Enjoy the Journey
This past weekend I drove to my neighborhood Publix grocery store. As I was driving through the parking lot, I noticed a woman with her young son, maybe three years old. They were walking through the lot towards the store. I watched as the little boy was walking in a very carefree manner, not concerned with which way his mother was walking but rather observing everything around him within a three foot radius. He actually stopped and bent down to get a closer look at something (I assume it may have been a cool looking bug – this is South Florida) and pointed it out to his mom with delight. She took his hand and started walking into the store, oblivious to what the little boy was pointing out.
That little boy was not so concerned with the end goal of getting into the store – partially because it wasn’t a lot of interest to him but also he had faith in the process (his mother leading him) that he would arrive in the store eventually. He was more intrigued with what was going on around him and taking in all the cool things that were surrounding his immediate world. He was living in the moment and finding joy in what he was doing in the here and now. As young children, we have the amazing gift and power to live in the present and not be so concerned with what lies ahead in our future.
The same could be applied in our own debt freedom journeys. So often we only focus on the goal of being debt free – the light at the end of the tunnel. And while it’s great that we have a goal to aim aim, we forget to enjoy the journey along the way. I’m sure you are thinking “Riiiiight, enjoy the journey! How can I enjoy the journey when I am working so hard and sacrificing and struggling to pay off the debt?” I think we get so consumed with the process that we forget to enjoy the life we are living. When I went through my debt free journey, I learned to appreciate things that were more fulfilling because I didn’t have a lot of spare time due to the extra work. And I also had to stop and reflect on the permanent life lessons that were being instilled within me that would cause a deeper, long-lasting change in my financial behaviors.
So my message to you that while it is important to focus on the end goal, don’t let this important season of getting out of debt pass you by. Take time to appreciate the important things in your life – family, friends, health, the world around you. Reflect on the life lessons you are learning during this process. Don’t be the mom – be the little boy.
Enjoy the journey.