Long-time readers of this blog know of my affection for New York City. My husband I and I are intentional about visiting multiple times each year and have already begun to instill an enthusiasm for the city and all its wonders in our daughter. I am constantly on the lookout for any possible excuse to add another Big Apple excursion to the calendar, so when two dear friends invited me to join them for the recent holiday weekend, I eagerly accepted.
Over the years, I have established a carefully cultivated collection of favored daytime diversions, evening excursions, and decadent dining destination. With every visit, I find myself energized by the rhythm of "my" New York experience and all it entails.
My recent travel companions share a similar affection for New York (qnd one is a local!), which yields their own way of experiencing the city. As the day of departure approached, I was curious how the weekend would unfold. Would we agree on where to go and when? Would there be moments of tension or awkward negotiations? Would we do everything as a group or explore independently? The uncertainty of it all generated anxiety for my inner introvert and creature of habit: maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all...
As the train pulled away from Union Station, I recalled a phrase often repeated by my pastor: "A change of place plus a change of pace equals a change of perspective." Of course I thought. These are my good friends, whose company I enjoy, and whose interests I share. What a great opportunity to see a place I love through new eyes!
Thanks to their initiative, I attended my first U.S. Open tennis match. As a benefit of their prior experiences, I discovered a fun dessert spot. Because of their research, I attended services at a church I had long been curious to visit. And over the course of the weekend, I was able to return the favor by sharing some of my New York favorites.
It is so easy to become set in our ways and assume we have a monopoly on the "best" way to do things. But when we let go of our desire for control we often discover new treasures. Next time you are inclined to insist on doing something a certain way, can you instead step aside and let someone else take the lead? You just might discover a new appreciation for an old favorite...