Enjoying the Journey

happy anniversaryBack in my early twenties, when the internet was still in its public nascency and using e-mail was pretty novel, I used a quote in the auto-signature of all my outgoing mail.

“Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.”

It was a quote I came across while preparing for a nine-month journey home from Japan, where I had been living for the past two years. As someone perpetually focused on the outcome, I am consistently guilty of “achieving the product but missing the process.”

I’m not a live-in-the-moment sorta gal. In fact, quite the opposite, I’m more of a busy-myself-in-the-moment-by-planning-for-all-future-moments kinda gal. So you can see how the concept of enjoying the journey as well as the destination would be a novel one for me.

I have since matured out of using this quote in my auto-signature but I continue trying to follow its mantra.

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, DH and I took a journey.

We just returned from spending four days away celebrating the past 10 years together. Four. glorious. fun-filled. adult-centric. child-free days. Together.

It’s a celebration we had been planning since June 14, 2004; on the first leg of our two-part honeymoon.

We were staying at a charming old, English-colonial hotel with another couple, who also had gotten married on June 12th and, who incidentally, lived just a few hours away from us in Virginia. We had never met before but we became fast friends and by the end of our three overlapping days, promised to return to the same hotel together for our 10th anniversaries in 2014.

Sadly, we did not just return from Barbados. And I’m pretty sure our fellow honeymoon pals did not make it back there either but I hope they, like us, still found a special way to celebrate the ten years we’ve all come through.

DH and I had big plans for our 10th. We had important business to attend to. We decided that celebrating our past 10 years shouldn’t just involve reflecting back but also looking forward. Now that we’d made it through our vows and the reception; several moves and grad schools; buying a house and having kids; what would our next 10 years look like? How should we document our plans?

I recently returned from an amazing editorial retreat for World Moms Blog, where I spent a portion of our time making a vision board. The board was a reflection of where we saw the Blog going in the next three to five years and what we thought the Blog represented.

And I’ll admit it, I went into this task of “vision boarding” skeptically. The idea of spending several precious hours of an already too-short retreat cutting out images from magazines and pasting them on to a foam board seemed a major waste of time to me.

That is until we completed the project.

It turns out, the World Moms Blog vision board we compiled that weekend has become one of the single most important take-aways of the retreat. It gave us clarity, enthusiasm, perspective and focus. It helped us put our hopes and “visions” for the Blog into concrete form. It mapped out where we wanted the future of WMB to go and who we wanted to take us there.

By the end of my editors retreat, it was clear to me that DH and I needed to do a vision board on our anniversary trip too.

So this past Sunday, we packed our car with foam board and magazines, scissors and glue (along with some other practical items like clothes and toothbrushes that we might need on a four-day excursion to Canada) and headed north.

We had planned our escape to a charming and secluded Relais & Chateaux property on a lake in southern Quebec. The hotel we selected offered a number of outdoor activities including: canoes, bikes, a lighted tennis court, a heated pool, and a beautiful English garden. english garden

Not to mention that just within a short radius of the hotel, there were wineries to visit, bucolic, lake-side towns to explore, chocolatiers and bakeries, coffee houses and restaurants.

When on earth were we ever going to find time to flip through magazines and cut out words and pictures of inspiration?!

I’m really blessed that I married a man of deep honor and commitment!

DH gave me his word that we would get our vision board done and get it done we did. On our sun drenched balcony in the morning, over a cafe au lait during our wine tour, in Adirondack chairs by the English garden; we found our pockets of time for inspiration.

Here’s how it turned out:

visioning board_anniversaryIt was really wonderful doing this project together. In addition to making two little humans we’ve already made, we got to create together. I got to glimpse inside of my husband’s head and see what words and images and ideas he had floating around in there for our future. It was pretty cool! And guess what? It turns out he and I are (both literally and figuratively) on the same page!

Aside from all of the wonderful experiences we had over the past few days (and the myriad of priceless moments of the past 10 years), putting our dreams and hopes and visions for our future together and down on paper was a really unifying task. Cathartic even. In fact, whether you’re celebrating 1 year together, 10 or 23, it’s a task I highly recommend. Taking time to map out your future in this way is a highly educational, even transformational event.

After all, it’s not just about the destination…

…it’s also about the journey.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. EG
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 22:12:40

    Happy Saucy Anniversary, you two! Great post. Onwards!


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