Last year my 12-year old son and I set out on what we have called “The unexpected journey.” You may recall that I chose the journey because the available programs that I researched seemed too canned—no disrespect intended. The journey began simple enough filled with the usual excitement of heading into the unknown. Then life happened! It threw me for a loop and unset our journey in a major way. In fact in my last post I mentioned that it would likely be the last one for a while. This morning I was reflecting on our journey when I realized that life itself is defined by the unexpected! Think about it. How often has life turned out the way you planned? To be sure, there are the occasional perfect days, vacations or events in life, but they come and they go in the midst of life. So now it is time for the back-story! We named our journey after the then recently released Hobbit movie. The purpose of this journey has been to allow my son to experience several rites of passage into adulthood. It was determined that he would go through three unique rites, the mental, the spiritual and the physical. The plan was simple, follow the path, prepare for the rites and have fun along the way. Things were moving along quite well—when the “unexpected” happened! I had relocated my family from the comfort of our life in Florida to a North Carolina adventure. One year into that adventure, my son and I set out on our journey. One year and one month into the adventure, I lost my job. The “unexpected” began! Our unexpected journey continued along without a hitch. I went to work finding a job. I was able to use the experience to instruct my son the value of a strong work ethic. One year and two months into the adventure, I filed for unemployment. Oh my gosh what a headache that was—and for next to nothing in pay! Our journey remained consistent. We created our man-cave and even started a regular weight training routine. One year and four months into the adventure—and somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 applications later—an insurance company hired me. This is where our unexpected journey began to be challenged.