A Road Trip Gone Wrong (Part 1): the Series of Events that Had Us Stuck in Our Car for Over 30 Hours

It seems appropriate to post this today, as it is currently snowing outside in Abilene, TX. I posted the picture below and said “I can confirm it is much more pleasant to enjoy the snow from inside your own home than on the road or in a hotel.”

MY BACKYARD – 1/10/2021

This post will be published in two parts: (1) the story – a series of unfortunate events that led to our 30-hour road trip, and (2) my tips and takeaways from the experience.


For the holidays, my family and I drove from Texas to Arizona to visit my parents and had a great time. We drove because we really did not feel good about being on an airplane with lots of other people (you know, COVID). The drive is long, about 15 hours or so, but it’s doable in one day. One very long day.

As our trip came to an end, we pulled out of my parent’s driveway in Phoenix around 8am Central time, never expecting that over 30 hours later, we still wouldn’t be back home.

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2020: Did You Survive or Thrive? (*spoiler – either answer is totally valid)

I’m laughing as I look back at my post from January 4, 2020. I wrote, “I’m really optimistic about 2020 – I think big things are going to happen for me. I have no proof of this, just a feeling.”

Well big things certainly did happen for all of us!

Despite 2020 being a year that none of us could have predicted, I don’t look back on it with disdain. 2020 was different for sure, and not what I expected, but it still brought me a lot of good. (P.S. It’s okay if this is not how you feel! It’s okay if you never want to hear the word 2020 again!)

My focus word for 2020 was “thrive.” I just wanted to feel good about myself, and to make more time for things like exercising, eating healthy and spiritual growth. Amazingly, by the end of the year I find myself doing exactly those things – I’ve been jogging again and even lifting some weights at home (I joke with Dean that he better watch out since I’m getting so muscle-y). Around mid-August I started being more purposeful about the food I was eating (less sugar, more veggies). And with some encouragement from friends (or perhaps more accurately, accountability) I have made more time to pray and meditate and do feel like I’ve grown spiritually this year.

I know not everyone is able to express positive feelings about 2020, and that’s okay. I’ve seen many iterations of the following, but as the image states, it’s okay if all you did this year was survive.

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Election Grief Is Real

It’s 5:30 am (for me at least) the day after the election. Try as I might, I did end up checking the polls a few times yesterday, despite telling myself I wouldn’t. I didn’t feel like there was a reason to get excited or riled up based on results that weren’t final yet.

I was successful in avoiding Facebook, however, and plan to avoid it for at least the rest of the week. Maybe that week should turn into the next four years…

Recently I saw a post that said something to the effect of: no matter who wins the election, half of America will feel like they lost.

That has really stuck with me. Inevitably half of our country will be feeling sad, defeated, and perhaps angry or outraged. That’s 165 million people who may be grieving the results of the election.

And when I say grieving, I really mean it quite literally. I thought about the term “election grief,” and while I’m not sure if it’s a clinical term, it’s a real thing. A quick search of “election grief” led me to results such as “Grief and Loss After the Election” and “Your Post-Election Pain is Real Grief.” They were articles from 2016 and 2018, but are still obviously relevant to 2020.

Psych Central reported that their page “5 Stages of Grief and Loss” got a 210% increase in traffic the day after the 2016 election.

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