The continuing of the orange cones on the roads is still upon us. And how about those pot holes, the ones that swallow your car up.

Typically, you get some sort of warning about road construction or road closures around here. One day your on your morning commute, coffee in hand, your favorite podcast chirping in your ear, doing your best to love others on the S curve and you glance over to see the budding orange cones, neatly lining the side of the road, that’s your sign. Or, there’s the massive digital billboard that about blinds you as you bank left and sit your car into the turn that scream “ROAD CLOSURE” and gives you an expected date of arrival, much like a shipping date from Amazon. I really do appreciate the warning because it gives me time to figure out a new route to work, I’m lucky in that I have several options to choose from.

On one particular Monday, why wouldn’t it be a Monday, my route was rudely interrupted and without warning. I missed the warning shots of my favorite ramp that transitions me nicely around downtown Grand Rapids. In fact it caught me so off guard that I didn’t believe the orange apron on the green street sign that said “RAMP CLOSED”, me in my disbelief just kept on truckin. Well that lasted for five hot seconds, before I knew it all I saw was red tail lights and me and about 100 of my favorite traveling buddies were rudely re-routed INTO downtown. Needless to say, I got Googled, ended up one way in the wrong direction, make a u-turn as soon as possible, re-routing, re-routing to finally getting back on my journey to work. I arrived safely, I wasn’t late because I well am never late, that’s a whole nother story.

The next morning I pre-planned, hit the commute button on Google maps before I jumped in the car and found the next best path, M6. I have to say this is one of the most peaceful roads I have traveled. It’s very different from my S curve adventures where we all jockey for spots going into the turns. M6 is almost as wonderful as sitting by my fireplace, coffee in hand, dog at my feet, I’ve learned it’s pretty great if you have to make an early morning commute but it takes me longer to get to work and it’s actually more miles getting there. Another thing I have come to appreciate is the way the sun rises, almost as if it’s just for me, while I’m on my commute. When I leave the house, the days first light is happening and within 10 minutes I experience the most serene and peaceful awakening on the day, the sunrise. The colors, the clouds and the rays that awaken are absolutely spectacular, leaving me speechless and in awe every single time.

I smile at the thought of what had to transpire in order for me to be re-routed, almost frustrated, to this particular path to work, to those moments of experiencing the incredible hand painted sunrises. Those frustrating, multiplying by the day orange cones forced me to a new path that quite honestly I was just fine with the old one. It was fast, like my car, it was efficient, like me and it was familiar.

How often do we choose, fast, efficient and familiar? What are we missing out on, is there something better that might take longer? Those annoying orange cones look different to me these days, they offer a new experience, a new path with different direction. What orange cones in your life have left you frustrated maybe annoyed. Maybe there is a better path with new scenery, perhaps the orange budding cones aren’t so bad after all.

~Written by Stacy Udell a friend of Lisa's

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