Ruts are an Enticing Trap
Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone
Take a Deep Breath and Venture Outside Your Comfort Zone
It seems that the older one grows the more at risk that person is for digging a deeper rut to crawl into to feel comfy and secure. I am not saying that all people are like this. What I am trying to say is, I guess ruts are comfortable and safe and many people are too comfortable staying put in a routine and place.
My family used to travel with the kids every year to destinations that offered excitement and fun. We mostly traveled to Florida because we had family living there, and we found a wealth of activities and fun things to do and places to visit.
We could live a lifetime in Florida and not see all we want to see. We loved taking the children to Canada to camp and enjoyed the Niagara Falls, another vacation hot spot for us as a family. We hold onto these memories tightly as we have gotten older and for the most part sit in our self-made ruts and reminisce about how much fun and enjoyment a vacation offered us in the past years.
Being Complacent About Life is Not Living Life to the Fullest
Then Why Do We Dig Ruts for Ourselves?
- Right off hand, I can conceive of a few causes why we tend to be more content to remain where we establish ourselves. The economic system has a heap to do with having adequate travel funds to enjoy a nice get-a-way.
- Years ago, traveling overseas and even the United States did not bring about anxiety and safety concerns as it does today. The increased risk of terror in other countries and throughout the United States gives the traveler some food for thought. When one is traveling, they must be ever vigilant of terror attacks. We must have eyes in the back of our head. We can never concentrate on any single thing while traveling. We must be aware of our surroundings and what is going on about us at all times. When we are in the public, we must be vigilant about the people around us and what they are doing and how they are acting. We must report any suspicious activities or deeds by others to the proper agencies.
- As I traveled to Chicago this past weekend with my sister, we were waiting to be called to get into line at the gate, the agent announced, "Train travelers always be on the lookout for suspicious people and activities. If suspicious activities are seen travelers need to report this at once to the agents for Amtrak." Security on an Amtrak is nothing at all. It is not like the strict security one finds at airports across the globe.
- Amtrak warns travelers against taking packages and boxes from strangers aboard the train and offer other safety measures for passengers. However, it is up to the passengers to assure their own safety.
- The cost of travel has increased over the years and continues to increase with each passing year. What little I am travelling these days, I look for senior discounts (I never imagined I would do this in my wildest dreams). I look for rebates and special rates and package deals.
What is Your Traveling Preferance?
What is Your Travel Preference?
Taking a plane anywhere is costly and I never did enjoy flying, so it does not bother me to never have to fly. When I have to fly, it is because of some catastrophic event and I need to get to my destination quickly. When I fly, it is usually with my husband and by the time, the plane lands my poor hubby has bruises on his upper leg where I have held on so tightly.
When I fly, I get wild and crazy thoughts such as, "Gee, just think if there was no floor in this plane my feet would be dangling several thousand feet from the ground." These thoughts cause me to grab onto my husband a bit tighter.
The last time I flew was over twenty years ago and this is fine with me. I remember as the plane gained altitude, this nice looking pilot came on the speaker and told us to enjoy the sun and the beautiful day. He said it was a great day for flying and we were now cruising at an altitude of 38,000 feet. I thought to myself, "Well, he did not have to add that part." Is not that altitude nearly in outer space?
On this particular flight, the ticket agent offered us first-class business seats. It seems as though the coach seats were overbooked. It did not take us long to decide and proved to be an illuminating experience. Soon after take off the flight attendant handed me a silver platter with hot washcloths. I glanced at my hubby and he glanced quickly back at me raising his eyebrows and smiling he took his warm towel and waited for me. I watched with bated breath and saw my neighbor wash their hands and face so I followed suit.
Huh? Oh yea, ok, I got it now. No we are not stupid people, but we are not used to the perks of flying first class. The flight attendant was preparing the business section for their prime steak dinner, which I was also not used to eating. We are happy with hot dogs and hamburgers. Both my husband and I have served consumers for a total of over 60-years. We are laid back and comfortable waiting on other people. We do not know how to be waited on by others and feel comfortable.
I was happy to be offered a drink, because first class or not I was skittish about flying, especially as our beautiful day turned into a lightning storm from 'Hell' and the plane went into a great deal of turbulence.
All my life while growing up I would get into wrong lines, and was always at the wrong place at the wrong time. I was the person who would luck out on a million dollar win in the lottery because my ticket was forever lost. My beloved dad always said to me, "It is only the family curse", LOL.
If, per chance, I decided to fly anywhere, it would be my good fortune to be strip-searched by airport authorities and hijacked by attackers, not on a plane, but on an Amtrak train. This explains what kind of luck I enjoy.
