Chasing the Horizon
For most of my life, I have been chasing something.
I remember when I was a kid, I thought that life would be amazing once I went off to college. That meant much of my time up until that point felt like the waiting room for something better.
As an adult, the chasing took different forms, but were simply different shades of the same flower.
“If I could only lose 20 pounds, I would be more confident and everything will be great”
“Once I make more money, I will be able to live the life I want”
“When I have a boyfriend / husband, life will be perfect and I will be happy”
I am all for ambition, and reaching for the stars, but there is a consequence for always aiming for the next place. When my focus was on the next thing, the next opportunity, the next dream, I often forgot about enjoying today.
I love to plan trips. I literally will imagine all parts of a trip, and live the experience in my mind before it happens. For my 40th birthday, I went wine tasting in Italy, and I lived that trip in my mind for a year prior to actually getting on the plane.
Unfortunately, looking back on the year BEFORE that trip, I don’t think I appreciated the insignificant days very much. I had a countdown to that 10 day trip, and longed for the days to pass until that trip.
So, as a planner, I have to be very careful to not spend all my time preoccupied with future events. In all honestly, there is no guarantee that there will even be a tomorrow, so if I don’t consciously focus on appreciating today, I find myself always chasing the horizon.
Rarely thankful for this moment.
Not appreciative of the birds chirping.
Or the sunrise.
Or for the conversations happening today.
For the people who show up and cross my path now.
When I started Ridgeway Soapworks, it was a way for me to escape. I was in a career that no longer filled my cup, but I felt trapped in that place. So I started to dream of leaving that job and becoming a soapmaker, and of running an amazing soap business.
While that dream actually came to life in many ways (which is wonderful) I have found that I still spend much of my time dreaming about the next stage of my life. The life of a small business owner is rarely dull, but it can be very stressful, and my reaction is often to dream of the future when that stress is gone.
But it never will be.
There will always be another challenge.
In life, and in business.
If you are always chasing the future, whether to escape from a tough situation or because of excitement for something ahead, be careful.
Take the time to appreciate what is in front of you.
The excitement of your dog when you get home.
The chit chat with the cashier at the store.
The conversation with your child about his/her day at school.
The clouds in the sky.
A hug from someone you love.
One of the reasons I love our soaps is that it makes a seemingly routine moment like my morning shower a little more special. More of an experience.
I strive to fill my days with appreciation for the little moments.
It’s a good plan because there are many of them, and they are available all day, every day.