I go into San Francisco once a week. The energy invigorates me and smothers me. I come home energized and exhausted. So to manage, I develop patterns. Simple patterns about which bus I get on, to go to the City and which stop I get off at. Each was a simple decision of efficiency at the time of the first occurrence. But with repetition has developed from a single occurrence into a solidified pattern. A habit.
A few weeks ago, when I got to the city, my road was closed. They are building a new subway terminal and the road had been blocked off to negotiate a massive crane carrying beams the weight of 3 school buses. For some well thought out reason, they didn’t want anyone without a hard hat in the area. Gratefully, they were also safe, so the construction workers didn’t have to worry about how their hard hats would measure up against a 3 school bus weighted beam.
I was forced to detour. It was a simple enough detour, I ended up walking down the opposite side of the street from which I normally do. A path only 30 feet away from my normal path. But what a dramatically different walk I had then I normally do. I broke out of autopilot. I disrupted my cadence of speed that I use to try to get all the walk signs timed right. And I looked up and around me. I was on a new path and it required my attention to ensure I didn’t end up going the wrong way. There was a garden with a train caboose in it. There was a massive courtyard with no people and open space to walk diagonally through. I felt like I was in a different part of the city. But I was simply 30 feet away from my normal path, on the same street, I walked down every week. This was new.
It didn’t change my world. I haven’t become enlighted as a result. I didn’t find myself avoiding being hit by a car or avoid being struck by lightning because of the universe conspiring to save me. It was more simple than that, more subtle. It was fresh. It revived an old experience into something new. It put a smile on my face. I liked that.
Try to wander to the other side of the street today.