Enjoy the Journey

I dragged myself out of bed this morning, with a checklist in mind: fold last load of clothes, check the weather, finalize directions, get reservation confirmation, pack snacks…

I’m not good with frustration, especially when I know exactly how I want something done. This morning seemed to be one frustration after another.

I did figure out that if I take some meclizine before I travel, I can read in the car and not get car sick. This was a great first for me, allowing me to pore over Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” while my husband drove and my kids alternated between being hungry, thirsty, and bored.

As I read, I had this vague notion of missing out on the landscape and landmarks we drove by, but was too engrossed in the rise and fall of Sesame Street to care.

It was around Decatur, Indiana, that I had to finally put my book down. There was a restaurant that resembled a railway car. An insurance business was housed in a large white castle. An auto repair shop was painted a brilliant purple.

“I wish you’d put your book down,” my husband said. “You’re missing a lot of things along the way.”

Unfortunately, that’s the way I tend to live my life. I am so focused on my own goals and plans that I forget to enjoy the journey along the way. I am sure I am missing a lot of things. My kids are growing up so fast. They’re both in school now. My daughter can now do things that I can’t, like knit and sing on pitch.

It has been so hard for me to be in the moment today. My kids are ecstatic, playing in a giant indoor waterpark. I’ve been struggling to keep an eye on them, but not quite willing to get involved with their play. After all, water is wet, and sometimes cold. I might have to climb, and interact with other kids, and maybe even enjoy myself. It seems so silly that I’ve acted as if only the kids should be allowed that privilege.

Assuming I get over this “traveler’s sickness” (you don’t want to know), I am going to do better tomorrow. I am going to take a risk and do things that feel silly and childish, and I might even have some fun along the way. I’m going to start enjoying the journey. I don’t want to miss any more.

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