Like so many people, I often look at the new year as a time to make resolutions, set goals, and lean into changes I want to make in my life. Previously, this was often in the form of a new year’s resolution or goal setting, but I’ve shifted away from that in the past few years.
Don’t get me wrong, I love goals! I love having a finish line and I love the sense of accomplishment. Even little things like loading and unloading the dishwasher help give me that little sense of pride for completing a task. But, I’ve found that if I get too focused on the end result/the goal/the accomplishment, I can miss so many important things along the way.
I maybe learned this lesson best shortly after I got divorced. Leading up to and for several months after my divorce was finalized, I had a very difficult time letting go of my vision of my family. Letting go of my dream of a happily ever after. My dream of my kids growing up with one home and their parents being together.
And even though my marriage was far from perfect, at certain points I thought if I could just stay married to the same man for my entire life I could at least say I had a happily ever after to the outside world.
But then, while shopping on a trip with some girlfriends a few months after my divorce was finalized, I found a little pewter dish that read, “Journey Well.” And I immediately dissolved into a puddle of tears right in the middle of the store. It was exactly the message I needed at the time.
I’ve found for me, it’s no longer about the end goal or the happily ever after. It’s about the journey. It’s about all of the steps I have to take along the way that get me to the finish line. Sure, the finish line is important and I want to earn that sense of accomplishment, but if I don’t remember or treasure the work I put in to get there, I find it is far less meaningful.
I bought the dish and it sits on my kitchen windowsill. I intentionally look at it almost every morning and remember to focus on the journey. Focus on the steps I have to take each day for progress in whatever direction I’m trying to go and everything those steps teach me along the way.
We are all on our own journey. It will never be perfect. For anyone. There are bumps, blemishes, wounds, and scars. And we won’t always reach our final destination or whatever goal we might have set. But we still have a choice to “Journey Well.” And we can make that choice again and again every day.
Journey well, my friends.