I sat anxiously on her yellow brocade couch.
The one with the carved wooden legs and too many designer pillows. I held one for protection and so I had something to do with my hands.
Hope and I had been chatting several months, and today I had a burning question.
"So how do I know I'm done," I said.
"What do you mean?"
"You know, at what point in this process will I be finished, normal, complete."
"It's doesn't work like that."
"What?!? That's not fair. I don't want a label forever."
"No, that's not what I meant. I meant, there's no 'done', no perfect, no normal, no complete if we're talking about living life. I know you'll hate this, but it's a journey."
"You're right. I hate that crap. I don't get how the whole journey concept is supposed to help me. I think it's B.S."
After a lot of fuming and venting on a hike, a dear friend and mentor unpacked this for me.
"Life is like taking a trip that starts when you're born and ends when you die.
The point of taking a trip isn't to get to your final destination...
If that were true, you'd stay home.
The point is to experience new things. To mix it up. To be happy where you are. To solve problems. For the ah-ha moments. For the surprises and delights. The good and bad. The ups and the downs. To learn and grow.
If you spend the whole trip waiting to be "done," you'll be waiting your entire life.
You have to find a way to enjoy what's going on right now and throughout the journey."
It finally clicked for me. I love adventures and hiking and traveling even when it's not 100% pleasant. I don't spend the whole time wishing for it to be over. I'm happy in the newness, the imperfection, and the exploration.
And life is the same.
How are you living your life? Is it a to do list to be ticked off? Are you waiting for something to make you happy?
Play with the idea and let your mind recalibrate to the idea that there's no 'done.'
Not with your work, not with your relationship, not with anything in life.
And as frustrating as it can be, life IS more like a journey, a trip, or an adventure to be savored. And less like a project plan to be completed.