Off the Beaten Path

PUBLISHED ON: 03.28.2023

Our lives are defined by opportunity, even the ones we miss.”
~The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I am a firm believer in opportunity, and I believe opportunities present themselves every day to us.  We may or may not be aware when an opportunity knocks, or what would have happened, if we said “yes” instead of “no”, or the possibilities that present themselves when we have the courage to step outside our comfort zone and do something different. I cannot imagine the countless opportunities that have gone wasted in a lifetime.

We were recently presented with an opportunity to say “Yes” or “No” on a weekend road trip to the Art show in Mount Dora. We stayed in the very small historic town of Eustis, Florida previously known as the “Orange Capitol of the World.” A mere pinpoint on the Florida map but steeped rich in Florida history.

Standing outside a home décor shop we were disappointed to find the shop closed, it was 4:05 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. “What store closes at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, I bemoaned.” The owners standing nearby chatting with other store staff overheard me, walked over explained briefly, and invited us across the street to the local wine bar to join them for a glass of wine. They were complete strangers, we had nothing vested, except for the wine (laugh). We said “Yes.” The next two evenings during our stay we joined the local business owners for wine, and the cadre of local characters who appeared at different points in the evening. We relished in their local stories and the antics of their small town.

Our lives were enhanced during the two days. Whatever stereotypes we had imagined were put to rest. The generosity of their spirit and their embrace of the everyday was contagious. There were the eccentric local characters who amused us with their conversations but reminded us with their presence that we take our selves far too seriously.

Opportunities present themselves in the most mundane routine of our lives, they may not be life changing, but collectively these opportunities will tell the story of our lives.

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