When my family leaves the same place, like a restaurant or church and we're on our way to the same destination (like my momma or aunties house)...We don't always follow or trail each other. Go your own way. My boys and I do this too. Leaving the mall, dinner or wherever...sometimes I take the street, while they jump on the interstate. Rarely, do we pull up at the same time. And in both cases, no matter the destination or route taken, someone will get there first. When you pull up and realize it wasn't you, then you wait for: I won. I beat you. Some days, I say...but I wasn't even competing. I just decided to go my way...a different way from you. And some days I say: Ain't no prize, so what? (Lol) But every day, I know that by taking the street, while longer, it provides an opportunity to see more along the way or some days it's the safer and best route, because of traffic. 

My uncle is so confident, unbothered and unconcerned about who beats him. Doesn't matter if we are all going to his house, or traveling out of town. We all are usually at the house, sitting down and he comes in way after everyone...even though we would have all left the first place at the same time. We all him ask individually, as if his story will change or as if we don't already know what happened. His answer: I made a stop or two. You know...the store...the junk yard...the park to see the birds...the fruit stand to buy peaches/pecans on the side of the road...whatever...And inevitably, those stops along the way, gets him attention from all of us in the house, gets him invited to do other things: to do work for someone or have experiences at events that were only afforded to him, because of the connections with people, who he might have missed, or never known or seen had he not "gone the long way"...Sometimes I think he goes all out of the way, so he won't have anyone following him. Then there's the vehicle he chooses to ride in. I promise if you asked him: What took you so long? No matter what happens between point A and point B, even as good as the stories all are...he will not fail to add this: Chile, I'm just happy I arrived. 

So on this Monday morning, for some of you, I'm only supposed to encourage you to keep driving, taking whatever route, that works best for the car that you have to drive. Are you the owner? Is it borrowed or being rented? (Maybe that's a diff post)...Nor will I touch how much it costs to put gas in, depending on what you're driving and how far you want to go. I will say this: everybody's car ain't highway able. If this is you, I pray taking the street for now, for you will be ok. Don't discount that route, for there will be some, who will win and be awarded for what they have done, but once their car is in park, that's as far as it will go. Others  won't win, because they missed the part about what kind of car is required to enter the race. Others will win, and sometimes there isn't a prize given for being first, nor will there be anything given or awarded to you for what you think you should've won. Then there's the person who it doesn't matter if they take the street or highway...because on either path they will move slower than everyone else, taking their time, doing more, seeing more, stopping for more along the way...For these people, like my uncle...it wouldn't matter if there was a prize or award being given to them. Even if there was the biggest award ever, given for being the most, the best, the first, or the last...my uncle wouldn't care. He, and folks like him define and drive according to their own rules (in or out of traffic) and put their value on what they gain, learn, see, experience or connect with along the way...whatever that is...(What you value is relative.) Even if it's just the freedom to go, stop and do whatever they want along the way...Honestly, every time we depart, I know he'll be last...and no matter who sees that position as a loss, they have defined winning for them, and it comes down to one word, once the car stops: ARRIVING.