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Embracing Detours

barrier with warning symbol across path.

If you’re familiar with the comic The Family Circus, you know that Bil Keane’s young Billy character often took a circuitous route home from school, shown by a dotted line of where he’d been. When my own children did that I would refer to it as “taking the Billy route home.” There are events in our lives that can throw us off course and sometimes we go through trying times as a result. We may have missed goals, lost people, or missed out on opportunities that we continue to mourn.

For some, the detours held danger and sorrow. I took some pretty sharp turns into the weeds, so far that I couldn’t see the path anymore. But I was never lost. I was just taking the Billy Route. I needed to explore and learn.

Reflection on those days is easier from a safe distance, but I’ve done a lot of soul searching and have learned more about being human in the last 12 years than I have in the previous several decades. My teachers have been many, and have included friends, authors, speakers, nature, dreams, and even TV shows. It’s amazing how many ways the Universe can speak to us, if we’re listening.

In the summer of 2012, my husband Kevin and I fell so completely and madly in love that we, at first, didn’t trust it. We didn’t think that kind of happiness was possible. It wasn’t our experience.  We were so astonished at the happiness that we wished it had started sooner. But, as I told Kevin then, if we had met 10 years earlier, and were both single at that time, we wouldn’t have even liked each other, let alone found this love that defies description. We were different people then. Instead of wishing we had found each other sooner, we cherish every day we have together and never take it for granted.

Now I am grateful, even for having taken the scenic route to happiness. Perhaps it makes it that much sweeter.