[SB 202] The value of detours
Hi, I’m Matt. Welcome to Steady Beats. If you like to walk for a better life, and also like Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life,” you might like this newsletter, also.
I tried to ignore it.
That never works, of course.
We were just a four hours and 288 miles into a 1,427 mile journey—the annual family summer pilgrimage from Tampa to Michigan—when the car started to vibrate. Shimmy, really, at first.
But eventually the shimmy downgraded into a shake.
My daughter woke up and asked why the car was shaking so much. No longer able to ignore it, I pulled off I-75, loped into a Speedway station, and performed an inspection to the best of my mechanical knowledge.
(This took about 15 seconds.)
The tires were inflated. Nothing was hanging off the car. There was no obvious reason for the car to shake, which meant I was going to have to pay someone else to figure it out.
And that would be tomorrow, since it was now 9pm.
I’d planned to drive all night, breezing along in the dark through all the normally harrowing daytime traffic backups in Atlanta, Knoxville, Tennessee, and, inexplicably, always some random point in Ohio.
The plan was out the window. Detour time.
We’d have to spend the night somewhere and find a repair shop in the morning. My efficient, nighttime, stealthy plan to get to Michigan while the rest of the world slept was out the window.
This is the point in the story where I share a heartwarming tale about a great family bonding adventure. A surprisingly delicious meal at a mom-and-pop restaurant, or a chance encounter with a stranger that refreshed my faith in humanity.
Yeah, none of that happened.
We stayed in a cruddy motel in Cordale, Georgia. I sulked a little bit. In the morning I paid $280 to replace a separated tire and we were back on the road, a day late and hundreds of dollars lighter.
But: this is where the reframe comes in.
The tire didn’t blow on the highway, despite the the fact the tire tech said it was the worst bulge he’d ever seen. We slept (a little) safely, and made it up to see family just fine.
Detours annoy me. The unplanned is frustrating and challenging for those of us who lean heavy on routine.
Which is why I begrudgingly admit I need detours from time to time. Even ones involving cruddy motels.
I continue—with great resistance—to churn out three threads per week on Twitter as part of the Write of Passage Runway challenge I’m taking. Here are a couple:
And this one:
We talked (sulked?) about the journey. But what about the destination?
Well, summertime in Northern Michigan remains undefeated.
Thank you for reading.
Let’s keep the Steady Beats going. 💚
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