Ignoring Unmet Goals to Enjoy Now

I tend to plan ahead. I imagine what I want to do in the future, what my dreams, goals, and ideals are. I design my life to be better than what it is now. I can get pretty excited over what the future has in store. And then sometimes I am frustrated that I’m not there yet. I am frustrated over lost opportunities that I probably should have taken, about progress I am slow to make.

I want to live a life where I am happy to get up every day. I see a lot of potential in my future, and I wonder if I will get there. I haven’t lived a perfect life (at all), I haven’t accomplished as much as I want to, and I still want to go further.

The thing is, I’m also living in the future that I created in my past. I’ve reached a lot of my goals. My life has improved from where I was at. To think that I’m not already on the path that I want to be on is wrong. I’m on a path in life that I love. I can look forward and see so much more that I want to do, but I can also look back and see a lot of progress that I’ve made.

I love to hike. Some hikes have a set destination, and you get there and it’s amazing and you turn around and go back home. But there are other hikes where the hike itself is the destination. There is a general direction but not a set destination, and the point is to enjoy the journey.

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Life is much more like the second kind of hike. There are sites to see along the way, and points to reach, but life itself is the destination. I never have to wait to be happy.

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Today I went outside and worked in my garden. It’s fall, so there isn’t too much to do. And it’s beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My garden still needs a lot of work: I have designs for vegetables and flowers and more trees. But there is also so much I’ve done over the years that I can now just enjoy. There are chickens, and fruit trees and clover meadows and fresh tomatoes, and places for kids to play and places that are beautiful.

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Now will always be better than an imaginary future. I’m happy that I am plans and goals for the future. But I’m also happy that I’ve reached so many of the goals and plans that I’ve set for myself in the past, even if I’ve done it slow and imperfectly.

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