As I boarded my flight to Dallas there was a woman behind me with a little boy. I first noticed them as we stood at the gate waiting for Group 6 to be called.
“Are we there yet?”, the boy asked.
“Not yet sweetie. It’s time to get on the plane now.” she said, taking his hand.
We entered the plane and waited in the aisle while a passenger struggled with the overhead bin.
“Are we there yet?”, the boy asked again.
“Nope. Not yet. We need to sit down first.”, she replied with notable patience.
I gave her an empathetic smile and she sighed before asking me, “Are we there yet?”
I laughed and said, “Growing up that was a 25 cent question. You could ask, but it was gonna cost ya.”
Are we there yet?
As a child this was a question I couldn’t afford to ask. Maybe once or twice, sure, but after that my pockets were empty.
As an adult I now realize that asking this question still costs us – not in money, but in time.
From an early age we’re taught to take the next step; eat your vegetables, grow big and strong, go to school, get a job, go to more school, get a better job, find a someone, earn a promotion, get engaged, get a dog, get married, have kids…
It’s shockingly easy to focus on what’s next; in our work, our relationships, our lives. We spend our days traveling to “The Island Where It All Works Out”. Passage to the island can be found aboard boats with names like, “When I ____”, or “Once I _____”, or “After I _____”. The problem with the Island, though, is it’s a mirage… constantly juuuust out of reach leaving us continually in transit, yet never arriving.
“Are we there yet?” is no longer a 25 cent question. It’s costing us our lives.
As I write this, Macklemore’s song “Good Old Days” echoes through my headphones…
“Maybe these are the moments,
maybe I’ve been missin what it’s about;
Been scared of the future,
Thinkin’ about the past
while missing out on now.”
But Betsy, it’s called “the PURSUIT of happiness” for a reason.
Yes – and absolutely keep striving! Grow, expand, continue taking your next steps. But along the way may we also take time to rest and appreciate exactly where we are and precisely how far we’ve come.
Are we there yet?
Yeah kiddo, we’re here. Welcome to now.