Last month, Pace and I completely forgot our #2 goal: enjoy the journey.
We spent October working hardcore on our Usual Error book. We worked long hours under stressful conditions. We neglected our health – we haven’t been eating or sleeping well and I’ve been slacking on exercise. We neglected our environment – we haven’t cleaned up the house in weeks. We neglected our relationship – we took very little time to nourish our connection. We neglected our cats, and this morning I realized I even neglected my little bamboo plant (I watered her today; she’ll make a full recovery). We didn’t neglect our son – he was in Dallas with my mom and brother for that very purpose.
We got so wrapped up in working that we forgot we don’t even want to work – we want to live. The Usual Error Project isn’t our career. It’s our life. And we want that life to be a good, happy, healthy one.
About a week ago, Pace and I were arguing while putting up our laundry (we’d neglected that, too, but finally ran out of clean undies). We’d spent most of the month arguing and snipping at each other; we were so stressed, we weren’t getting along well, so this wasn’t a rare occurrence. My feelings had been hurt. I had clammed up and was letting Pace rant and rail. After a while, she said, “And we’re not even helping people! Only five people are ever interested in anything we say!”
She took a moment to breathe, and I took the opportunity to speak. Quietly, I said, “Pace, if we only ever help those five people, we’ve helped five people. We’ve affected them, changed them, touched them, and made life better for them.”
She stopped, dropped the shirt she was hanging up, pulled me into her arms, and burst into tears. I followed suit; we stood there holding each other and crying for some time.
The world is harsh sometimes. Life is hard. We let our hopes and dreams pass us by in favor of stress and fear. Giving up the journey for the destination ruins the purpose of life; life isn’t about dying, it’s about living. For us, life is about helping people and enjoying the journey – and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re choosing the path with heart.