Enjoy the Ride

When I was about five years old, my parents, grandparents, sister and I took a cross country trip from Illinois to California. I remember being really excited to go. Dad and grandpa rode up front and took turns driving. Mom and grandma rode in the back, and my sister and I took turns sitting in the middle.

Sitting in the front was rare and all about the destination. As a kid, you had the dashboard in your face with a sliver of outside view. Sitting in the back was much more exciting at a young age and had its advantages for passing time.

Before the introduction of car seat laws, the backseat allowed you to nap, interact with friends or family, and included entertainment. You wouldn’t even know it was the same car. Grandma wisely packed a wooden-sided box and dice, coloring books and crayons, pillows, blankets, and a big box of snacks. Although crowded, the backseat was heaven. It was definitely more fun and made the trip go faster.

During one of my turns up front, I remember seeing mountains. Mountain upon mountain upon mountain. It was one such time when my grandpa turned to me and said, “Annette, look at all the beautiful mountains.” My response was, “Ya seen one mountain, ya seen ‘em all.”

Beauty is often lost when we limit our view and only focus on the destination. We get so caught up in planning and visioning for “when we get there” that we forget to appreciate what’s right in front of us.

We spend a lot of time wishing for something different than what we have now. We wish we had more money, a better job, someone who understands us better, a nicer house, and the list goes on. This thinking is resignation thinking. Resigning oneself (she says with a sigh) to our current lot in life. Additionally, how many times do we say things like, “When the kids are older…”, “When I retire, I’ll…”, “When I have more time, I will…”, or “If I had more money, I would….” These statements are born out of frustration, wishing for a way to fast forward our time away.

But, what if, that time never comes? Or what if I’m in no different shape than I am now, or something prevents me from making it to that point? Then I would have wasted precious moments on things that never transpired. I would have missed everything right in front of me. As a working parent, who traveled a lot when my children were young, I know that I missed things. Not one moment goes by that I say, “Gee, I wish I could have been away from home more or missed one other concert or event.”

Those who know me know that I often say, “we only have so much sand.” Don’t waste one grain of it.

Every moment is precious. Some challenging, some joyful, some peaceful, some heartbreaking, but they are our moments. They help us learn and grow into the person we are becoming.

Take each moment and record its place in your life. They are all critical to our development and achievement. Remember road trips enjoyed in your younger days and appreciate the “here and now” – for all these moments lay the groundwork to reach your ultimate destination – success.

Enjoy the ride!.

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