It seems that we are often so busy doing what we are “supposed” to do that we leave precious little time and energy for the things we want to do. And regardless of what we are doing, our focus on getting it done often gets in the way of enjoying the experience. Late last year I wrote about my desire to more fully “embrace the journey” of life. Six months later I find myself wrapping up a wonderful sabbatical in which I did just that.
In January I had the honor of officiating the first of three weddings this year. What an amazing experience to work with young people as they commit to sharing their journey with the love of their life? What a beautiful reminder of the blessing that my wife (of 37 years) is to me?
Throughout the Spring I reconnected with my love of working with my hands – building three raised bed gardens, four washes (it’s a desert thing) and a bridge. Not ready to stop, I came up with a few landscaping ideas. Just 48 tons (of dirt, gravel, rock and boulders) later I was ready for my next adventure.
Hiking was the thing that got me thinking about embracing the journey so I imagined that I would do a lot of hiking during this time away from work. Not so much. I did manage a wonderful 12 mile walkabout in the Sonaran Desert that definitely made a lasting impression – both on my soul…and the soles of my feet.
For me, motorcycle riding has always involved a unique combination of relaxation and invigoration. It was great to have more time for exploring the roads that wind through the mountains and alongside the lakes of Arizona.
For the first time in years I made time for sculpting. The feel of clay in my hands brought back great memories of high school art classes and reminded me of the joy of creative expression.
Since I was long ago bitten by the travel bug, we took this opportunity to enjoy some travel adventures.
We caught up with high school friends in Los Angeles, enjoyed crawfish and beniegts in New Orleans, celebrated young love in Mobile, connected with family friends in Atlanta, relaxed into fly fishing on the Trinity River in Northern California, explored Sydney with our daughters and sampled delicious Australian wines in the Hunter Valley.
It really was an amazing six months.
As I return to work I remain committed to “embracing the journey.” Whether at work or play, the journey continues. And so do the opportunities to embrace what life is offering.
Are you… embracing the journey?