Summer is typically the time when road repairs are at their peak, and this summer was no exception. It was particularly evident to me because the main thoroughfare in our neighborhood was being worked on. First the road was torn up so that some water pipes could be replaced. This took the better part of the summer. Now, the road is being resurfaced, a project that is still weeks away from being completed. I've been fairly patient with the whole deal. Some of the flag people have become so familiar with my routine and I with them. We recognize one another and wave and smile. I feel like I should add them to my Christmas card list. It wasn't too much of an inconvenience during the summer, when life tends to slow down a bit. But, since school is back in session, and I'm on a schedule, I'm on a mission and all of this roadwork is slowing me down. It seems to take for-EVER to get to the grocery store, the bank, the school, the church. I want to yell, "Be done already!" It occurs to me that much of my life is this way. It's not always easy to get from point A to point B without some kind of distraction or being redirected. Just getting from the sofa up to bed each night reminds me of the Family Circle cartoon with the little boy who is called home. He takes a circuitous route all around the back yard, climbing trees, crawling through toys, over play equipment. My route takes me to the kitchen where there are always a few more dishes to be put away, to let the dog out who by the way needs water in her dish, to pick up some stray items which leads me in yet another direction. If that isn't bad enough, it's the daily mental detours that literally drive me nuts. Trying to focus on one project, only to be drawn away to answer the phone, answer a question, settle a spat. Focusing on work when the laundry is calling, needing to clean the house when a friend needs a sympathetic ear. The priorities are simple enough, but the fact is that things need to get done, even the mundane tasks. There just aren't enough hours in the day. I keep thinking that if I can just have a clear path, get all the road blocks out of my way, then life will function smoothly and I can stay the course. If I can figure out what that course should be. At 50, aren't I supposed to know this?
In the meantime, I'll proceed as usual, slowing down for the detours, smiling (often through clenched teeth) at those who redirect me and know that it is just a matter of time before the repairs will be completed. And the crew will move on to the next street, ready to begin all over again.