I was eating an ice cream cone the other day and it was hot so I was eating it fast to prevent drips and, as I was inhaling, I thought about when I was a kid and how different I ate ice cream cones back then. I would always eat the curl off the top first. That was the best part. Then I would slowly eat the rest, enjoying every bit, hoping that by the time I got to the bottom of the cone, it would be all soft and mushy and would just melt in my mouth. As we would eat, my brother and I would make lip marks in each of our ice creams and compare. I didn't care that ice cream was fattening. I didn't care if the ice cream dripped all over my hands. I never really thought about that. I was just happy I had an ice cream cone.
Race ahead 20 or so years and I'm sitting in the back of my parents car eating my "treat" as fast as I can because, heaven forbid, I get my hands sticky. I think about starting with the curl but quickly opt for the bottom of the ice cream as that's where the drips are starting. As soon as I'm done I think I should probably go for a run when I get home to get rid of the extra calories.
Where am I going with this. I'm sure everyone is enjoying reading about me eating ice cream about as much as they enjoyed reading about me un-kenneling my dog but I do have a point. As I was eating the ice cream in my parents car, I realized that this sliver of an experience accurately represented how I now live my life. My life is all about racing through the ice cream and not getting my hands sticky. I'm always focused on the end. The end of work, the end of the day, the end of the project, the end of the trip. I never focus on the journey. I never focus on what I am doing. I never enjoy simply being. I just want to get things done with as little harm as possible. Without shaking things up too much. Without getting my hands dirty. I think a lot of people live like this and it's sad. Too many people are just rushing to get through their day and they miss out on so many things.
Well, I don't want to miss out any more. I want to slow down. I want to make lips in my ice cream and if I happen to get my hands sticky, so be it. When I look back on my life I don't want the words "safe" and "fast" to come to mind. I want to remember "awesome" and "exciting" and "experiences". I want to know that I did everything I could to make my life full and rewarding. I don't want to look back and think, "if only" or "I wish".
My aunt has a saying scratched into an old fridge in her greenhouse which says, "Screw the result. Relish the journey."
I think it's time I started the journey.