Sitting at a stop light.
Texts flowing in, trying to ignore them.
Kids in the car, not looking forward to school, but not fighting it either.
I’m trying to distract my racing mind by listening to the radio. But that P!ink song is on. And if I hear it one more time my eyeballs may pop out.
In so many ways it’s just a normal day.
The light turns green. I drop the kids off at school. I pull over and respond to a few texts. And start driving down the hill to go back home.
I hit another red light. There’s a commercial on the radio which I’ve completely tuned out.
In the absence of noise my mind begins racing again.
Which projects are starting? Which deadlines are approaching? Who is managing that project?
And I’m still processing the last trip while thinking of the next. Planning a fall travel schedule that’ll take me close to 100,000 miles for the year. My mind wanders into the morality of it. “That’s too much travel. Is it too much? What’s too much? How am I going to…”
Snap back to the near future. Vacation. Oh, look here. A checklist. Sure it’ll be a lot of driving to get there. Don’t forget to get an oil change. Rotate the tires. I think the transmission needs to be flushed. Probably an air filter would be good.
But once we’re in Yosemite, it’s peace and quiet for 7 days. 7 days of playing in streams. Exploring trails with the kids. Making dinner and drinking wine with Kristen. The types of smiles I only see from Kristen on vacation when we are both relaxed.
5 more weeks.
The light turns green. Driving up the hill back to the house distracts me enough.
I share all of this, not just to dip into the cerebral nature of my thinking, and not just to trigger introspection in you– I share all this because life is about chasing things.
This is what it looks like. This is what it feels like.
Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
While I doubt Confucius had a job I do think his point has validity.
When I look at the stuff I’m doing, sure there is lots and lots of work. Hard stuff. Hard decisions. Endless checklists. Learning hard lessons every day. Making mistakes. Being reminded by Lars that failure isn’t a bad thing. Celebrating successes. And dealing with backlash from Lars about celebrating success.
My point is that chasing something you are passionate about, whether its work related or your dream accomplishment or your weight loss goal or overcoming a disability– the act of chasing will bring you unlimited meaning and joy. (Mixed in with all the emotions of day-to-day life.)
The problem isn’t with those who are chasing something. Sometimes the problem is with those who aren’t. Those who aren’t chasing something are annoyed by your chase. They fundamentally don’t understand your chase. Maybe sub-consciously they are jealous? They just look at the exterior stuff and pass judgment on what they see without really seeing the prize.
I’m chasing something so much more important than the temporal.
My advice? Listen to those who are also in pursuit. And politely listen, but don’t internalize, the words of those who aren’t. Every good story needs sirens and muses. But don’t forget that the siren or the muse is never there for the climax. They are only there along the way.
Chase on, chaser.