A few days ago, I moved from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Denver, Colorado. By anyone's standards, that's a pretty big endeavor. But on this move, all sorts of weird, frustrating, and even silly things happened:

  1. My surrogate parents, who had offered to pull a trailer for me, had a medical emergency the night before we were supposed to leave. Thankfully, they're both fine now, but I had to totally rearrange how I was getting myself and my stuff to Denver and who was coming with me. So the driving-and-moving team became not just my youngest brother ("Z") and me but also our parents.

  2. While arranging stuff in the moving truck, Dad hurt his shoulder. We were glad we had two days of driving for him to rest up before we had to do any more heavy lifting. 

  3. On one of our first stops for gas in West Virginia, "Z" and I had to go surprisingly far off the highway to find a gas station. When we tried to get back on the interstate, we drove through some ridiculously winding backroads for several minutes before we figured out that something wasn't right. Somehow our GPS had gotten the "avoid highways" option selected on it!

  4. On move-in day, "Z" and I accidentally squashed my bad foot (long story) under a mattress and temporarily put me out of commission.

  5. Mom got stuck in the bathroom of my new place thanks to a weird lock that we hadn't known existed on the bathroom door. I bent a crochet hook beyond repair trying to pick the lock before we figured out how to get her out.

  6. While Mom and I were putting together a shelving unit, one of the poles popped out of place and whacked me in the eye. I was lucky to not break my glasses or get a black eye.

I suppose a few mishaps are par for the course during any move, but gee whiz! 

Here's the thing, though. When we try to do anythingwhether it's moving, going to the grocery store, or just writing the next paragraph of a work-in-progresswe often assume that setbacks mean we're doing something wrong. Sometimes that's true, such as in the GPS incident.

But sometimes setbacks mean we're doing something right. It's as if some force (God, the universe, fate, or whatever you believe in) is testing our resolve. Will we follow through on the worthy goals we've set for ourselves? Or will we give up in the face of opposition? 

If you're reading this, I'm guessing you're a follow-through kind of person. So am I. Here's to overcoming all the setbacks in 2020!

Write on,


(Modified from an email originally sent to subscribers on January 6, 2020)