The other day I was on vacation driving down the road with my family.
And it was beautiful!
The afternoon sunlight was shining brightly for the first time that day. The sun was right on the horizon, right at golden hour. There were dark clouds in the east, and the mountainous Vermont countryside beckoned to be photographed!
Problem was, we didn’t have time to stop. The GPS said we would be arriving at our friend’s house at the latest time possible for supper.
Which left us with two options….
We could stop and take advantage of the great photo op, and then be late for dinner.
Or we could not stop and miss the great photo op, but be on time for dinner.
Neither way seemed ideal to me.
Stop and get a great photo (potentially), but then it would mean hurrying everything up and dealing with all the problems that come from rushing things (ie. stress).
Or, not stop and arrive on time (potentially), but then it would mean passing up a great photo op (it’s not every day I’m in Vermont at golden hour!) and dealing with feelings of, like, “I wonder what great pictures I passed up!” (ie. stress).
Oh, what to do!
I find myself in this situation fairly often.
And so there I was, driving through the beautiful golden countryside, having a little think on stress again.
And you know what I concluded this time?
Stress (at least the kind I tend to feel in these situations) seemed to me to be the result of a clouded understanding of priorities.
What was first priority to me that day? To arrive on time for dinner or to take advantage of awesome light and location? They couldn’t both be first. I needed to make it clear in my head. And to talk it through with my travel companions was very helpful!
In that situation, to me the answer was pretty obvious. Of course, there are situations where there would be enough time to stop for a quick click, or arriving a couple minutes late wouldn’t be considered rude or unusual. But this wasn’t one of those situations.
There were two things I wanted to do and there was only time to do one of them.
Which was first priority? If I can’t do both, which matters most?
These are good questions to ponder. In light of the long run. In light of eternity.
And so, because people, relationships, safety and “doing the right thing” were higher priority to me than getting a pretty picture, we continued our drive through the beautiful golden countryside.
And I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed that stress-less drive!