For as long as I can recall, I was focused on the destination and not being present for the journey. I was impatient; and hyper-efficient: at work in completing projects; on the weekends doing errands in the shortest amount of time (off peak times and the fastest route to each destination). This was before navigation apps! My family can attest to me running through Disney World parks to get fast passes back in the day when each ride spit out their own fast pass tickets! Business trips meant rushing to the airport, getting a seat toward the front of the plane, getting off the plane first, to race thru the airport to get a cab, to get to the business trade show; and on and on. Does this sound familiar?
Twenty five years into our marriage, with only one full time child left in the house, I have shifted my focus to enjoying the journey. Here's a recent example. My daughter and I just returned from a college visit. In the past, I would have selected the fastest route (now supported by the best navigation apps) and would have driven straight to the campus. My focus would have been on time and efficiency. Instead, while driving we were passing the tiny town of Dixon, Illinois. I recalled that Ronald Reagan grew up there, so off the interstate we went, and took a look at Reagan's home. A few snap chat pictures later, we were back on the road, when we made side trip number two to Antique Archaeology, in LeClaire, Iowa. It is the retail vintage store tied to the American Pickers TV show (see recent LinkedIn post about my obsession of these two childhood friends who find, rescue and sell rusty treasures). We strolled around the store and I told my daughter the stories behind many of the items that were on the show. We enjoyed a late lunch on the car ride; saw the college campus, and took a break. It had been a long day; and I woke up early. In the past I would have suggested a quick dinner and bed. Instead, I suggested that we see a movie, eat a late dinner and top it off with ice cream. It was a memorable trip. Lots of fun, laughter and connection. How can you instill the joy of the journey into your everyday life?