Journal Entry – 07/19/19
On my better days I go with the flow of life. I’m patient, enjoying the journey, mindful of each moment, focused more on the people around me than on the myriad of thoughts in my head about things that interest me.
I wish the better days were more frequent.
When I was dating the cute girl who became my beautiful wife, she lived eight miles away from me. There were only a few ways of getting there (I tried them all) and each one had its own benefits and detriments. And the thing that was most important to me was: getting there as quickly as possible so I could enjoy her company.
To that end, I would mentally make notes of how fast I could drive from stop light to stop light and have only green lights the entire way. Typically it was an 18 minute drive, but a time or three I made it in 15 minutes. I’m talking hundreds and hundreds of trips (perhaps thousands). It was kind of like Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day… but unlike Bill’s character, I never learned my lesson. I never learned to enjoy the individual moments for those 15-20 minutes. I was driven (pun slightly intended).
With that kind of mindset, anything contrary to my goal (getting there as fast as possible while not breaking any laws or getting pulled over) was the enemy. I would get angry when people in front of me were driving too slow and I got stuck at the next red light.
To make matters worse, when I would arrive and we would leave to go wherever we were going… I applied the same approach: get there as quickly as humanly possible so we can start enjoying whatever it is.
Can you believe that? I’m sitting next to someone who stole my heart, yet I was in a RUSH to get somewhere to be with her… when I was ALREADY WITH HER?! My meaningless goal put so much pressure on her that it seriously scarred her. She loved me, but she hated my driving.
As I look back though, it wasn’t just about my driving. It was my entire approach to life. The journey was a nuisance – I wanted to get straight to the FUN!
I hope for your sake that you aren’t driven the way I was driven, that you enjoy the moments, smell the roses, that you don’t leave your “right foot in” all the time but also make time to get it OUT, to refresh, to renew, to notice the beauty right in front of your face and to engage it with passion, peace, joy, hope,… and love.
If, however, you are a little like me… it’s not hopeless. If you see this as a problem in your life, you can follow the steps to change the script and to turn yourself around. You can reflect on all the moments you’ve sacrificed on the altar of hurry that are lost forever and had no return on investment… and you can put your head in and contemplate a better way of approaching life and love.
Over the last ten years I finally learned to enjoy the journey, but scars don’t just disappear overnight. So these days I just let her do the driving. 🙂