Life is the journey, not the destination

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

     My wife drives differently than I do.  Or to put it more succinctly, she has always felt differently about driving than I have.  I learned early from my Dad (who was a great driving teacher but not the coolest head behind a wheel)  that driving was about getting from point A to point B in the most direct and expeditious way possible.  Anything that got in the way of that was cause for alarm.  Long traffic lights were enough to raise your blood pressure.  Wrong turns were nearly inexcusable and cause for great and prolonged unhappiness.  Getting lost altogether....well, that was considered a situation of tragic and nearly unforgivable proportions.  There was to be pounding on the steering wheel, gnashing of teeth, obscene language, and prolonged self-abuse.  "Idiot!", I would tell myself.   "Stupid numskull!"  "You turned the wrong're going in the wrong direction....this time is wasted, completely wasted!  .......and on and on and on.
     After our hour at the Self Realization ashram listening to one of the teachers lecture about how much we are creatures of habits and how we can break the ones that bring us grief for no good reason, Ilana mentioned (while we had yet again taken a wrong turn and gotten temporarily lost) that she never minded getting lost because she always discovers new places that way and she just loves discovery, lives for it in fact.  "I've always felt that life is in the journey," she told me, "not the destination."  And this time I heard her.  So much so that the next time we got lost I just relaxed and enjoyed the new scenery, and ended up glad that we had found a new and more interesting way to get from point A to point B.
     Yet today I fell into the old groove of habit, like the groove of a vinyl record, when I again took a wrong turn on the way to the doggie beach and got stuck on an expressway for two miles before I could turn around.  Then I found myself in bad traffic all the way back to our destination.  Ilana could have cared less.  She remained totally relaxed, commenting on how many birds were in the mud flats we were passing and how pretty the sky was and so on and so forth, while I steamed.
     The teacher told us, "we are not doomed to follow the same habit for the rest of our lives but we can break it only by replacing it with another and better habit."  And so, in my search to become truer to myself I shall endeavor to invoke my new mantra whenever things don't go as I have planned them to.  Rather than curse fate or the imperfections of my all-to-human nature I will first take a deep breath, try to smile, even if it hurts, and remind myself, "life is in the journey Marty; make the most of it."


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Ellie on

Great transformation in process! We read your entry with great joy. It sounds as if in this journey, Ilana is inspirational. Enjoy this new freedom of mind, body, and spirit. We send you lots of love.

Karin on

I enjoyed your blog. It is a lesson I need to live. Thanks. Fun to be able to follow your journey. love to you both.

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