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The Elusive Over There’s

Last week I was enjoying a walk with a friend of mine and we were talking about her new career.  She has recently decided to pursue her art/sculpture full time.  She was discussing the ups and downs of starting her own business and engaging her passion.

At one point she looked at me and said, “Don’t you ever get tired of thinking, it’s just ‘over there’?”

And I looked at her puzzled.

So she went on,  “You know,” she said, “that happiness, peace, contentment is just over there and if/when I get ‘over there’ I will feel it but then ‘over there’ keeps moving.”  We both laughed.  Because I could totally relate.

I have written on this blog about the ‘I’ll be happy when syndrome‘ which is the idea that we set imaginary goals, and once we hit them THEN we will be happy. The elusive ‘over there’ but then the ‘when’ keeps shifting.  When I quit this job, when I get the perfect career, when I am in a relationship, when I have kids and on and on and on.  Meanwhile, life keeps moving forward–sometimes, we hit the ‘over there’ but by the time we achieve it we have already moved on to the next one.  We rarely take the time to celebrate the win.

I will use me for example and do a little self-disclosure.   A few weeks ago I was looking at my life and was lamenting my ‘over there’s’ that I had yet to achieve.  Then I said to myself wait let’s take stock and look at where you are, what you want out of life and what you have.  So I thought about my life:

I am working a job I love and I am passionate about. I get to set my own schedule, work with people on finding their dreams lives and get to write, speak and listen to people every day.

I am in a relationship that makes me feel joyful and supported every day. Which in full disclosure, has been an ‘over there’ for a very long time?

I have friends who support me and love me and are drama free and a family that I can be transparent with and share with free of judgment.

Ten years ago, those were my ‘over there’s’.  I was working a job that on some level I enjoyed but also left me depleted and exhausted.   I was single and although good at being single; I wanted to find someone to share my life.  I had lots of friends, but few of them knew me and our relationships had a lot of drama. I still hadn’t individuated from my family, so I constantly looked to them for approval and acceptance.

Don’t get me wrong my life isn’t perfect–I still have my ‘over there’s’ but if I hadn’t taken stock of what my ‘current wins’ are, I would have missed them.  I would have missed looking at my life and for a brief moment taking a huge sigh of relief to say, “Ah, I am right where I should be and I need to enjoy this time”.

So today I challenge you to put down your ‘over there’s’ for a little bit and just look at the ‘current wins’ where are you now, what are you joyful about, what blessings do you have in your life?  Maybe it is that you have the children you always wanted, you are closer to the career you dreamed about, you are in a relationship you love, you have traveled to places you dreamed about, or you are engaging in a hobby that makes your heart sing.

I challenge you to look at your ‘over there’s’ from 10 years ago.  What were they?  How have you changed? How have you achieved them? Which ones did you let go of?  Which ones did you forget/give up on?  Are there any that are still on your ‘over there’ list?

Over there’s are fabulous as long as stop and celebrate when we have finally reached them, instead of constantly pushing the ‘there’ a little further.

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