It’s not the journey, it’s the destination, right?

I admire those of you who can sit still; I’m just not one of them. J. and I aren’t amblers by nature; we are generally on a mission. We don’t lay on the beach, for example, and we don’t bring seven novels on vacation. We like to move around, wander neighbourhoods, try new foods.

Those of us who are goal oriented tend to focus on the destination, don’t we? We’re always trying to finish some project, train for some marathon, or master some new recipe. (No more cupcakes!) Goal setting is important sometimes: it got me through school and helped me to pay off my mortgage.

In the past, our vacations were also about cramming as much as we could into the time we had. I wouldn’t map out every minute of every day as some people–not just tour operators–do, but I would have ideas for neighbourhoods to visit or activities to try or local specialties to consume, and I’d get frustrated when many of those goals remained unmet by vacation’s end. Especially when we missed the doughnut shop I was hoping to hit last trip.

I can’t set such lofty goals anymore because my stamina is much lower than it used to be. Darn that leukemia, that liver, whatever it is that makes me so bagged. I can only push myself so far for so long without crashing, says the woman who slept for 10 hours last night. I mourn my increasing physical limitations often. What a waste of time that mourning is. Then I get up and go out.

During our recent vacation, J. suggested we take a walk much longer than my usual morning jaunt with Jelly, but that we break up the distance by bringing a picnic lunch along. What a concept! Instead of racing from beginning to end, crashing partway through, and needing to bus home, we’d set out at a reasonable pace, stop when I felt I needed a break, replenish our energy stores, and continue on.

What a lovely day we had. I managed to keep moving for about two thirds of the distance, whereupon J. and I stopped for a lovely lunch on a park bench. Then we got up and continued on. I made it the full distance, tired but happy.

So my new motto is to change my routine up a bit more. I’ve been practicing on home turf since, going to neighbourhoods I don’t visit often, taking Jelly on dog walks to different areas, jumping at opportunities to do things that are new and different to me. I’ve even moved my mat to the left side of the room a few times in yoga.

I need to work on Jelly, though, whose sole goal is to eat. She doesn’t mind altering our route so we can stop at the most beautiful garden in the neighbourhood to smell the roses. Unfortunately, she occasionally tries to consume them. I guess she too is enjoying the journey in the only way she knows how.

Basset hound sitting in amongst the tulips in a garden.

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