Which is more important, where you go in life or the person beside you (whether it is a love-partner, family, friends or children)? If you absolutely had to choose, which would it be?
When I asked myself that question, my automatic first response was the person beside me. But then I thought about where most of my energy goes. Sadly, it is not towards my loved ones.
I would hazard to guess that if we were forced to watch a play-by-play of our day, most of our time would be spent on work, to do’s, commitments and the rest of the doings of life. Only after all that is done, do we give to the ones by our side.
It is so easy to get caught up in the cycle of doing, doing, doing. Achieve this, do that, buy this, and then buy any even bigger or newer this or that. We work to give those we love what we think they need (and we need — or is it want?). But at what cost? Are we so exhausted by day’s end that we have nothing left of our true selves to give?
“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
As my husband and I prepare to go on a vacation (which is where we will be when this post goes live), it will no doubt be another reminder of how fast our lives are going. We will come back with great intentions. To slow down. To not work as hard. We will even think seriously about leaving the “rat-race” and choosing a much simpler lifestyle.
But there is a chasm that stops us from taking this leap. The fear of change. The fear of leaving everything we know. The fear of the unknown. The reality of aging parents and other responsibilities that keep us rooted where we are. And as the vacation wears off, we are at risk of falling into the same pattern. Doing, rather than being. Achieving for tomorrow, and missing today.
But maybe this time we will bring more of the vacation mind-set back home with us. Maybe we will remember to keep our eyes — and our hearts — open so we are not so focused on getting to where we think we should be going, that we forget to see what is happening right now. Maybe instead of rushing through each day and scratching items off the to-do list, we will pause and see the gifts in every day moments. Maybe this time, we will stay focused on what is truly important. Like those who are standing beside us.
“Remember happiness is a way of travel not a destination.” — Roy Goodman
“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.”– Lawrence Block
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”– Jawaharal Nehru
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” — Martin Buber
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” — Miriam Beard
“You might be poor on money, but rich on life.” — Kasper Raunholst
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin
“Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” — Mahado