My friend and I were watching a body boarder in Solana Beach. There was a lot of time between sets, and the body boarder spent most of the time bobbing on the surface of the ocean. It was a beautiful day, sunshine and palm trees, pelicans diving for fish, and he did manage to catch a few amazing waves. Watching the body boarder, my friend and I started talking about waiting. It seemed that the body boarder spent 90 percent of his time waiting, 10 percent of his time riding an exhilarating wave, rushing through the water, foam curling behind him, salt spray stinging his face. At the end of each ride, he would immediately turn his board and paddle back out to wait again. We recognized a parallel to our lives and the amount of time we spend waiting for that next big wave, the excitement that's over all too soon. What sustains us in the waiting? Is the rush of a good wave enough to keep us bobbing on the surface? For how long? What exactly am I doing in the waiting?
It will take six days to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next summer - so the experience will not be as short as catching a wave, but when considered in the scheme of preparation, it probably is less than 10 percent of the overall experience.
Being a goal oriented person, I haven't always taken the time to revel in the preparation, to reflect on where I am in the "Here and Now" whether it's training to run a half-marathon, writing a novel or raising my daughters. I hope this time will be different, and I will learn to appreciate the journey along the way.