Roadmaps are funny old things.
When I was younger I could get myself to anywhere using a standard AA map, even one of those ten year out-of-date ones that doesn’t have the new road that you suddenly find yourself driving on. I have lovingly well-thumbed pages that tell of camping escapes into the Lake District and Wales with a toilet roll shoved on the handbrake, just in case. And long, boiled-sweet-fuelled, road trips to wherever my pals happened to be recovering from their hangovers at University.
Then came SatNav and I was hooked. Deliberately going to ever more obscure places for a pub dinner with my bestie, exclaiming like children every time we made it there safely without going down a 40% incline (?decline?) into a fragrant cow field.
Again though I still often find myself sailing through a blue sky on the screen as I navigate the top bit of the M6 which wasn’t built when I last uploaded the latest map data.
Roadmaps are good.
They show us how to get to the place that we want, or need, to get to.
They show us milestones along the way, Northamptonshire for example.
Always a personal favourite.
No idea why but it nestles there reassuringly halfway between here and somewhere. (or somewhere and home).
But a roadmap is only as good as the vehicle you are travelling in to get to your destination.
If I want to get to Edinburgh but have only a bicycle and one spare inner tube it’s going to take me a while, and I may not get there at all.
Some people will have an Aston Martin DB11 and will barely notice the journey. (they’re probably the ones sipping pina coladas in Dubai dabbing their distraught hankies at their moist, but perfectly made up, eyes).
And the best roadmaps in the world can’t predict the pratt in front of you who over-inflates his tyres and has a blow out on lane one taking out your nearside bumper and half of lanes two and three and adding approximately 12 years to your sojourn on the M25.
And then there are the landslides, the roads closed owing to snow, the diversions, the confusing signage on the by-pass.
And Milton Keynes.
So a roadmap is good.
And we should look forward to getting our next roadmap on Monday.
But we should always keep an eye on our travel pack – have we got enough petrol, snacks, snow shovels, juice in our mobile phones, helpful notes for an alternative route (avoiding Milton Keynes).
Just in case.
And…..before we get excited about going wherever it is we’re going and whenever that is…….. take a look around you right now.
Just take a moment to look at where you are.
Now that we know there is a roadmap out of here on its way.
Just have a little peep at the good bits so you don’t forget them.
The relationships, the resilience, the love, the communication, the culture, the celebrating, the determination, the sheer flipping, heart-aching, selfless courage.
Let’s take those good things with us.
On the roadmap out of lockdown – what will you take with you?