It is amazing how something with the same name can take on so many different guises. A weekend away can be anything from sedentary to active, entertaining to down-right un-interesting, even to those involved. This past weekend was one of those; it had so much packed into it that I’m left feeling very grateful and yet somewhat exhausted! It was a massive mixture of emotions, weather, personalities, scenery, activities and thoughts.
Thursday night arrived and we all bundled into the bus to begin our journey up to visit friends in Nelson the ‘Cider Festival’ with lots of eager anticipation. It wasn’t long however before this was replaced with a lot of nervous anticipation as our bus decided that she no longer really want to use a particular gear. Thankfully himself is a confident and capable driver … I would have been even more of a nervous wreck than I was if I had to drive that night …. and we got to our first destination (2 hours away) with a the simple strategy of leaving that gear alone.
The trip to Nelson was looking less than promising, however after a phone call to the mechanical (thank goodness we have such an awesome one) we were assured that all would be good. With this knowledge we headed on our merry way and making good time decided that we could catch up with another Road-schooling family. Clearly, however, our beloved bus didn’t get the memo about ‘everything being ok’ and as we neared our destination it began to make a strange sound. It wasn’t until we arrived and then saw a puddle of liquid under the front of the bus that we realised a bit of first aid was needed. Luckily our friend had a heap of mechanical experience and knowledge so with her help we (the royal we that is) sorted out what we thought the issue was and proceeded to eat, drink, be merry and have some awesome conversations.
The next morning we woke early, albeit a little tired from a late night and the nervous tension of the previous day, to get into Nelson, ready to see our other friends and begin tasting some cider. Unfortunately it seemed that our bus was also a little tired and refused to start without a ‘jump start’ from our willing friends when the time for departure came. Issue number three duly noted. This didn’t hold us back though and we had yet another wonderful day with friends in the sunshine tasting cider, eating yummy food and watching themselves race around the venue trying out all the children’s activities provided.
With the AA (Automobile Association) card at the ready on our final morning we tried to get the old girl to go ……. without success. So after our second ‘jump-start’ in two days we got on our way, with everything sound tickey boo, and decided to keep the bus running until we made it back to Kaikōura to remove the need for more jumper cables. It was half way home that the bus had obviously had enough and despite letting us now use all the gears she won’t let himself go into high ratio which meant a slow trip of no more than 70km rather than the 90km speed she should have been getting up to.
It was almost painful to listen to her refusing to go into high ratio but clearly not happy to be driving along in low ratio and it made me wonder how often we do this ourselves. How often to we keep going (or let other drive us) when really we need to get something sorted? How often do we refuse to step up the gears and put in a bit more thought or energy to get us out of ‘grunting’ along in life? How often do we create a story about what our capabilities are to justify what we are willing to do or not do?
Over the weekend through conversations and observations I came to see that I am very guilty of this. I keep telling myself that we are losing our sense of community and yet everyday I am part of one … the fact that you are reading this now confirms it … or part of creating a new kind of community. I choose to believe my old story rather than own the new reality I have. I ‘grunt’ through life thinking about the things I can’t do or haven’t got rather than stepping up to the higher gear and checking out all the amazing things I do have. I make up ‘stories’ about having to do things for others when actually it is my choice to be ‘busy’ rather than taking ownership of the actual things I really want to achieve, the things which may challenge me or leave me feeling a little vulnerable.
It was certainly an interesting weekend that has left me deciding to question myself a bit more, move into the ‘higher gear’ a little more often or at least notice those times when I’m hanging around in ‘low ratio’ and grunting along. Anyway those are my musing now that we are safely back in our paddock in Kaikōura and if it makes sense to any part of you then I invite you to begin the exploration into your ‘operating systems’ as I am doing with mine.
Hope this finds you in good working order and smoothly navigating the roads ahead.