It was on my last flight that my word for the year came to me. I’d just spent a week in a rental car, exploring various parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in between meetings with staff, volunteers, and supporters and now I was on my way home. After finishing the book I was reading, I closed my eyes and leaned back in my chair. As I began to drift to sleep, listening to the cacophony of sound in the plane, this thought punctuated my inner monologue like a flash of fireworks… OH HOW I LOVE THE JOURNEY! I sat there feeling so blissfully content, so perfectly calm and relaxed, and I knew that this moment was about as good as it gets for me.
I love the journey. I really, really do. Planes, trains, automobiles, bicycles, boats, or even my own two feet – it doesn’t matter – I just love the whole process. It doesn’t matter if I’m going on a grand adventure to Africa or just driving to my favourite bookstore – I am almost always content when I am in motion, going somewhere, on a journey. With or without companions.
And that, my dear friends, is my word for the year. Journey. This year I’m not going to try to conquer any montains, face fear with bravado, or set grand goals for myself. There’s a time and a place for all of that, but right now, for me, it’s time to savour the journey.
It doesn’t mean that I’m going to travel more (though that would be nice), or that I’m going to uproot myself or my family, it just means that I’m going to remember to savour whatever journey I’m on.
Here are some of my thoughts on what it means to focus on the journey:
1. I’m going to try to be in the moment more.
2. I’m going to learn to pack light and not weigh myself down with too much baggage.
3. I’m going to take time for conversation with interesting strangers, just like I did on that long train ride to Cleveland.
4. I’m going to let myself be inspired by the beauty that’s right here in front of me.
5. I’m going to forgive myself for not accomplishing grand goals.
6. I might even manage to forget about the destination now and then and just focus on the process.
7. I’m going to be open to adventure around the bend in the road.
8. I’m going to stop and stare at the wonders of the world.
9. I’m going to take lots of pictures and tell lots of stories.
10. Mostly, I’m going to savour more. Really savour – like that long slow sip of chai latte that’s got just the right mix of spicy and sweet.
Here’s my dream board for the year.
And here’s the painting I was working on this morning – about one of my favourite kinds of journeys, along the misty beach early in the morning as the seagulls are waking up.
And, just for fun, here’s how I’ll be starting the journey – with brown hair!