Thursday, January 05, 2012

embrace the journey, forget about the destination.

Results are very important to me. In fact, perfection is preferred, and planned for. Even the things I do to "relax" are about creating a final product that will be pleasing. Cooking a meal that will taste good to everyone. Working out so I can look like the folks in the P90X dvds (a girl can wish). Taking a photo that will accurately capture how beautiful my children are. No matter what, I'm always scoring myself and internally telling myself how I can improve next time.

What if I didn't care about the results at all? If I had nothing invested, except the time it took to sit and breathe? Risky, for me anyway.  I don't have a lot of extra time on my hands. When I find a spare moment to drink a cup of coffee, I find myself gazing up at the kitchen ceiling and reminding myself that come summer, I need to put a fresh coat of paint on it. It's been a long time since I did something just for the experience, where I didn't care if I was good at it or bad or what anyone thought.

I started thinking about what I would enjoy doing that would be something where I could truly embrace the journey without a care in the world of where I was headed. Wandering through Michael's, I overheard an announcement about a painting class. Perfect. I know nothing about painting. I don't need to be a good painter. It doesn't matter if my seascape looks like a murky bog or my fruit bowl is mistaken for a toaster oven. Why the hell not?

The first class was an interesting experience. Sitting at a table, in the middle of Michael's with my lovely instructor, I learned about how to hold a brush, blend paints on the canvas, and when to use what stroke. It was fun. For two hours, I was able to let go and just "be" (and was serenaded by a local adult contemporary radio station to boot).

I painted a tree, which for me, was fitting. It looks like a tree (or maybe a hat). Who cares? Certainly not me.


  1. My first tree painting looked like sticks with a murky, grey mushroom top. It took me a while to get off the perfection train and painting class certainly did help to enjoy the journey instead of the mushroomy finish!

  2. Anonymous4:08 p.m.

    Good for you.... I am not there yet.. doing stuff for just me.. although I did buy a treadmill... so maybe that, to get myself to use it is quite another thing...