Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs test, or a knock-off version of one? One of the questions I’ve seen on it goes something like, “Do you feel the process of solving a problem is more important than the outcome?”. Process versus result, journey versus destination. I want to say that I value the journey just as much as where it takes me, but usually I just want to get THERE. Wherever THERE is. Losing weight, writing the thesis, job hunting, cleaning house, building relationships–they all take time. And lots of effort, repetition, and patience. And often I honestly don’t think I’d miss the process if I could just have the end result.
Which is why my two most recent hobbies of choice make me laugh. I run and I quilt. Talk about processes and delayed gratification. When I started running I couldn’t run 1/4 of a mile. If I neglect running for too long, I can’t run much more than that at first! It takes time, commitment, and a slow process of training to be able to run a few miles. I can’t stop running for a month and then just decide I’ll run 5 miles one day. That end result takes work. Quilting is the same–you start with a pile of fabric, and through hours of measuring, cutting, and sewing it becomes something beautiful and useful. But it takes HOURS. And it’s repetitive.
Quilting and running always bring me back to some gigantic life lesson. Like, I won’t get what I want all at once. The value of discipline–and that even if I can’t see it immediately, consistency and commitment make a difference. That I can celebrate the moment and what I have in it. Or I can fret about what’s coming, what I haven’t done yet. Quilting and running are reminders to me that while it takes time, effort, consistency, more time, and repetition to do things I care about, it’s also worth the process it takes to get there. Wherever there is.