Destinations All Along the Journey

There is a beautiful quote I often hear or see printed—Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So much punch for a few words. As I considered this, I began to twist the words around, offering up—there are many happy destinations upon our journeys.

Today two dear friends are headed on their way to a fabulous journey overseas. They are going to reunite with family, see the sites of a foreign land, and take a bit of a reprieve from life’s more rigorous routines. They haven’t said they are going in order to be happy. They haven’t said they are seeking some joy that they currently lack. No, these friends seem to carry their joy with them regardless of the path they travel, and they seem to know that happiness is a part of the excursions of many smaller destinations. It is something I can learn from.

So often we think that life will be better or more fulfilled when we get to where it is we are going—whether that’s a vacation, a job, a graduation. We celebrate accomplishments—and rightfully so—because of the time put into the work to get there. But it seems we need to also celebrate moments along the path—the realization that we are exactly where we are for a reason. If for no greater purpose than to remind ourselves that the path is continuous—even after degrees are earned, even after children have come into the world, even after others have left the path entirely.

If we do not recognize the many small moments of happiness, the many slices of joy, the many opportunities for celebrations all along the journey then even when we get to the so-called destination, we will still be searching. We have a beautiful day before us, because it simply is another day. Perhaps our day will have some great destination—like a trip overseas—or perhaps it will have simple, joyous destinations of appreciating where we are on the path right here, right now.

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