If you could choose to do anything, what would you do? That’s a question life coaches ask to encourage their clients to explore where their passion really lies. What would make them the most happy/satisfied/fulfilled. It’s not an easy question to answer.
In a limited way, I’m exploring that question this month as I take a week to drive from Iowa to Utah for a writing retreat. Though I’ve often traveled alone on business, I’ve never made such a long driving trip on my own. I found the prospect hugely exciting and also challenging. Every step of the way, I would decide – what, when, where, how. In other words, I have to know myself.
Rather than take the direct route west, I elected to head south for Arkansas – the only state I’d never had occasion to visit. Now that I’m here, I have to say, I don’t know what took me so long. The land is beautiful, the people friendly, there are far more things to see and do than I can accomplish in the two days I’ve allotted.
Yesterday morning I spent wandering the trails of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, enjoying both natural and man-made art, relaxing on stone benches where I could appreciate both a bronze bear and spring temperatures that promised flowers soon, wandering off the paved trails to follow meandering trails with flagstones banked to test the skill of bikers and to make me think I was walking the Yellow Brick Road. When I finally wandered inside the museum, I found a wonderful collection that I spent only an hour or so exploring. Not nearly enough time, but after soaking in so much beauty outdoors, I found myself less interested in what hung inside.
I went back outside to my car to think about this while I ate lunch. As I ate, I unfolded a map over my steering wheel, dug out a variety of flyers from the welcome center, and considered my options. Return to the museum refreshed by lunch? Go back into history and visit the Pea Ridge Civil War National Park? Search out the artist conclave at Eureka Springs? I could do anything. But, what?
At that moment, a man returned to his truck parked next to my car. When he got in, he opened his windows just as I had. It was a beautiful day. He looked over and asked, “Would you happen to be lost?”
“Oh, no,” I answered. “I’m just thinking about where I may go next.”
He laughed. “That’s a high class problem to have!”
“Yes,” I responded. “I guess it is.”