I’m writing this post and publishing it here mostly as a reminder to myself. This is also precisely why I drew the tree: to remind myself to enjoy the process. This is an idea that I think is incredibly important, and I forget it probably every day. By thinking and writing about it right now, I’m hoping to help myself remember it more of the time.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what hasn’t happened yet. I have a lot of ideas about what kind of life I want to have someday: things I want to do, places I want to go, and people I want to see. I truly believe there are beautiful adventures out there waiting for me, and I’m very excited to experience them. I think it is all well and good to have something to look forward to with enthusiasm; it can be an important part of a healthy mindset.
However, it’s just that: part of a healthy mindset. It’s like how Nutella is supposedly part of a healthy breakfast…but have you noticed how many other foods are also pictured on the label to make up the so-called healthy breakfast? (This isn’t a perfect analogy, because I have some serious doubts about the supposed nutritional value that Nutella may or may not be adding, but right now let’s just focus on the fact that it is not a complete meal on its own and also that it tastes really good.)
Yes, thoughts of the future are delicious and can give us a reason to power through the less exciting events, like perhaps life’s oranges and apples. But wouldn’t breakfast be more fun if we didn’t rush through the “boring” stuff? What if we enjoyed each bite of apple for its own sake, instead of solely for the fact that it allows us to get to the chocolate?
To anyone, myself included, who may be feeling frustrated that you’re “not there yet,” to anyone who is anxiously awaiting some future change or event that you think is just the thing that you need to do or accomplish or be and then you’ll really be able to have fun, I’d like to say: Have fun now. You can wait until your life is perfect to enjoy yourself…or you can enjoy the process right in this very moment. I don’t mean that you need to pretend your life is all sunshine and baby bunnies if at the moment it feels more like a thunderous rainstorm, but when the clouds lift just a little and you maybe see one baby bunny, try saying thank you for the one ray of sun and the one baby bunny. Even if it’s not yet the grand vision you’ve pictured. And then try to notice what other little enjoyable details of life begin to show themselves.
I wish you all of the sunshine, baby bunnies, chocolate, and delicious, nutritious breakfasts that your heart desires.
p.s. Thank you to Gretchen Rubin and her father for making the words “enjoy the process” stick in my brain.