Amtrak Trips are Great
The first weekend of November 2014 my dearest friend and sister talked me into taking the Amtrak to Chicago to spend the weekend with her daughter and family. I have nothing against Amtrak as I do with flying and I am willing to go by train anywhere. The last time I took the train, my kids were five, seven and nine and I had a cast on my right leg and was walking with crutches.
My husband was going to school that week in Chicago and I was not in a rut at the time, (should have been). I decided that it would be fun for me and the kids to take the Amtrak to Chicago to meet my husband on his last day of school. We planned to meet for lunch and give him company on his drive back to Michigan.
My husband is a worry wart and wanted to know how in the world he was going to find us at the Chicago train station. I just said, "Have no worries ole hubby of mine, the kids and I will meet you out front of the train station like we would at home. If anyone has ever been to Chicago, they know that the Grand Central Station has at least four fronts and a few floors. I really thought that the Chicago train station was similar to the station in our city, just in and out the one door leading to a simple platform.
The only way the kids and I found my husband was to climb up two flights of stairs, (on crutches), stand at the balcony and scan the thousands of changing faces running here and there. That day a red shirt caught my eye and it was my hubby. Believe it when I say he was the only man wearing a red shirt in all those thousands of people. I told the kids to, "Yell, yell and yell louder to get his attention", which they did and he finally heard and saw them. I was not prepared to become forever lost in Chicago with three little tykes and a pair of crutches.
This train ride was fun for everyone and a great adventure for all of us. My husband never lets me forget my no worries attitude. I do not know how I did this or what in the world, I was thinking to go on a trip like this with my leg in a cast, walking on crutches and three small children in tow. Call me crazy, I guess, however, one thing was certain I was not in a rut quite yet.
When I went on my recent trip to Chicago with my sister, she kept telling me, "Follow me, I will break you in, keep quiet and just follow me." I would not have known the system of how Amtrak works because my last trip was too long ago, or what to do, so this makes my rut at home feel even more comfortable.
On this trip I had so many questions about why this or why that and I could not keep my mouth shut, until my sister gave me an eye-piercing glare and did this screw thing with her lips that actually put a scare into the pit of my stomach. She reiterated, "Just wait a minute, will you please!" And, for the last time just keep your mouth shut!"
As I looked around at the many faces fighting for their place in line, (another good reason to be a baby Boomer, seniors get priority, we have earned it), I heard many people say, "I just do not where to go or what to do next," meaning I was not alone in this sea of travelers.
Fun on a Bus Full of Senior Citizens?
My sister, my husband and I are planning an overnight trip soon to some distant land like Texas. My sister told me, "Before I die you will spend a night or two on the Amtrak, I want you to have the experience of tossing and turning in your bunk, it is a whole lot of fun." Why I would want the experience of the train throwing me around while I sleep is still a question I would like to ask, but I am keeping my mouth shut. I am learning to go with the flow and not ask questions anymore. I just keep my mouth shut and follow the leader. I just hope she knows where she is going.
Last year my sister talked my husband and me into signing up for an overnight casino trip in January. The trip is $200.00 per person and each person receives back $170.00, a luxury hotel stay, meals and bonus plays. This is a going to be by bus, which I have never done before and sounds like it will be fun. January is always a little bit of a let down from the Christmas holidays so it will be good to get away. Who knows, maybe we will win big for our next Amtrak trip.
What is the Definition of Fun?
- Riding in a cramped tour bus with a bunch of seniors, really?
- Running to hopefully catch the right Amtrak train with a 30-pound backpack towing two overpacked suitcases
- Fun is taking off your shoes, emptying all pockets and possibly being strip searched at an airport
- Fun is going through an electrical storm and bad turbulence 38,000 feet up in an airplane
- Fun is always looking over your shoulder and being aware of surroundings at all times
- Venturing out of your comfort zone (rut) can open new doors of opportunity, new friends offering lifetime relationships, and bountiful memories. While rut sitting is grossly secure it is not as fun as trying something new at least once a year.
I did enjoy the November weekend get-a-way to Chicago on Amtrak and have moved a few steps out of the rut I have dug for myself. Get-a-ways are an important part of living life to the fullest for the younger adult or senior. You tend to return home with spirits, minds and bodies refreshed.
So many things in our world today are wrong and dangerous. The world is a dangerous place for everyone and when we venture outside our home we must be aware of the many dangers. I cannot begin to list all the wrongs. However, there are still a lot of decent and helpful people who are a joy to rub elbows with and meet in passing when on a vacation or for a simple get-a-way.
More by this Author
This is a follow up for the article "The Crazy Cat Lady". Not only did our family have a family of felines, our family took in a number of strays that have a story to tell. Rest a spell and enjoy.
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