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“Be clear about your goal but be flexible about the process of achieving it.” ~Brian Tracy

Canada opens its border to non-essential travel at 12:01 am, Aug 9th. That’s today, for you readers, but it is Sunday as I type these words.

Both my sons, with children and dogs, plan to be at the 1000 Island bridge customs crossing bright and early, proof of vaccinations in hand.

The machinations involved—paperwork, CanArrive web data entry, negative tests, etc.—are tiresome, but appropriate and (imho) necessary: helps to weed out casual tourists from committed travellers.

And they are all giddy with anticipation of returning to the family cottage which they haven’t seen in over two years; this was texted to me moments ago, at 7:24am:

Though I have no picture to prove it, I suspect I appear as excited as my son: yesterday, I buried a treasure chest full of jewels and coins and magic rocks.

(Okay, the jewels are plastic, and the rocks may not be exactly magical, but the coins are real.)

My grandson is currently enamored with all things pirate-related and during the pandemic he and I would FaceTime and discuss the pirate map I “discovered” a few months back.

He wants to hunt for that buried treasure the minute he steps onto the island. His father and I are trying to manage those expectations.

Yet, here’s the thing: there is no guarantee they will be allowed to cross the border.

There’s no guarantee Peyton will excavate that treasure box.

Nothing is guaranteed these days.

Because, as they say, sh*t happens.

~          ~          ~          ~          ~

I consider myself a fairly strong and agile woman, but flexible? Not so much.

Having always been an eldest child, type A planner—I use to live by lists—I tended to create expectations, expectations which often produced disappointments and resentments.

I don’t know if it’s the extended solitude in which I have steeped myself, accentuated by this pandemic, or the clearing out and reducing of all forms of clutter from my life. Maybe it’s partly age, or my choice to dig a little deeper inside myself during the past 18 months, but I have unearthed a delightful treasure: flexibility—a release of expectations, especially of the future, and a sort of surrender to the uncertainty of it, the unknown, the unplanned for.

It seems to brew peace on the inside. Who knew?

According to doctors, “flexibility without strength can lead to joint instability, whereas strength without flexibility produces an inadequate range of motion and can lead to tears and problems with posture.”

Hmm, perhaps an apt metaphor for the current problems in our global fabric, if you substitute the word “peace” for posture.

Moving forward, with so many unknowns looming on the horizon, I suspect that flexibility and a relinquishment of expectations is a smarter strategy on an emotional level than lifting weights and running is on a physical one.

I think there may be quite a few folks out there right now who have forsaken flexibility for strength, or strength for flexibility, in order to simply survive.

But, to become a committed traveller in life—not a casual tourist—it takes both.

Because not all treasure chests are unearthed when they are planned to be.

“Flexibility is the key to stability.” ~John Wooden


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