Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Joy is in the Journey

When I was a kid I couldn’t wait for my birthday to arrive.

Next to Christmas it was the best day of the year, mostly because it involved the two P’s…parties and presents.

Just saying the words…“It’s my birthday”, carried a cache of magic and provided a passport to anywhere I wanted to go…at least in my over imaginative, narcissistic, little mind.

Each new year also meant I could stay up a little later, watch more TV…even stand on the street corner well into night singing with my acapella group.

Okay, I made that last part up…there was no group, just me…and no street corner either; just the corner of my Mom’s walk in closet that smelled of mothballs, which made it all the better.

Now, as I take another step up the ladder (one hopes and presumes, optimistically) towards…yet another gift subscription to AARP… I find myself again wallowing retrospectively in the cold soup of lost days.

Maybe it’s the so called “Monster” Full Moon hovering up above?

Throw in the recent Mercury retrograde—again—and this odd alignment of  Venus, Mars and Uranus, all hovering near the sun at a right angle to Pluto…well…I don’t think I need to say anything more.

Now, far removed from Kiddomcy, the idea of my b-day soon approaching is a troublesome one, and has been for a number of decades now.

Oh, sure…I still enjoy the ego driven, self-serving specialness of the day. You know, the usual… opening cards and presents, going out for dinner, celebrating the Druid Mud Bath Ritual with friends.

I've even been known to sneak off into the closet now and again to belt out a few tunes, but only when I’m alone…except for—well, that’s neither here nor there….

Over time, the further along the road I traveled, I noticed the destinations I set my sights on—the ones I thought would define me—so often ended up bypassed and undiscovered.  Perhaps, even worse, the outposts I did happen upon sparkled more from a distance; their luster lost, along with the pursuit. 

Eventually, the road took so many turns and detours, I found myself twisted, upside down in a maze of recalculations; it was all I could do just to try and get back on track.

When I finally stopped and took stock of the direction I’d been traveling, the roadmap seemed outdated, faded and full of holes.

And then it dawned on me: following a roadmap to a destination was probably the biggest mistake of all…at least for someone like me.

George Harrison, in his final goodbye of an album (another old age reference) said it best, paraphrasing Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat’s remark to Alice,  “If you don’t know where you’re  going, any road will take you there….”

Now, I’m able to look back and see the road I’ve been traveling from the sage distance of time.

I’ve come to understand that all the twists and turns were never detours or obstructions; just a part of the road I’d chosen; the road I missed so much of with my mind focused on the map.

The message has been shouted for so long, by so many others, but I was too lost in myself to hear it.

But I can hear it now…loud and clear, I hear it now.

The joy is in the journey…the destination, just the end.

Oh, sure, it’s easier to say than do…we all know that. 

But I’m making sure I feel the sunshine on my face, every day, especially through the clouds….


  1. I think sometimes about the road not traveled: how different the outcome would have been. This is the way that has given me my much-loved family: husband, daughter, 3 grandsons, and a dear great granddaughter. It's been a joyful ride all the way. I have been greatly blessed.

    1. I like to think we all end up where we’re supposed to be. The sooner we realize that the sooner the happiness arrives. Like I said, The Joy is in the Journey.

      And it helps if you can afford a nice car….


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