For the majority of my life all speed limits were meant to be broken, money was for tomorrow, and my mind was always on the next move. The classic existance of living everywhere except now. While walking to Santiago, I had a revelation that arrival meant nothing that each step along the way was where life happens. In retrospect, arriving at the cathedral is Santiago was really just the beginning of a never ending journey.
Here is a short excerpt from the book:
Veterans tell me the manner in which a pilgrim walks the Camino has a tendency to mirror that person’s life. Reflecting on that observation, I recognized my lifelong habit of pushing ahead early and reaping the rewards at a later time. In college, my final semester courses consisted of golf, horseback riding, and a sociology 101 class on Marriage and Family. I plowed through my business career, always trying to get ahead, and retired at a young age. I tried to justify walking more kilometers than my peers based on the length of my legs, but the real pattern began long before my arrival in Spain. I learned the trip was not about arriving. It was about living.
The simplest way to keep the mind off the end zone is to admit that expectations are the root of heartache. We always think that something will be better at a future time. Common examples are the pending raise, the emptying of the nest, or the worry free world of retirement. In the old days, I would get on an airplane and focus on all the great things that would surely happen at the destination. Always missing the interesting person next to me or forgetting to relax and enjoy the flight. The ultimate in lunacy was trying to pout my way through a flight delay. Worked never!
Yesterday, I drove my mom to the Salton Sea in the Coachella Valley of California. Instead of fantasizing about getting there, I enjoyed the time in the car. There is nothing more to living than the current moment and that is the most overlooked gift that is given all the time. Time between things is all we have. People are always looking for utopia. I believe nirvana is the inherent joy of experience without grasping or resiting life.
Many moons have passed since the original walk in 2012, Since that time, I have endeavored to forget about the end of the road and focus my time and energy on the current path below my feet. These are the moments that make up a life and the only ones that really matter.