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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happiness is in the Journey, Not the Destination

Ferris Bueller was a wise man.

You know the quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and take a look around once in a while, you might miss it.” That iconic saying holds the ultimate truth inside.

Life moves insanely fast. I sent out an inquiry the other day for a 1 year portrait session, and I could have sworn that I just saw the mother the other day, 9 months pregnant and ready to give birth. That was a whole year ago. I feel like I was in the middle of planning my wedding not all that long ago. Matt and I are coming up on our fourth wedding anniversary. I sometimes feel like I am still an awkward girl in junior high, trying to navigate the world of makeup, cliques and boys. That was over a decade ago.

It's easy to say, “I am going to pay more attention and soak up life more.” It is so much easier said than done. I feel like I'm always trying to cherish the moments and yet it's like a losing battle. Time keeps slipping through my fingertips as I frantically try to grab hold and soak it up. This is not going to stop.

Time moves fast. That's the truth. It always has and always will. It's not a matter of if it will move fast, but instead, if I will make a daily conscious decision to look around and take it all in. To smell the roses. To cherish the here and now.

Doing this isn't really in my nature. I'm extremely Type A and I am a bit of a control freak. I'm a perfectionist and I love to know what is next – to have a plan. The military life kind of threw a wrench in this and made me learn to adapt and to loosen my grip on 'the plan' because there is no real planning when you're in the military. You are living on the military's timeline and you have to go with their flow. It was a hard lesson to learn but I adapted. Still though, I have always, always, always been one of those people that is looking toward the next thing. Not necessarily because I didn't like where I was at, but it just always seemed like 'life' was around the next corner. I couldn't wait to finish college so I could move to Hawaii and be with Matt. We couldn't wait for his time with the Marines to be done so we could move back home and he could get started in school. Now, we are weeks away from his graduation and he's battling senioritis, mixed with job hunting. We are looking forward to what is next.

It's being in that constant state of looking forward and wanting to get to the next thing that causes me to miss the Here. To not notice what is Now.

There is a quote that drives this straight into my soul. It goes something like this:

For a long time, it seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that those obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” - Souza

Wow. How incredibly profound and true is that? I feel like that quote is directed right at me. Like those words are screaming at me, ripping into my soul and shaking me – Don't let life slip by!

It might not be the case for others, but for me – this is human nature. To look ahead to the next thing, to when the current obstacle is passed, it's natural for me. That means that in order for me to treasure every moment and to appreciate the journey and not just the destination, I have to make a daily or even hourly conscious decision to do that. I need to constantly remind myself – let tomorrow take care of itself. Enjoy now. Be happy this minute, this hour. Don't worry about what's ahead, just soak in now.

It will always be a battle for me to do this. It will always require conscious decisions to focus on the present, and to keep refocusing when my mind wants to worry about the future. But I am committed. I want to cherish the now. I want to focus on the journey, not consume myself with the destination. I want to enjoy the ride.


1 comment:

  1. I think you're well on your way to seeing the beauty that is right before your eyes. One of my mantras is a saying I found on a t-shirt several years ago, "Life is a journey, not a guided tour." Life is a journey. Life is about the journey, and when you learn to celebrate each step, you are truly living.
    Happy Thanksgiving!


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