Are We There Yet?

“Are we there yet?”

The infamous question not limited to children enduring long car rides. We ask it all the time as adults—mentally, figuratively, metaphorically. 

“Do I have enough money yet?”

“Can I retire yet?”

“Is it 5:00 yet?”

“Is it summer yet?”

We’re all guilty of it on some scale or another. It’s hard not to be this way when so much of our lives have shaped us to use this mentality. 

Make a plan. Follow the plan. Arrive. 

Our entire educational paths are this. And then our careers are this. 

Where’s the thing that focuses on the journey, though? Why does it always have to be destination-centered?

We’ve all seen what happens when our happiness is contingent upon a destination. It’s detrimental. Yet we continue to focus on “there” rather than on the entire part that comes before that. The drive. The views. The lessons learned and the questions asked. 

Growing up, my mom made a point of taking annual “girls trips” to the beach with just us sisters. (Turns out this wasn’t so difficult due to my brother and dad having little to no interest in laying out and going shopping, but still.) While I loved the beach, lounging around the condo, swimming, shopping, playing cards, and all of those things, I remember one of my favorite parts just being the car ride there. It was only ever about 4 or 5 hours, but we always did Mad Libs and took turns answering questions like “What’s your dream vacation?” and “What would you do if nothing were impossible?” The journey to the beach was equally as fun as the beach itself, honest. 

I’m trying to adopt this mentality, now, as my life meanders on and I keep wondering, “Are we there yet?” 

All this emphasis on arrival, and I’m missing out on so many views along the way. 

I finally responded to my own question with another question, “What happens when we get there?” 

Wherever “there” is for you, what happens next? Do you just pick a new destination? Or are you finished? Both seem pretty shitty to me. 

I think I’ll stop asking and start trying to become more journey-focused. How about you?