On the 6th this month, my family and I spent the day driving from Philadelphia back to Chicago. It was a somewhat expected/unexpected trip to Philly. Unfortunate circumstances seem to be the biggest thing pulling us back lately to where my wife and I grew up and where the bulk of each of our families reside. While seeing family, eating our favorite Philly foods, and getting to make unlimited trips to the local Wawa, our hearts are in Chicago, so it was nice getting back.

During our trip, there were a lot of unknowns. We couldn’t plan much and that led to a lot of uncertainty throughout the days. Plus we had to essentially burn two days for travel, as it is cheaper to drive a family of four people than to pay for tickets to fly and then rent a car. Going into the trip, I knew that it would be challenging, at best, to keep my habits going. It is what prompted the post “Did I stutter?” a few days ago. Fortunately, besides the two days spent in a car, I was able to maintain writing 1,000 words of fiction each day, pushing away at my current project at which I am now roughly half-way through on a 75,000-ish word goal (which at this point seemed a near on-target initial estimate). The only problem was all the other habits I’ve been trying to build.

When one isn’t solidly dedicated yet to habits, it is easy to throw them off. I’ve been working since December (and even longer) to get myself disciplined in how I approach my day. While there would always be things that will change when things like travel come into play, such as for family events or work, a well disciplined individual will find the ways to maintain those things that are most important. I am yet sufficiently disciplined.

Being home though means that it is time to resume where I left off. It means pushing forward despite the prior setbacks and to get myself back into the routine I was trying to build, a routine I should be able to keep going no matter where my head is placed at night to sleep.

Setbacks should not derail the eventual goals we aspire to achieve. They are just setbacks, obstacles that can be overcome— no, that should be overcome. We move forward and return to the path we need to be on. That is where I need to be now. It is time to get back on the path and push forward.

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