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Road Trips, Station Wagons and Life Lessons.

Last week I took a road trip with my parents.  It had been YEARS since I had done a road trip with them and not surprisingly brought back a lot of memories.  One of the more predominant was our yearly trip to watch a professional baseball games–just 2 hours from our home.  As the youngest girl with 2 older brothers I was use to being odd man out–but on these trips we would gather in family friends who had one son who was also older then me.  Today, I lovingly refer to him as my 3rd brother but at the time he was just one more ‘boy to taunt and joke with me.

On the way down to the game we would ride in the station wagon–the beauty of these cars was they had 3 rows of seating with the last row facing to the back.  My memory of this event was that the 3 boys would sit in the much coveted last row and laugh, play games, post signs out the window and basically just have a totally amazing time.  I on the other hand, was stuck in the middle seat with ‘the moms’.  Half way through the trip–by some stroke of luck, or my incessant whining (I honestly can’t remember) the moms agreed to move to the back seat and the boys moved to the middle seat.   I can clearly remember crawling into the 3rd row with eager anticipation for the games, signs and general merriment that would ensue.  Much to my disappointment I quickly realized, the merriment had nothing to do with the seat!!!  It didn’t take long before the boys were laughing, and sign making in the middle seat and I again was stuck listening to ‘the moms’ talk about mom stuff!!   As I shared this memory with my parents–they both had absolutely no recollection of it–both just remembered having a great time and riding down and chatting with their friends.

But for me this memory has stuck.  That one car ride provided me with a lot of life lessons.

We each view life from our own lens, perception is powerful.  Each person in that car saw that experience very differently.  As we go through life interacting with bosses, co-workers, spouses and friends it is important to recognize they aren’t seeing the situation in the same way.

Fun can be had anywhere—it just depends with whom you surround yourself. With the right people you can make anything fun.  With the wrong people, you can make anything boring. Sometimes you just have to make your own fun. When you are surrounded by the ‘wrong people’ you might need to take the reigns yourself and make your own fun.

The answer doesn’t always involve major change.  Sometimes little changes can make a big difference.  Had I brought my own toys or made up my own games rather then dwelling on how much fun THEY were having I would have had a much better time.  There were many ways to handle this situation that would have worked out better for me.

It isn’t always about THEM.  Honestly I was just jealous of the fun they were having, even if I got to ride in the back seat with the boys–it still wouldn’t have been fun for me.  Many of their jokes went over my head, I didn’t think the same activities were enjoyable and we are just very different kids.  In life sometimes you just have to learn that they aren’t always doing it better.  Sometimes you have to figure out your own way.

What childhood memories might provide life lessons if you look at them today?

Thanks to Hugo90 childhood reminder via his pic.

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