Today I’m thinking about my journey and doing a bit of re-evaluating. Tweaking the steps and direction just a bit to accommodate that little thing we like to call reality. Mostly, I’m refiguring the whole journey versus destination dynamic in an effort to be a little kinder and gentler to myself and those that I love.
Perfectionists (say it isn’t so!) don’t live squarely in reality. We tend to envision a world that is equal parts imagination and myth. When confronted with reality we tend to react with disbelief and anger that turns into self-recrimination and weariness…just a few short steps from hopelessness, frustration and self-defeat.
A To-Do list two pages long written in colorful markers with tasks written in specific categories? You bet.
Maybe even rewritten a time or two so that it looks good and nothing is forgotten. Not that I would ever do the latter. Nope, not me.
Carefully checking off the completed tasks and marveling at how great things are going to be when the list is completed. Confident that this list will enable us to get everything done.
Surprised when it doesn’t all get done and with a feeling of great self-awareness we comment, “Maybe the list was a little long.”
Surprised when our eldest daughter comments, “Duh, you think?”
How’s this for profound? This journey of life isn’t done until I’m dead. I can’t get it all done, completed, finished. Duh. Why am I racing in an effort to get to that mythical place called “done”. It doesn’t exist or at least not in the way that I’m imagining it. No amount of mapping, or planning or list-making will make that destination possible in the sense that I can sit back and say, “I’m done. I can sit and relax now. I did it!”
As I dust, more dust is forming and falling. As I wash, dry and fold a load of laundry more is being dirtied…
(unless we become nudists which isn’t happening. Not that I have anything against nudists…each to his own…I try not to judge…but honestly that would be hard to do if we were all running around naked. Comparison would seem to be inevitable, I imagine and I prefer to leave all of that to the imagination. Not in a creepy way though. I don’t walk around imaging everyone naked. If we ever meet and for those I do see, I’m really not imagining you naked. I promise. Honestly, there are a couple of people I think about being naked, but they aren’t anyone that I know in person – just a couple of celebrities, you know. Not that you would be unattractive naked – I don’t want to be insulting. The human body is a marvelous and beautiful thing. I just don’t think about it…except for those few exceptions that I mentioned previously.)
But, back to the point I was trying to make…housecleaning will never be done, and that includes decluttering. The yard doesn’t stay mowed. Raising and nurturing children doesn’t really ever finish – our tasks and responsibilities just evolve. Errands are never all done. The healthy lifestyle is ongoing. As problems are solved, new ones crop up. Appliances wear out and need to be replaced. Stuff happens and is happening…
“Done” doesn’t exist. I can’t get there.
I can travel a journey that has less stuff and clutter and stress so that the traveling can be easier and more spontaneous. I can carry less and be more aware of the sights and experiences along the way. By spending less and getting out of debt, I can worry less about how to fund my life journey. That will give me more options when deciding where I want to go. By being more realistic about the steps I take, I can be more optimistic and at peace, instead of traveling (or stopping altogether) with a negative attitude.
I need to quit looking at that mythical destination and focus more on the journey…
This magical trip we call life…I want to smell the flowers (but not necessarily plant them), watch my children grow, pet my dog, hug my husband, hear what people have to say, rest when I’m weary, make stuff, and absorb every bit of it.
There are too many things that I neglect doing because I’m going to do it when “I’m done”… done with housework, when we’re out of debt, when I have time…
When “I’m done” is too late. When I’m “done”, I’ll be dead.
Life is now in all it’s imperfection.
The journey is real and what’s important.
The destination can wait.
3 thoughts on “Traveling to a Mythical Destination”
How funny, I just had some musings on just the same subject, perfection isn’t even an aim of mine any more. I am learning to love the imperfections and the beauty of not done. The Japanese have a word for it – wabi sabi (well two words – heck maybe be three or four in the original Japanese!)
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Just went and read it! Beautifully said. Perfectionism is a difficult taskmaster and one I will be in negotiations with for a long time to come, I’m afraid.
Oh how I know the feeling. No matter how little I have the cleaning and everyday tidying is always going to be there tomorrow. As to naked people, thank you for a good laugh at the end of a long day.
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