I believe in the journey; as in: “It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.” I know it’s cliché, but clichés become clichés because there is at least some truth in them.
It’s the reason I left a well-paying job in Washington, DC, and moved with my wife and two boys to Syracuse, NY. About two years ago I discovered that my customer’s offices were moving, which would add another half hour onto my ever-lengthening commute. At that point we realized that all the sacrifice we’d need to make now just wouldn’t be worth it in the end. We’d be slogging through a traffic-dictated weekday schedule in the hopes of a few restful weekends here and there. The theory was that a well-paying job now would help us later when we want to retire. But we wanted to enjoy every day. So we packed our bags and moved north.
About six months after arriving in Syracuse, I started triathlon training. Frustration with the monotony of running on the Erie Canal towpath is what led me to triathlons. I competed in my first sprint triathlon this summer, and I hope to complete an Ironman triathlon before I turn 40. If I don’t, that’s okay, too. All the training I’ll need to do in preparation will be a reward in and of itself. The benefits I’ll get from the years of challenging myself to swim faster, bike harder, and run longer will far outweigh a half-day of competition at the end.
Now my wife, whom I love and respect tremendously, is a destination kind of gal. Take mealtimes, for instance; she likes to save the last bite of her favorite part of the meal for last. If she miscalculates, and doesn’t get the perfect last bite, the meal is all but ruined for her. Me, I try to enjoy each and every bite, not just the last forkful – when I’m not rushing through it to finish before the kids start their evening meltdown, that is.
Yeah, the evening meltdown imposed by two little boys is not my favorite part of the journey, but looking back on it will make our retirement destination that much sweeter.
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