Sunday, May 23, 2010
The journey of a thousand miles and all that jazz
Chinese philospher Lao Tzu said the famous quote above about the journey of a thousand miles. Since then it's been immortalized on a bunch of sappy motivational posters and greeting cards (see above). Those posters in turn were satirized hilariously on the one above titled "Ambition." It sounds pretty profound until you think about it and realize it basically amounts to "You gotta start somewhere."
Anyway, how about a journey of 5000 miles? The other night, I couldn't sleep, and I did a very stupid thing. I looked up the whole American Discovery Trail and estimated how long it will take me, if I keep up about 2 miles a day, to get all the way to the end of this walk across America. Are you ready for this? Seven years. By the time my virtual self stands on the beach at Limantour, California, my daughter will be 22. I will be pushing 50. Damn. Gives a whole new meaning to "it's the journey, not the destination."
So, I thought, let's see how long it will take to get me out of freaking Maryland. (I will be passing through part of DC soon but then back into Maryland, so that doesn't really count.) It will be a real milestone to finally walk far enough to get out of my home state. Turns out that will happen sometime in August. Then I thought, let's see where I'll be by Christmas! The answer: just reaching Ohio. Getting a little discouraged, I decided to see where I'll be this time next year. And the answer to that is.......still somewhere in Ohio.
So my goal is to reach the end of this walk before I turn 50. That sounded miserably long but then I thought about the fact that around this time in 2001, I decided to change careers, get out of social work and become a doctor. This involved completing a program to do my med school prerequisites, getting into and through medical school, then getting into and through residency. When you add up all the time that stuff all takes - 11 years. And one month from now I will start year 10 of that 11 year plan. So, it may take a while, but Limantour, California here I come!