We are two weeks or so into a trip that we haven´t technically reached the starting point for, and some weird truths about my personality are now in the spotlight that I really need to work on. Right now it’s my “queue”. I may have talked about my queue before, it’s like a list in my head where every item needs to be ticked off, finished (in as much as I am able to finish anything, which is almost always 95% completion). There is no system to the queue, no order of priority. Things that get filed there don´t go to the back of the queue to wait their turn, they typically head straight to the front, ensuring that almost nothing gets done at all and I get increasingly frustrated throughout a day. Because this trip has taken so long to even begin (We were meant to begin the EuroVelo 6 bike route nearly a month ago), one nagging item in my queue is “get to Nantes”. And as that goal continues to slip, I realize my patience for every other thing is razor-thin, to the point where this otherwise lovely bike trip (since arriving in France, at least) is being ruined by my crap attitude. But of course, the point of any trip isn´t to get from point A to point B. Nantes is just point A, and the Black Sea in Romania is just point B. Everything in between where we are (Bordeaux) and where we are headed (Romania and beyond, forever and ever until death) is the point. I mean, right? Why should that be a hard thing to just know on a daily basis? I didn´t fully realize how bad I had gotten until I caught Stella administering kisses to Cole while he laid helpless, his hands committed to holding the iPad he was playing. I was lucky enough to get my phone out for it.
And so, we have been in Bordeaux longer than expected. The campground we are staying at has a bouncy house and a kiddy pool and I just realized that Cole will fully teach himself to swim if I just make a point of giving him time to teach himself. The kids are super happy after some slog days where it took us longer to get to our daily destinations than we had hoped. Stella has gone from being desperately afraid of the ducks that inhabit the pond by our tent to happily feeding them inches from her.
Christine and I have rested our muscles, and are ready to head out from Nantes this week, but thankfully we stuck around long enough for me to understand that these slow days are why the trip is worth taking to begin with.