Life is all about the journey. Every time. In every situation. Whatever you are doing, the path to get there is always more important than the getting there. What happens on your way is always more fun than the destination. Or, at least it should be.
I love, love, love Christmas! It is by far my favorite holiday. I start the gift buying, usually in the summer. Just one gift here and there, whenever I run across something someone would really like. I start decorating early. Soon after Halloween, I get out a few Christmas decorations. I totally skip Thanksgiving. I mean, we celebrate Thanksgiving, but aside from a family dinner and putting up a fall wreath, I move right onto Christmas. I really enjoy anything and everything about Christmas. The music, the decorations, shopping for gifts, baking special Christmas cookies, etc.. I used to love going to church on Christmas Eve (it’s hard for me to go out in winter now), because I loved the Christmas hymns. I mean, I loved the whole evening, getting to see friends, and hearing the message of Christmas, but I especially loved the music. However, when it’s the middle of December, the closer Christmas actually gets, the more I want to slow it down, because I know it will all be over in one short day. It’s the journey that I enjoy so much, not Christmas Day.
When you watch a movie or a television program, it’s the figuring out of the who-dun-it that you enjoy, not the actual answer to the mystery. When you go on vacation, you should enjoy the entire trip, not just the beach, or the museum, or the restaurant, or the tour you took, but the entire trip.
So, if you’re not enjoying yourself yet, you should probably start really soon. You can’t wait until you retire to start enjoying life, or wait until you get the job you want, or the house you want. If you are sick, you shouldn’t even wait until you are feeling better to enjoy your life. Start right now. Slow down, and notice life. Pay attention. It’s easy to get so caught up in the busyness that is your life that you forget to have any fun. I must admit that I used to be like that. Married, with two young children and working forty hours a week at a job with a round trip commute of 90 minutes every day, I was always on the go, and never slowed down enough to even think about what I was doing, let alone enjoy myself. Well, I’m sure that’s not totally true. But, looking back, life was a bit of a labyrinth that I seemed to go through without a lot of thought or reflection. Until ALS entered into my life, and brought it to a screeching halt. At least at first. A serious illness has a way of bringing life to a stopping point, whether you are ready for it or not. It somehow makes you stop and pay attention to everything a little, or a lot, more. Actually any sort of tragedy, not just an illness, has a way of making you stop whatever you are doing and pay attention to life.
So, try not to wait for a tragedy or illness, stop and pay attention to life before something forces you to. When I was a kid, I lived in a haunted house. That’s not that big of a deal, it just meant that my great-grandfather who used to live there, still either lived there, or visited often. But, what that led to was a lot of talk amongst my parents about things like, did you see that light just go off when we drove into the driveway? And, conversations about odd things that happened. I didn’t really understand any of it, but I came up with my own theory that if I believed in ghosts, one would not find the need to prove their existence by showing up in my room late one night. So, if I didn’t want to see a ghost, all I had to do was believe in them. I didn’t realize at the time, that the older gentleman who I saw standing at the end of my bed all the time, checking in on me, could have been called a ghost, but that’s another story.
Maybe a similar approach to health and avoiding tragedy would work. Don’t wait for bad health or tragedy to strike, don’t wait to be forced to slow down and take a break. Enjoy today. Stop and smell those roses! Really, just enjoy the journey! That is what it’s ALL about. If you aren’t having a good time in your life, you are doing it wrong. No worries though! Just change it up! Change whatever you need to, to enjoy yourself. Start anytime. If you make a change and that doesn’t work out for you, try, try again.
Slip slidin’ away, slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away
These lyrics from a song by Paul Simon remind me to enjoy the journey of life. It’s easy to get caught up in your destination, whatever that may be, health, or the perfect job, or a certain amount of money, whatever your goal. It’s easy to let your quest take over. Before you know it, it has become all about the destination and you have forgotten about the journey. Life is all about the journey. We have to remember that. Don’t wait to live your life after you accomplish the goal. Don’t wait to be happy after you get better. Don’t let life slide away from you, enjoy every slippery minute!