The Joy of the Journey

couple stands on bridge in forest raising hands gratitude life
by Vance Larson

This is my crazy time of year for my coaching practice. Long hours and working 7 days a week. Today I had a rare break in my schedule, so I popped over to FaceBook for some mindless entertainment. I came across a post that said “pick a partner that makes going to the grocery store seem like an adventure.” I’ve heard that saying many times before, but today, it stood out and I directly went into deep thought.

I started thinking about not only my relationship, but the many hundreds of couples that I have worked with. While there are many contributing factors to having a successful relationship, the ability to enjoy each others company, regardless of the situation, proves to be vital. While it is easy to have a good relationship when things are going well. It is those couples that treat life as a dance, and embrace their partners that seem to excel. It’s as they take turns leading and following each other.

Before my wife became disabled, we were active hikers. Give us our backpacks, a forest and some trails, and we would be gone all day. And if there weren’t any trails, we would blaze our own path. My wife’s sense of adventure used to amaze me. She would push our limits while we were in nature. And while I felt I had the skill-set to keep us safe, she always wanted to go a little further. I remember asking her once why go the extra mile? Without missing a beat, she said “you never know what is going to be around the next corner.” And it’s true. Had it not been for her curiosity, we would have missed out on many cool things. It was this simple philosophy that I quickly adapted. 

Life can be hard. And sometimes it can be downright cruel. You’ll want a partner who will embrace the journey. Clear skies or thunderstorms, they make the most of it. In terms of my own relationship, it didn’t matter if we were in the emergency room over night waiting for surgery, or having a cup of coffee at the beach watching the sunset. We both embrace the journey. We rarely complain or point fingers. We simply enjoy the process as it is unfolding. And it’s not always an easy journey. But, we both lean into each other and realize that a poor attitude can make it so much worse.

How often do we take the little things out on our partner? We come home from work, and the mundane task of life have worn us down. Now how beautiful would it be, if you, or your partner simply saw it as a journey and elevated each others mood and or thinking? That’s what I learned from my wife. Life can be either an adventure or an ordeal. I’ll take the adventure every time. 

This journey is not about minimizing your experience. It is about opening to the process that it is a journey. Keeping a positive attitude has many rewards, such as reduced risk of death from cardiovascular problems, less depression, and an increased lifespan. So embrace the journey. 

Surround yourself with people who make the little things, the big things. Because just as my wife once told me, “you never know what is around the corner.”

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