This blog speaks a lot to “finding center.” I am sure that phrase means many different things to many different people. Some people may equate this with “finding yourself.” I am not sure if the definition for me fits any particular square peg, but I thought I would define finding center for me.
For me finding center means: finding time to be with God and spending time in His word, having enough attention span to actually enjoy reading a book or cross stitching a pattern, listening to the breeze through the trees without the prerequisite television on in the background, learning a new skill, looking at the day for what it is, finding time to exercise just because it is good for me, and enjoying the journey, to name a few things.
My life has become a series of events/tasks to check off in a planner. Over the years I have found that I constantly make lists and then work for that red checkmark I place next to the task that is complete, then it is on to the next task. That is all fine and good and it makes sense when you are working at a goal. But when it becomes the only way you can live, joy and wonder have left the building.
You read the sayings that tell you to enjoy the journey, and that life is not about the destination but the steps it takes to get there. I have lost that ability, or maybe never had it to begin with. My life focuses on getting from Point A to Point B then Point C. I have no idea how to enjoy the journey. I need those red checkmarks in my life to know that I am actually doing something. One day, a few years ago, I realized that I no longer wanted to live just for red checkmarks.
That is what this trip is about for me. I have tried other ways to “enjoy the journey” but they have not worked. I enjoyed the journey starting with a to-do list that required red checkmarks to show how much I was enjoying the journey. As you can imagine, that technique got me nowhere.
I am not saying that it is bad to have to-do lists. They have suited me very well in the past, but now that I am older I do not want to be quite so regimented. With that realization comes the fact that I know no other way to live by what my planner says. My heart told me that I needed to do something fairly radical to get my life to center and that is what this trip is about.
This trip is definitely about the journey and all the amazing things I am going to see along the way. I spend my time in the car now just watching things, people and experiences zoom by on my way to my destination. I see everything from the perspective of the rear view mirror. Even if I am interested, it is too late as the experiences is already gone.
I think technology is fine, I am not ready to turn Amish but for me it has made me impatient and full of anxiety. How many times have we all stood in front of the microwave mad because it is taking so long? How much anxiety is created because you never seem to get “it” all done in day, a week, a month or even a year? Road rage and depression are by-products of our modern life. I just want to get off the roller coaster and see what I have been missing.
So when I speak of finding center, I just mean that I need to find a way to relax and not feel guilty. I need to have an attention span that is longer than a music video. I need to be able to feel things again and enjoy the experiences. I can be experiencing something now but all the time I am thinking about the next experience, never enjoying the present time.
One day I will be out of tomorrow’s and I am terribly afraid that I will look back on my life and see that I never cherished the today’s of my life, I only looked for the tomorrows. I think that would be a very sad realization and I hope and pray that this trip teaches me that today is fine enough. If I am blessed with a tomorrow, then I can enjoy it when it gets here.