I love travelling with my family. Each journey is a new experience, no two trips are the same, even if we are going to a familiar destination and have taken that route time and time before.
What I find fascinating is how we prepare for our journey or holidays and the impact that has on events.
Take today for example a 3 hour road trip down the to the coast for a weekend away….
My son wakes really early and is super excited, revved and ready to go. His bags have been packed for 48 hours, not bad for a 6 year old, and he is ready to go despite the fact he isn’t showered, dressed or fed. Mister organised and mister impatient all rolled into one.
My partner is the more slow and steady type and would be the tortoise to my son’s hare (as the old fable by Aesop goes). Everything is methodical, done in sequence and cannot be rushed, despite the best efforts of Mr 6 year old asking repeatedly at regular 5 minute intervals ‘can we go yet, can we go yet’?
And all at once there is tension, as if there is getting ready to go tug of war occurring between the two of them.
And me? Well unfortunately for them, I am the Mrs last minute, hang on I’ll be ready in a second just gotta check my emails, reboot my computer, install this download, have a cup of tea, get dressed, have some breakfast pack my bag and I’ll be with you as soon as I can type.
Now that might seem disorganised but I do have it timed to perfection so there is no rushing and I’m always ready on time. I’ve got the art of travelling light down to a tee. But the fact that I appear so unprepared drives my partner and my boy up the wall. So it’s nag, nag, nag all the way, which I can tell you now is pretty annoying and very distracting.
I guess the lesson there for me is if I don’t want to be hassled by the come on we are going soon police is for me to be ready in advance and be the one waiting for them!
Ironically despite our differing approaches we all are ready and in the car on time. Sometimes we bicker or stress and there is tension in the getting ready and packing phase and sometimes it all falls into place with quite an alarming degree of harmony and synchronisity.
I notice the tension occurs when we allow the demands of others to unsettle us and the harmony when we remain true to what works best for us and give each other the respect and space to get on with it.
From our road trips and travels I realise that what causes the tension is the expectation we have that others should be doing things the same way as we do and in the same time frame. Yet when we accept that we all have our own way, style, rhythm, routine and our own individual process of getting things done it allows others the space and freedom to be who they are and prepare for their journey in their way and in their time.
If we applied this to life and to all the people we interacted with I’m sure there would be a lot less stress, conflict and disagreements and much more understanding and appreciation for each other. There is no right or wrong way, there is only your way, the way that works for you and you have every right to have that honoured and respected even if to others it may seem slightly odd or unusual.