I’m in St.Louis, Missouri, celebrating Christmas with my folks, and this year, instead of flying down, I decided to drive from Niagara Falls, NY. Thirteen hours in my Honda Civic Hybird (800 miles on just 20 gallons of gas!). Phew. It wasn’t exactly enjoyable, but it wasn’t SO bad. I added in a couple quick stretch breaks, and books on CD made the time feel productive rather than wasteful. I also had a lot to look forward to – a home cooked meal when I arrived, visiting with my brother, and the general Christmas festivities at the Hilchey household.
Ever notice that the journey THERE is always more fun than the journey BACK? Maybe it’s because going “there” usually implies we’re going to do something special - something out of the ordinary. Coming “back” means we're coming FROM something special back into the ordinary. It’s not so enticing.
Earlier this month, I had a similar thought while going for sushi with my friend Marc. I was in Calgary for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers Convention, but it was the day after their huge snowstorm. The roads were terrible. The busses supposedly ran every 30 minutes, but I waited close to one hour and thirty minutes in negative 28 degree weather before the bus showed. Jogging on the spot as I waited made me feel a little silly, but it successfully kept my toes from falling off, so jog I did.
And I’ll tell you – after THAT journey, when we finally got there, the sushi tasted AMAZING! The worst part of the night wasn’t getting TO the sushi place; the worst part was the trip home. Marc and I closed the restaurant at 11pm and braved the weather, headed home in opposite directions. I was tired, cold, and uncomfortably full of delicious fish. Instead of jogging on the spot, I decided to jog along the Trans-Canada Highway bus route towards where I was staying. I once again felt a little silly, and I realized it was unlikely to get me home any faster, but at least it made me FEEL like I was going somewhere. It also made me feel a little bit like vomiting. But the bus eventually came, so I flagged it down and got on.
It was about 15 miserable minutes into jogging, though, that I realized how different the journey there and the journey back actually felt. For the journey THERE, I had so much still ahead, so much to look forward to. The journey back can make us feel like we’re not really going anywhere.
Right now, I’m sort of dreading the 13 hour drive back to Niagara Falls in a few days. On the other hand, New Year’s is coming and I’ve got a few fun things planned when I get back home, so maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe it’s all in our mindset.
I’ve noticed that some people are particularly great at always moving towards something. They tend to be happy and driven and enthusiastic – they’re always on the road to something exciting.
I’m not saying you should live in the future. Not at all. The holidays are an especially wonderful time to enjoy being in the moment. But it doesn’t hurt to get excited about the journey ahead too. Why not think about where you’re headed for 2010? Some might say that we’re NEVER really going “back” – we’re only ever making the journey to a new “there”.
Where are you going?
- Painting for the blind by Susan Morrison Sims
This painting has an amazing story - it was originally created as a painting for the blind for a tactile show. I originally mistook it for a Van Gogh! I stumbled across Susan's blog, and after exchanging a facebook message with her, I can say with confidence that she's a beautiful person with a unique and refreshing approach to life. She was kind enough to let me use this image for the newsletter. Check out her website and blog.
December 28, 2009
“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
- Ursula K. LeGuin
Joel Hilchey is the founder of The Beanstalk Project, a youth engagement initiative to develop global leadership and create positive social change. He speaks at schools and events across North America, inspiring character by juggling, storytelling, and playing with mousetraps.
I save gas, save emissions, save you fees for parking. I’m not as good
as LRT, but I think I sure beat walking. Consider using me for your
transportation. You can read ‘til you reach your destination. I’ll be
there for you, usually only slightly late, except if you’re in Calgary
and its minus twenty-eight.
What am I?
Once again this year, I'm participating in a fundraising drive to support Engineers Without Borders. Last year, with your help, we raised $1000. EWB has been an amazing inspiration to me, and their work supports the poorest people in the world.
I am asking you for your help. Even a donation of $5 is helpful, and you'll get a tax receipt for donations of $20 or more. Thank you in advance for your help!