On occasion, I receive reminders that life isn’t always about the end result–that the journey is just as important. It might be a Facebook post (like the letter from a dying young woman I read today). It might be a tweet. Or perhaps a little tidbit from a book I’m reading. Sometimes, I just remember this piece of wisdom all on my own!
But within the craziness of our everyday lives, it’s all too easy to forget to slow down and enjoy the many small moments life has to offer.
This is especially true when it comes to writing if your end goal is publication. Even working on my fourth novel now, I find myself just wanting to finish the first draft, counting down the days until I can type ‘The End’. Don’t get me wrong–it’s extremely gratifying to get to that point, but even then, there is still much work to be done. Writing is truly a process and nothing like a reader might imagine.
I tend to be impatient when it comes to many things. I recently read that this is a characteristic of Libras. (Of course, I still haven’t decided exactly how much stock I should put into astrology either!) But nevertheless, this tendency to be impatient often butts heads with my perfectionist nature (again, only when it comes to certain things, and having a spotless house is not one of them!) I want to hurry and get things done, but I also want to do the best I possibly can. It’s a real conundrum sometimes. . .
This is all the more reason to slow down and enjoy the journey. After all, the journey is here to teach us the real meaning of life–we need only the willingness to be a student.
When I think back to where I started as a (serious) writer just over seven years ago, it’s incredible to think of all I’ve learned. And I can only assume my knowledge and skill will continue to multiply if I keep with it. This is, of course, true of anything in life. Stick with something long enough, and you’re bound to get somewhere! This is also why it’s important to write multiple books. Your odds of getting published increase exponentially with each book you write.
But I guess the reason for this post is to encourage others (as well as myself) to really focus on the in-between parts of life. The mundane within the exciting. The quiet between the cacophony of the world. The stillness which spaces out the hustle and bustle of our lives. These parts are vital. These parts are where we grow. They’re where real living and the authentic journey take place.
So yes, celebrate achievements–such as finishing a book, winning that long-anticipated award (in my case, it was a trophy saddle), or reaching that sports or job-related goal, but don’t let those pinnacle moments steal all your focus. Enjoy the time you spend along the way. Don’t forget to savor the journey as well.