour, before we decided to continue talking on Skype for another hour and a half!

This made my day and I can’t help but think that this all resulted from the legacy of a friend who knew what is really important in life, which is not what you do for a living, the car you drive or the clothes you wear! It is how you appreciate and interact with the people you encounter in your life!

I am so Glad to have the friends and family I have! Thank you all for sharing the love and experiences together, because that is what will be remembered and valued most in the end!

With gratitude, Pollyesther

P.S. Feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comments.

The Car Park

Car Park
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A while back my husband had to go and have a test done at the hospital. I needed to come along to drive him home. When we arrived the car park was full, so I dropped him off at the entrance and proceeded to drive around looking for a suitable parking spot. I found one in a private car park and left it there for a bit while checking up on my husband to see how much longer he was going to be.

The staff recommended to go shopping for a couple of hours, but with a very low bank balance at that time, this did not appeal to me at all. I decided to go and move the car to a better parking spot instead and wait in the car. The car park was still full, so I drove to a nearby side street and parked in front of a house and relaxed in the car for a bit, killing time, waiting and hoping a park near the hospital would become available before I had to pick up my husband.

When I drove back about an hour later, I spotted the perfect spacious parking spot in a no pay zone with the shade of a large tree! I quickly drove around the corner and up to the vacant spot, only to find someone else had just beat me to it and parked in the middle of it, preventing my car to fit next to his. A little annoyed at his selfish behavior I thought to myself, if only he moved it a couple of inches I could fit too…..and proceeded driving to the end of the narrow dead end lane to turn around and keep looking for a better spot.

As I came back around, I saw the car moving back and forth and the guy waving at me! He somehow realized his mistake and made room for me! He even got out of his car and guided me into the now narrow spot safely! I made sure I showed him my gratitude for being such a gentleman and smiled internally for the “lucky coincidence”. Please share your experiences in the comments below.

How I had fun hanging out the washing today

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Last night I felt a bit down for about half an hour due to late nights, early mornings and hard work in between and thought to myself better to practice what I “preach” today. I was hanging out the washing in a bit of an improved mood already, because I had a better night sleep and it simply was a gorgeous day to be out there with the sun shining happily upon our back yard and a stiff sea breeze keeping things very pleasant.

That does not include hanging out the washing on a hoist! I was struggling to put the pegs in the right spot while hanging onto the lines for dear life in an attempt to keep it still for long enough to accomplish that. The large towels I put up from the load before were catching a lot of wind and made the hoist turn like a chairoplane! That was it! I had enough!

I gave up my resistance and decided to go with the flow and use my Glad Game. I stopped for a brief moment and looked around the garden, said thanks for the beautiful day, looked in appreciation at all the beautiful flowers beaming smiles at me and proposed a little game in my mind. If thoughts really create reality, prove this to me again and stop the wind for long enough to peg down my next item in a perfect spot for it.

Next I grabbed a piece of clothing and stepped back from the laundry basket. I looked up and to my amazement found a perfect empty spot of line and sufficient time to do the pegging in comfort! I giggled to myself saying: ” yea right, that was just a coincidence!” I tried again, same thing, grab the first item on top, step back, looked up and found another moment like the one before! Now I was giggling even louder! Ok, This is a really fun game! It kept going till the basket was empty!

Not only did I get my task done in no time, I also had a ball doing it! The feeling of lightheartedness stayed with me until now! I am normally not a fan of chores, but they need to be taken care of and you may as well have fun, go with the flow and see what happens playing the Glad Game while you are at it! Where can you use the Glad Game? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Enjoying the journey

Sunrise in the mountains
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I am looking at the glistening gums outside my window. After a warm, humid sunny day yesterday, I woke early to see a beautiful sunrise surrounded by some patches of blue sky and puffs of streaky clouds. Not long after, the thick and heavy looking cloud band came over the hill and it started pouring. This is not surprising, after all it is Spring in Australia at the moment. It is the long weekend of the Melbourne Cup, when most Australians either fully focus on horse racing, or their weekend away with an eye on the score in country pubs near their camp sites in the bush on a river somewhere.

I decided to drive up to the house in the mountains, where I also spend 3 Months in Winter. Every year we hold our annual Cup Weekend trout fishing competition there among friends. Apart from being an informal fishing competition, it is also an annual social get together and a lot of fun catching up with people you don’t see every day, but have known for years.

Even though it is a fair drive of at least five and a half hours, excluding the necessary fuel and toilet stops, I have come to enjoy it. The first few times I drove it on my own, it felt like a tedious waste of time and I could not wait to arrive and get it over with. Slowly over time my attitude towards this regular journey changed. At first I started to love the last two hour leg of the trip on the narrow winding road, that followed an old river through the mountains for a long way. Occasionally you had to slow down for a small settlement, but it was generally extremely quiet and in the middle of nowhere surrounded by seemingly untouched nature. On some of my late night trips up, I saw more wombats (they look like oversized nocturnal guinea pigs on steroids) than cars on the road. It made me feel like I had already arrived at my destination and was just taking in the views and nature surrounding me.

One day, a while back now, I was stuck behind an over size truck with an unusual load that had me curious in an earlier part of the journey. I think it was some kind of large water tank, but looked a bit like a rocket ship, that was in front for a long way and slowed the trip right down. There was no way around it, so to my relief it finally turned off the main road I was following and allowed everyone to get on with their journeys. That day was a busy day and it took a bit of time to get through the next town, due to congestion. By the time the following town came in sight, you guessed it, the truck was in front of me again! The slow moving truck must have somehow bypassed the busy town where ever it had gone! This made me look up the maps of the area and find my next favorite leg of the journey, so much quieter and more scenic as well! Driving on these secondary roads made me realize I liked driving through nature and on quiet roads and as a result I slowly started finding more and more country roads that did not hold up at all, to break up the boring bits, naturally, without consciously looking for them.

Yesterday was another one of those days! Police had shut off the main road (a half hour long mostly straight and boring drive) between two towns and was directing traffic onto a country side road. I was a little unsure at the start as it veered off a long way in a different direction to where I thought it should go, to get to the next town, and felt slightly nervous this could possibly add a lot of time to the already long trip. There was no need, as it took about the same time and was amazingly scenic and quiet. I loved looking over the rolling hills and long distance views with the sun starting to get low in the sky. There were a few farms and sheep dotted around and the landscape varied so much more than the usual drive! I’ll be back there again!

This event reinforced to me again that if we relax, enjoy the moment, focus more on what we enjoy and trust things to fall into place to our liking, this is exactly what eventually happens. Not just on actual road trips, but also in every other part of our lives. Every road block is at first met with resistance, only to turn into an opportunity to find a better way in the end! I am so glad the road block forced me to find this gem of a D-tour yesterday, for it made my journey so much more enjoyable! Please share your experiences in the comments below.