Out in the chill for my daily hike. Park in the State Park, bundle up, slip on my boots and take off.  Down the Fall Creek Trail--familiar, default trail.  Suddenly, a yellow ribbon blocking the way--trail closed for repairs.  Veer off and pick up something Creek Trail (can't remember the name--so familiar I don't even know it's name).  Press on with my familiar journey.

But, what's that?  I look up and there along the edge of the valley are people walking.  Another trail!! (When did they carve that one?) I went on toward the end of the trail I was on determined to take the new trail back. There is was, mostly hidden with brown leaves.  I was excited to find a new way through the old forest.  I was alert to the mud hidden under the leaves.  The virgin trail was uneven, not pressed down by thousands of feet.

It took me longer on the new trail to return to my car.  I had to pay more attention to where I was going. I had to look further ahead to see where the trail emerged from under the burden of leaves.

And a cool thing happened.  I saw the old forest from a new angle.  I had a different perspective.  The creek (still can't remember it's name) looked different from this vantage point.  I saw a white-tail deer gliding over dead logs into the deeper forest. 

I thought, "This is what it is like trying to live out New Year's Resolutions.  We are in the same forest of our lives, our old trails and patterns are familiar and we can often navigate them with speed.  But, when we take off in a new direction, when we try something that we haven't tried before, it takes longer.  We don't make as good a time."

But, when we slow down and our senses are on tip-toe, we get a new perspective.  We see things in a new light.  We open ourselves to appreciate the fullness of the life we are living.

It takes a little more patience to travel a new trail.  So, be kind to yourself as you navigate your way in the old forest of activities.  Don't beat yourself up when you have to give up something else.  You may slip and fall, but don't just lay there and give up the journey.  New trails can be risky, but they can open our eyes to the old world in a new way.