The other night E tasked hubby and me with the grand job of helping him put a Lego set together. Now it was already close to bedtime and we still had about 150 (out of 300 or so) pieces left to deal with. I sat hunched over on the floor with the 20+ pages of directions to my right, a collection of Legos in front of me and C to my left cheering me on. Let me mention that I didn’t have any experience playing with Legos as a child, and while I think they are one of the best toys around, I’ve come to realize they were designed for people with small, yet strong fingers and metal fingernails (for prying stubborn pieces apart).
As I worked on assembling the bricks together, I grew more excited to see the product almost resemble the image on the box. I had nearly finished the task when I discovered something wasn’t fitting right… which meant I had to retrace my steps and make sure I hadn’t made a mistake earlier… which meant taking some pieces apart… thus prolonging the whole process… and delaying bedtime by who knew how many more minutes!
Meanwhile, hubby noticed my frustration (as evidenced by my moaning and groaning and frantic page flipping of the instruction manual) and remarked in a calm tone, “Enjoy the process.”
This wasn’t the first time he’s said those three magical words to me. Every time I complain to him that the story I’m writing is taking way too long to complete or another project I’m working on is taking forever to come to fruition, he tells me to enjoy the process. Sigh. Isn’t it enough that I’m persevering through a task, but I have to enjoy it as well? It’s great advice, but honestly, I don’t see anything enjoyable about the in-between stage. I would much rather rush through the process so I can reach the finish line/end zone/voila moment, and receive the glory, recognition and pay off from having completed something.
When it comes to the area of writing, I admit I can easily become obsessed with the numbers. It’s not uncommon for me to go back to a piece I wrote, check the stats, and give myself a high-five for every positive feedback I earn. Sure, it can be helpful to evaluate how many Facebook “likes” or “shares” I got for a post or an article I wrote, but it can also suck the passion and creativity out of something I initially did for the pure joy of it.
As I’m learning over and over again, life is about being and not doing, and persevering, and most of all, existing in the in-betweens. It’s choosing to be fully present in every moment. Being thankful for opportunities to learn and try new things. Engaging in times of inspiration and invention. And yes, enjoying the minutes spent building a Lego ninja vehicle.
Thanks to hubby, I’m remembering to slow down and enjoy the process, even if it drives me crazy. 🙂
Take a listen to OneRepublic’s song “Counting Stars”. The lyrics are pretty thought-provoking. I hope to one day be able to say I’d rather count stars (my dreams) than numbers.
In what areas have you focused more on the journey than the destination?