Finding joy in the journey, is the journey.
For our 10 year wedding anniversary, my husband and I went snowmobiling in Upper Michigan (the ‘UP’). I wouldn’t say this was my dream vacation but since my husband loves to snowmobile, and I don’t do it often enough with him, I agreed to this trip. In the end, we had a great time but I found myself thinking often of the journey.
In snowmobiling, it’s not where you’re going that’s important, it’s how you get there. The act of snowmobiling, like skiing, boating, running or any other sport or activity is all about the experience while performing the action. I tend to struggle in these activities and for as long as I can remember that’s always been the case.
I remember downhill skiing as a child thinking about how great the hot tub was going to feel when I was done. When we go boating I’m often thinking about where we’re going to stop for lunch or what we’ll have for dinner at the end of the day. I’m sitting in the present and my thoughts are in the future.
I caught myself doing this while snowmobiling for our anniversary. I would think about where we’re going for lunch or dinner instead of taking in the sights along the path. And here’s the thing…snowmobiling is actually incredibly beautiful! Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t married someone who loves snowmobiling almost as much as he loves me!
The thing that I struggle to remember, and my husband seems to be so good at, is that it’s always all about the journey. Staying present in the moment and appreciating your journey is what it’s all about. I’ve reached enough “destinations” to know that it never feels as sweet as the journey. And think about it…we reminisce about the journey, not the destination.
Life is about experiences. Knowing where you’re going is important, but so is how we get there. The journey is where we’re stretched, where we grow. We reach the destination because we’ve traveled through the journey and grown as leaders and individuals. The journey is also what you make it. It isn’t always peaceful, like the vistas I took in along the trails in the UP. In fact, I almost guarantee that every journey will have it’s ups and downs. We don’t grow through the good stuff, we grow when we’re being stretched so of course journeys will have challenge.
I can think back to times in my life where I did a good job soaking in the journey and other times when I was so focused on the destination that I didn’t allow myself to be present. Sadly, some of these times include very critical life milestones like planning my wedding, starting my first business and raising my daughters.
As I prepare to step into this next journey I commit to doing things differently. I commit to being present and aware each step of the journey. I commit to working through the hard stuff instead of simply getting through it. This path feels very connected to my purpose and I can feel that where I am going is not nearly as important as who I will become. My goal is to bring you along the journey and support you as well because we’re both in it and life is so much sweeter when shared and enjoyed with others.