Detour Ahead (Day #61)

I’m not gonna finish on time I’m not gonna finish on time

It started around Day #31, when I’d been stalled on Chapter Four for seventeen days. I was behind, so far behind, and I was afraid I wouldn’t catch up.

I tried to ignore the voice.  It was my voice, after all.  The voice of doubt, of almost-panic, of fear.  Because really, what did I know?  It wasn’t impossible that I wouldn’t finish.  It was just becoming increasingly unlikely.  And what good would doubt and almost-panic and fear do?  Did I become more productive once the I-can’t-do-this mantra kicked in?  Not in the least.

So I trudged on.  Keep writing.  Tried not to think about the fact that my clever little Game Plan was like Lil Mil’s sleep schedule.  A joke. A great idea in theory.  No basis in reality.

Around Day #46, the voice got quiet for a few days.  I was making good progress and had realized that the early chapters of my book would always be the hardest to write because that’s where I deal with the “rules” (PARALLEL is the story of a girl whose life starts changing when a parallel version of her begins rewriting her past.  It strikes me that perhaps I should’ve picked an easier story for this project of mine).  Now that I was past Chapter Five, I was feeling better about my prospects of finishing on time (never mind the fact that I was only 1/3 through my fifteen chapter outline).

And then, Day #51 arrived.  The day that turned into a week.  As I read those stories – your stories – I heard another voice.  A different one.

There’s a detour ahead.

I hear from this voice sometimes.  Less than I would like, but that’s only because I rarely slow down to listen.

There’s a detour ahead.

As is always the case with this particular voice, this Voice with a capital V, the words came with a certainty of their truth.

There is a detour ahead.

I feel it coming.  Right around the bend.  This, quite frankly, is more than a little disconcerting.  Expecting the unexpected is like waiting for the monster at a haunted house.  You know he’s there, waiting until the moment when you’ll least expect him.  Waiting to catch you off guard.

And he usually does.

So, here I am, still trudging along, still trying to finish this book when I said I would, still doing my best to embrace this detour.  And yet, I have a feeling my plans are about to be thwarted.  That something is about to come up.  That things are about to change.  That something will happen, and life will be different.  Maybe not dramatically, but perceptibly.

I’ve been carrying this notion around for the last seven days, toying with it, letting its truth sink in.  Trying to accept the possibility of change without overthinking it.  Trying to expect the unexpected without micromanaging its arrival.

By yesterday, Day #57, I’d succeeded.  In fact, I’d thought about this potential new detour so little that I’d nearly forgotten to expect it at all.  Husband and I were on our way to lunch.  We parked at an open meter right across the street from the restaurant.  I got out, then opened the backseat door to retrieve Lil Mil.  As I was stepping off the curb to get closer to her, I glanced down.  The picture above is what I saw.

Detour ahead.

Written on a random curve.  No road work nearby.  No detours in sight.

There’s that Voice again.

There’s a detour ahead.

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(Do you feel like there’s a detour ahead in your life?  Is ‘expecting the unexpected’ an oxymoron?  How do you prepare for potential detours?  When was the last time you heard the Voice with a capital V? )

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