Blaze your own trail
I’m not the biggest fan of winter, so it’s with real love that I’ve glimpsed the tip-toeing of Spring peeking pale greens through what was an all-white palette just weeks ago.
Although normally I’d say spring trumps winter every time, there’s one emotion winter has all locked up: that unparalleled pleasure of walking out into a fresh snowfall, nothing but unmarred potential stretching in all directions.
All the landscape’s history erased. No clutter of dead leaves or withered grass or the grubby, gritty remnants of the last snowfall.
A clean, white, fresh start.
Walking our dogs alongside the train tracks like usual on one of those crisp, ice-kissed mornings, I was entertained by their meandering, wandery ways. Considering we take roughly the same route pretty much every single day, you’d think they would stick to the usual path out of habit.
They didn’t, though. Both dogs zig-zagged all over the place, blazing new trails as they went. And I did too, reveling in each new meandering, wandery footprint of my own.
In a world where we are reminded full-time to stay on sidewalks, form neat rows, and color inside the lines, freedom takes the form of obliteration offered by a sparkling snowbank.
We’re not trained to blaze our own trails, though, so going on a walkabout instead of a guided tour feels a little naughty, like we could get caught at any time and told to rejoin the group.
Except– guys, we are grownups now. We’re the ones who make the rules.
We can explore all we want. We can grab heavy snow boots and stomp out our own paths through deep drifts. Whether that means working for yourself instead of pursuing a traditional career, committing to a relationship that not everyone understands, or figuring out how to blend a family– we write our own definitions, and our journeys branch out from there.
One of the biggest challenges in figuring out how to blend your family is the utter lack of any roadmap. We feel bound to try and follow the same road rules that apply to traditional families, because that’s the path we know.
But the same rules don’t apply, so we can’t walk that path. We are not traditional. And being a non-traditional family is a good thing.
Like walking on the crunchy, directionless deliciousness of new snow, there’s something delectable about letting go of “should” and striking out for terra incognita on your own. Stop looking for a roadmap showing how to blend your family. Instead, make your own way. Find your own path. Blaze the trail that’s best for you.
What new trail are you blazing right now?
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Listen, I put together a new website just for high-conflict blended families: Blended Family Frappé. Come on over and join the hundreds of other stepparents who are reclaiming their sanity one Sunday newsletter at a time.