Do the Thing You Want to Do
“You do it because the doing of it is the thing. The doing is the thing. The talking and worrying and thinking is not the thing.”
This past month, I desperately needed some time to recuperate and reset. Enter: a much-needed vacation to the west coast for my birthday. I was staying with a friend in the Los Angeles area, who spontaneously asked if I wanted to join her on a weekend trip to San Diego while she attended a conference.
I didn’t do a lot of research before my two-day trip to San Diego, but I knew that during my short time there, I wanted to walk along the shoreline of the La Jolla beaches. After a two-hour drive to San Diego, my friend headed to her conference and I headed out on my own to explore San Diego. I ubered from the Best Western we were staying at about twenty minutes away to La Jolla Cove to walk the trail in its entirety.
The views along the La Jolla coast were incredible and breathtaking. I haven’t experienced something so beautiful and soul-nourishing in a while, and it was exactly what I needed. But during the several-hour walk by the coastline I found myself only half-present, at first.
I felt so much pressure to enjoy the "doing of the thing" as much as it deserved the enjoying. It was so beautiful and exactly what I had imagined, I was afraid I would miss it. I wanted to capture the moment and take it all in. (Was I taking enough pictures? Why hadn’t I changed from my travel clothes for cuter Instagram photos? Did the photos accurately capture the beauty of the landscape?)
“It was so beautiful and exactly what I had imagined, I was afraid I would miss it”
All the while, I was there… I did the thing that is the doing.
How do you capture a memory? A moment? How do you absorb the magnitude of your experiences and truly be present in the joys life has to offer?
I stopped at the first beach cove, WILLING myself to take it all in (with little success, which is a surprise to... no one). I was so afraid that there was only this little stretch of beauty along the way, that I had to cherish it before it was gone. I thought, this must be all there is. I did not realize that as I kept walking, there were miles ahead of picturesque grandeur - glistening blue-green water, secluded white sandy beaches, grand rocky cliffs – that I could soak in leisurely and at my own pace.
Eventually, I put away my phone (succumbing to the fact that my oversized sweater and five-year old, no longer-white Nikes were not Instagram-chic) and just kept walking. Instantly, I felt lighter and was completely enjoying myself.
My self-imposed pressure to enjoy my fantastic trip made me realize that I have become so accustomed to bracing for disappointment that I forgot how to enjoy life fully.
I’m resolute in changing this in the following ways. How can we not only DO the thing that is the doing, but enjoy ourselves while we do it??
Some things that I am reminding my heart of to refresh my soul and enjoy life better:
1) Don’t be so afraid of disappointment, you don’t leave room for hope and surprise in your life.
2) Don’t be so afraid of disappointment, that you don’t do the things that may bring you joy.
3) DO allow for experiences to take on their own life and direction.
4) Don’t be so afraid to surrender yourself when opportunities or moments present themselves.
5) Don’t allow your past disappointments to dictate your future possibilities.
What if things are not everything that you expected?
... What if it is?