Are you there yet?
Most of us can recall the experience of sitting in the back seat, being a passive passenger on what seemed like an interminable car ride, anxious to get out and stretch our legs, waiting to get to our destination and unable to resist asking the driver of our vehicle once, twice or twenty times the question burning in our little heads – Are we there yet? In fact, those of us who are parents can recall several occasions when that very same question was asked of us. Getting to the destination after a long trip often seems like it is an eternity away when the question rolls through our heads over and over, no matter who is doing the asking. It is a question that my co-workers would jokingly ask one another after one of those long and grueling days at work which seemed to go on and on with no signs of ever ending. In life it seems, we are always waiting in one way or another to get THERE.
The funny thing is – unlike those long trips we may have taken as a child – the destination is often less tangible. Getting there, wherever there may be is often not so black and white. Many times the “there” is more elusive; morphing and changing so that just when you think you are at the doorstep, you realize that the roadmap has changed and the destination has now been moved down the block, around the corner or out-of-state without us realizing it. It’s like the old vaudeville routine when the unwitting character reaches down to grasp the dollar only to have it yanked a little further away by an invisible string. “Oh, I almost had it that time!”
So what do you do when your dreams and goals take on the same evasive dimension? Well, you can adjust how you see it. For one, rather than focusing on the final destination – you can allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the ride. When I was little, I would often go on “Sunday drives” with my two aunts, and while there was always a final destination we were seeking (usually a place to stop for lunch), the joy was in the rides themselves. We would play car games as we rode along that involved taking turns “choosing” things that we liked outside the car windows. The journey itself WAS the destination and our lunch stop was just a part of the process. Allowing ourselves to enjoy the trip made for a complete experience and kept their young passenger engaged and happy over the hours long meandering through the Connecticut countryside.
Having a destination and a goal in mind helps to get us out in the car in the first place, but taking the best from each moment along the journey allows you to notice and savor all the little things along the way. Enjoy your goals, celebrate them when you arrive and then set a new goal for your next part of the journey. And most importantly, don’t forget to look out the windows and enjoy the ride, why should the enjoyment be reserved only for the final destination? Every little piece enhances and enriches the whole. Have a good trip – no matter where you are going.