The Mud of 2020

Day 318-

I was headed over a the Loveland Pass close to home and I couldn’t see. My windshield was covered by muddy crud. 

As I left for my short trip to our Colorado mountains last Sunday I checked to make sure I had what I needed. Gas. Check. Water. Check, A snack. Check. Camera. Absolutely. About an hour into my journey I headed towards the largest pass of my quick trip. The road was a bit sloshy with dirty snow and my window filled with grim as other cars kicked up the grey snow.  I began to wash my window and the suds fizzled to nothing. I was out of windshield fluid. My windshield wipers aren’t at top performance. This just accentuated the problem.

The road was becoming icy in spots and the temperature outside began to freeze the dirt onto my window. I quickly became unable to see. No amount of dry swishing of my wipers could do the trick. I needed a solution, quickly.

This 2020 year has often felt like my muddied windshield on a mountain pass. At times I have felt paralyzed by what seemed to be lack of vision or perspective. I started 2020 ready to conquer the world and make changes for the good of my and my family’s life. I was on the road I need to be on, but, like so many of us, the view became covered by outside circumstances. 

I began to consider my options. I could pull over and trying to wait it out, but without the right tools, I might not get moving again. I could use my water to clear my view, but this might not last long once I got back on the road. I could charge ahead, hoping the window will take care of itself. I knew the road was the right one, but charging ahead could lead to others running into me or me into them. I could throw up my hands and give up, but I don’t think we need to talk about that option. 

As I quickly processed options, I noticed at the bottom of my windshield a small clear spot. I could see where I was going just enough to stay in my lane and see if ice was on the road. I clung to this slice of clarity and pressed forward.

The pass includes a tunnel. I went through it preparing for icy conditions, slow semi trucks and a steep road. I could feel myself tensing up as the opening to the tunnel appeared. To my relief, the sun was out. Through my passenger window I could see the view. It was gorgeous, the highlight of my day. A good rain would have cleared up my problem, but I would have missed the view.

I made it to the gas station safely and filled my windshield washer tank to the brim. I realized this quick interruption of my life represents how 2020 has been for me. Here is what I have learned:

  • I know where I am going, the view just got muddy from exterior issues.
  • I could decide to be too anxious to go on, but I would have never made it to my destination.
  • The mud (life’s situations) wasn’t the problem. My inability to deal with the mud was my problem. I could have been upset with how other people kicked up the mud, but I choose to focus on keeping myself pulled together. I kept everyone around me safer that way.
  • It’s important to look around to enjoy the view. I would have missed the best part of the drive if I had not taken my eyes off the difficulty momentarily. It reminded me where I was going and how much I desired to be where I was going.
  • I have to go one step at a time. Sure, I slowed down to be safe, but I still got to my destination.

As I take time to enjoy the view, 2020 has been one of the most transformative years of my life. I have pushed myself to find small clearings in my window. I have tackled anxiety and put habits into practice to help diminish it. I have enjoyed where I am going as a person despite the mud on my window. There is plenty of mud still, but I know it will not last forever. This too shall pass and we will get to clean the window soon.

May the rest of your 2020 bring perspective and peace.


Published by Stephanie Trowbridge

Follower of Jesus. Artist. Wife. Mother.

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