52. It’s All About The Journey

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!  

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51. Tell The Story Of What You Want, Not What You Have

When someone asks you how you are,  what do you say?  When someone asks how your day was,  what is your answer?  Do you immediately begin the story of what has gone  wrong in your life lately?  Or, tell the story of what body part is hurting the most that day?  Or, do you talk about the good things that have happened!?  Do you tell them about the exciting things you are doing in your life?  Tell the story of what is going good in your life,  not what is going wrong.  Tell the story of what you want,  which may not necessarily be what you have.   Besides,  most people who ask,  are just making conversation,  and they may not want to spend twenty minutes standing with their cart of groceries in the aisle at Wal-Mart, while you fill them in on every detail of your life,  just because they asked you a question.

You don’t have to lie,  or make up a story.  Just change the way you talk about your life.  The more you focus and talk about the good stuff,  the more the good stuff happens!  Ignore the bad stuff as much as possible.  If you are having a tough time with very little money, don’t talk about how you have more bills than money. Talk about how you are expecting to hit the lottery any day now!  Or,  maybe how you are planning on saving up some money to pay off those bills.  Talk about how you are doing fine,  you will have enough money for everything you need and want, even if it’s not actually true yet.  Think in terms of positive, not negative.  The Universe will eventually catch up with your positive thoughts and you will find your money problems disappearing.  Try it!  What could it hurt?  You might have heard about the actor Jim Carey,  and how he wrote himself a check in 1987, for ten million dollars.  He dated it for Thanksgiving of 1995.  He believed that he would somehow make that much money,  even though he was not a famous actor at that time.  He made a notation on the check that it was for acting services rendered.  He finally made that amount when he was cast in the movie Dumb and Dumber,  in 1994.

If you continue to talk about the horrible job you hate,  and think about it,  the Universe only hears what you don’t want.  When you talk, and think about your medical problems, daily, the Universe hears about how bad you feel.  I don’t really mean literally,  there are invisible ears everywhere listening to everyone.  But, what you think and talk about, you set into motion,  and those things are manifested into reality in your life.  So,  you should talk about what you want to feel like.  Not necessarily what you do feel like.  Talk about the job you want to have,  and what you want in your life.  Thoughts turn into things.  Although,  it’s easier said than done.  I get that. It takes practice.  It takes becoming aware of what thoughts are floating through your mind.

When you think about wanting more money,  are you thinking about how you don’t have enough money?  Or,  are you thinking about how good it will feel when you have the money?  What ever you are focusing on, is what you will end up with.  Pay attention to your thoughts.  Try to notice when you are thinking thoughts about what you don’t want in your life,  and quit!  Try to think in the positive (how you will feel when you have what it is you want), and not the negative (not what you don’t have).

Tell the story of what you want.  People may disagree,  but,  I believe in the theory that focusing and talking about what you don’t want,  is just the way to receive more of what you don’t want.  There has been a war on drugs for as long as I can remember.  It seems to me that the more we have talked about how horrible drugs are and how we need to somehow stop it,  the worse it gets.  First it was just a war on marijuana,  it seemed.  We had the whole, Just Say No, campaign.  Now we have an opioid epidemic.  And, mobile meth labs in Wal-Mart restrooms.  Certainly no one would say that things,  relating to the drug problem,  have gotten better.  They have quite obviously gotten much worse, if you can believe the news reports.  It seems that focusing on the problem with drugs has only led to more of a problem with drugs.  And,  as it turns out, marijuana may just do more good than harm.   It can be used to help people with pain and many health problems.  Who knew?  But, I digress.

Don’t follow the advice in the video above.  I love Heart,  but don’t tell it like it is!  Tell it like you want it to be!  Then expect those stories to become your reality.  Start out small.  If you run into me and ask me how I am doing,  you will probably hear, “okay“, or,  “fine“.  I can’t quite imagine,  “great”  yet,  but I’m getting there!  So, give positive thinking and talking a try.   Let your imagination go and watch what happens!