Follow the joy of the journeyPublished 5:57pm Saturday, June 1, 2013
QUESTION: Sometimes it seems that my plans and goals for myself and my children will never be fulfilled. How do I keep from getting discouraged?
ANSWER: Writer Robert J. Hastings has shared the following wise insight which I am glad to pass along:
“Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we take in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, or row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering—waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
“When we reach the station, that will be it!” we cry. “When I’m 18.” “When I buy a new Mercedes Benz!” “When I put the last kids through college.” “When I have paid off the mortgage!” “When I get a promotion.” “When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”
Sooner or later, we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. “Relish the moment” is a good motto. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive people mad.
It is regrets over the yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.”
If you would like to talk about the challenges in raising children, call the toll-free Parent WarmLine at 1-888-584-2204/Linea de Apoyo at 1-877-434-9528. For free emergency child care call Crisis Nursery at 1-877-434-9599. Check out www.familiesandcommunities.org.