Happiness is a Journey Not a Destination

The days are long, but the years are short.

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I have news that may shock you. You are never going to get THERE. Where is THERE anyhow? THERE is HERE, and you are THERE now. What??? This is starting to sound like a “who’s on first” joke…

I used to have a quote on my cubicle wall that said, “Quality is a journey, not a destination.” You can never achieve zero defects, but the quest will have a dramatic impact. I have spent a lot of my career in medical devices so quality is literally life and death. I was thinking about it the other day and realized that replacing “quality” with “happiness” makes good sense.

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination. For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.”

Alfred D. Souza
Writer, Philosopher

Be careful not to wish your life away.

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I can’t wait until this day is over” or “I can’t wait until the kids are in school” or “I can’t wait until the baby sleeps through the night”? Be careful not to wish your life away. My children are ten years apart, so I had the wisdom to cherish those 3:00 am feedings with baby number two when it was just me and him and the moon. That phase seems so agonizingly slow when you’re in the thick of it but looking back now it seems like a blink.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “If I can just make it to the end of this week, everything will be good”? Of course you do, everyone does this. And it’s fine as long as it is rare. There were times when I had corporate jobs that this way of thinking took over every work week. Just trying to keep my head above water and survive one more week, one more week, one more week… Combine that with a weekly case of Sunday evening blues and life was not very happy.

Find pleasure in the small things.

Each morning I look forward to that first, hot, fragrant sip of Earl Grey tea. In that moment, I feel richer than any king. I face the sink full of dirty dishes in the morning after breakfast content that we have the means to start our day with a hot and healthy meal. I make the beds and fold the laundry revelling in the luxury of having fresh beds and clean clothes every day. I find a certain meditative tranquillity in performing these same chores day after day after day, choosing not to be annoyed by the repetitiveness. My Dad always said, “Change your perspective, change your world.”

Work and play every day.

Make it a point to work and play every day. I’m a working Mom of two kids, ages 14 and 4. I live a blended life with hardly any boundaries. I typically work half my work day during the day and the other half at night. I take several professional level dance classes a week and water-ski every other Friday morning.

If not now, when?

Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to manage career and family? Is getting out the door in the morning a major challenge? Are you afraid of missing first steps, first words and school plays because of work?

If you wait too long, your kids will be grown.

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