Sometimes it’s about the destination

our view
The view from our rooftop terrace

If you are flying off to some tropical location, do you reflect on the flight to get there? Is there some life lesson in the movie choices you made to endure the crying child three rows ahead of you and the rude man behind you kicking your seat? 

If you get a flat tire on your way to work, do you stop to analyze the metaphorical lessons while some stranger (saint) stops to help you change your tire?

We have made a point to wax eloquently about the journey. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who graced us with the oft-used quote. “Life is a journey, not a destination.” We have proceeded (myself included) to alter this quote to something like, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” 

And by alter, I mean butcher. Sometimes, it’s about the destination. Sometimes, it’s about gritting your teeth, taking multiple deep breaths, and pushing your limits to get to the other side.

We moved out of our house on July 31st, so we could rent it. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We could travel through California, saying good-bye, staying with friends and family, then arrive in the UK, find a house and settle in. 

We just moved in today. For those of you unaware of the date, or reading far beyond the publish date, that’s five and a half weeks. Over two weeks was spent in hotel rooms. With 12 suitcases. And not suites. Just a room. With four people. And two dogs. One bathroom. I don’t even think Picasso could encapsulate the sheer stress of such an arrangement. 

Five and a half weeks was a journey. I’m sure at some point, we will reflect on the journey. Possibly there will be laughter. Possibly. But at the moment, there are genuine sighs of relief. There are four people spreading out and maximizing personal space. We are a family again, cooking in our own kitchen, making our own plans. Closing doors to keep out the world.

And know, that the last five and a half weeks, there has been teeth gritting, deep breath taking, and pushing on despite how we feel. And for those of you who are smug, wondering if I get the lessons we have learned, the answer is yes. But I won’t even start a conversation about this until I have showered in my own shower for five and a half weeks. That seems fair doesn’t it?

Oh, and our son left today for boot camp. In three months I will be a Marine Mom. And for the record, I will be telling him (only in letters as I can’t talk to him for three months) to grit his teeth, take deep breaths, and keep pushing because he too will get to the destination. Because, sometimes, in the moment, it’s really just about the destination.

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6 Comments on "Sometimes it’s about the destination"

  1. Vicky Ow-Wing
    08/09/2019 at 12:31 pm Permalink

    Enjoy your journey!

  2. Cathy Pagano
    08/09/2019 at 9:30 pm Permalink

    So glad to hear you guys are getting settled. Now the journey begins.

    Love hearing all about the Qualls.

    View looks lovely.

  3. Mitchell C Fletcher
    10/09/2019 at 1:28 pm Permalink

    Those trials are what makes us truly appreciate being blessed!

    I reflect… Running home through the woods in Nevada County after a snowball fight, at dusk, with wet freezing hands and toes as a kid, I truly thought I was going to die. Arriving home at the front door I thought I was finally safe. Then, discovering that the process of warming them up was even more painful. Finally there was comfortable warmth, and then, I knew I was saved.

  4. Amanda
    12/09/2019 at 7:41 pm Permalink

    I could read your writing all day every day! Miss me some Qualls!!!!

  5. Rebecca Qualls
    22/09/2019 at 2:38 am Permalink

    Miss me some Cole!!! Come visit!!!

  6. Diann Fischer
    13/09/2019 at 6:38 am Permalink

    Sounds like an adventure that you will never forget. How exciting and can’t wait to hear mor about your adventures!

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