The other night when I woke up for my usual nocturnal visit to the bathroom, I opened my eyes with an unusual dream fresh in my memory. It was odd because my mind wasn’t filled with images or sounds or sensations from the dream I had been having, it was only occupied by words, and just two of them at that –
Joy and Freedom.
Well, that’s interesting…but, what does it mean?
I considered the two words wondering what the significance might be. I certainly appreciate and value both of the words and believe they’re each present in my life on some level, on most days, but I didn’t understand why I would wake up in the middle of the night with Joy and Freedom on my mind.
After a Friday and Saturday spent schlepping my boys, painting my dining room and cleaning house, I decided that I would reward myself on Sunday by taking a drive to visit a friend in Woodstock. I was craving a change of scenery and who doesn’t love an autumnal road trip around the Hudson Valley?
I took the most direct route, down the thruway, hoping to be back in Albany at a specific time to take a virtual yoga class for which I had registered, yet wanting to spend as much time with my friend and her bf, whom I was meeting for the first time.
Our visit was great (bf is adorable!) and after catching up, I departed for home with more than adequate time to get there for the scheduled vinyasa class. I was even going to have 20 minutes available to walk the dog.
But, when I got to the point in the road where I should have turned right, I instead took a left. I don’t know what it was, but I just felt a desire to go off script.
My impulsiveness was almost immediately rewarded with views of the best foliage I’ve seen so far this year. In my car, I climbed hills, taking in the orange leaves on the distant mountains and the sky dramatic with clouds. It was breathtaking and the beauty resonated deeply inside me.
Waze repeatedly instructed me to turn around, to make a u-turn. Instead of obeying the shrill sounding voice, I turned the app off and the volume on the radio up. I was enjoying the ride too much to even think about abbreviating it.
After about an hour of soaking in the scenery, I found myself finally heading north. While there remained the slim chance that I might make it home for the start of my class, I realized I was hungry. I was still thinking about the pulled pork sandwich I had eaten last weekend at Harvest Smokehouse in Valatie, and it was sort of on the way…I steered my car east and crossed the river.
En route, I cancelled my reservation for yoga relishing the flexibility that my Sunday “schedule” provided. It was my day off and I had the freedom to alter my plans, my route, and my diet, if that was what I wanted to do. There was absolutely no reason not to, actually.
My dinner was just as delicious this weekend as it had been the previous. The pork was exactly how I like it, smoky and tender, and the peach chipotle sauce I selected to accompany it, is something I’m going to need more of in my life.
It’s pretty incredible how a simple car ride can prompt joy and the realization of freedom.
Looks like it’s time to start following more of my dreams.
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