My weekly topic for this blog comes from various sources; conversations, observations, and sometimes lightbulb-eureka-lightening strike to the head moments. The later being the rarest. This week, I am inspired by my tuna fish sandwich, a student led conference, and a video. These three intersections came together in my mind as I was thinking of what to share with you this morning.
I had the most perfect tuna fish sandwich for lunch. It was magnificent. It made me think, ‘Do one thing and do it well.’ I pondered on this thought for awhile and wondered about what my ‘one’ thing was. I didn’t have one thing. The thought of doing one thing to perfection makes me feel rather pressured. Especially, if I haven’t discovered the one thing. I then must search for this one thing (exhausting) and then do it perfectly (super exhausting). My mind is off to the races. I have forgotten about my sublime tuna fish sandwich, which by the way, truly did deserve my undivided attention. It was that good. I’m down the road…What is my one thing? What am I doing..ladeedaadaa…find the one thing. Oh god.
Our son invited us to a student led conference. I say, invited but, actually he was required to present his portfolio to us and we were required to attend. So, we sat for 20 minutes or so, discussing his academic progress and goals. He had one goal in mind, to get out of school as fast as possible. He is very focused on this one thing. “I just want to be finished with school.” Fair enough. His determination to reach the finish line led us to talk about along the way. What about the time between now and then? How can you eek out all of the experience, knowledge and growth along the way? Soak it all up, kid. What can be done to make the most of your time as a student? With three years left, these were good questions for him, they were also helping me think about my own relationship with goals. How often do I get wrapped up in the end result at the expense of along the way?
I open an email from my aunt, she often sends me thought provoking material, this one was especially timely and really struck a chord. It is a video illustrating audio of Alan Watts talking about life’s journey. He says,
We thought of life by analogy with a journey with a pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end. And the thing was to get to that end. Success or whatever it is… or maybe heaven after you’re dead.
But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.
And with that, suddenly, the one thing doesn’t matter, the goals, the striving to reach the finish line, it’s all immaterial because the point is the along the way. Watts reminds us, “It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.” Simply put, smell the roses and enjoy the ride.
What are you doing to soak it all up, kid?