Erin's Journals

Monday, August 28, 2023

Just a thought… Beware of Destination Addiction: a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job and with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are. [Robert Holden]

Perhaps this is a bookend to the blog I wrote a few weeks ago about our right to death. Read on! This one isn’t dark, I promise. But it came to me, as I sat outside on a glorious August weekend, that truly we are in the Labour Day portion of our lives, many of us.

You’ll perhaps recognize yourself in this: if our lives are the seasons – spring when we arrive and grow and then summer when we sink into the fullness of what we have sown and the warming comfort of watching it all come to full height and fruition – then this point now is when we start to get that feeling.

So here’s the question: what are you going to do about it?

When he was a bit sharper, my dad regularly used a witty comeback when I’d ask, “How are you today?” and that was, “Well, I don’t know, I’ve never been here before!”

It’s true; none of us has, unless we have past life memories. But we have choices. We can complain about August coming to an end and dwell on what we’ll miss, or we can embrace what’s here in our hands.

Thanks to a message from Facebook visitor Richard T., I did a bit of digging and came across this piece on Psychology Today‘s website about something called Destination Addiction. I saw myself in nearly every word. Here’s a bit of what Robert Holden wrote:

People who suffer from Destination Addiction believe that success is a destination. They are addicted to the idea that the future is where success is, happiness is, and heaven is. Each passing moment is merely a ticket to get to the future. They live in the ‘not now,’ they are psychologically absent, and they disregard everything they have. Destination Addiction is a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is somewhere else. We suffer, literally, from the pursuit of happiness. We are always on the run, on the move, and on the go. Our goal is not to enjoy the day, it is to get through the day. We have always to get to somewhere else first before we can relax and before we can savor the moment. But we never get there. There is no point of arrival. We are permanently dissatisfied. The feeling of success is continually deferred. We live in hot pursuit of some extraordinary bliss we have no idea how to find.

It was not lost on me that this post was sent to me as I was online seeking a last minute refuge to go to this week, feeling the “back to school” urge to get a few more days away. It never fades, does it? (Anyone else feel the need to go buy new pencil crayons and Duotang folders these days?)

But as I consider this article (and I’ll link below) I know that if I’m not happy in my home, in my heart, I won’t find it in the next podcast, voice job, emcee booking or getaway. I’m going to work on this.

Instead of lamenting the impending end of August, I need to remind myself that even as they roll out Halloween decorations (or Christmas ones at Costco) and pumpkin-spice-everything, it’s up to us to enjoy the presents that come with the present, immersing ourselves in the fullness of what surrounds us now – the bounty of the harvest – with gratitude and perhaps a bit of serenity. I’ll try if you do.

Have a lovely long Labour Day weekend and I’ll be back with you next Tuesday. In the meantime, please do continue to enjoy gentle sleep stories on Drift with Erin Davis (available free wherever you download podcasts) and, of course, this Thursday, Lisa Brandt and I will have a brand new Gracefully and Frankly podcast for you to listen to as you walk, drive or just sit and talk back to us. I promise it’s worth your time, and I’m grateful for every minute of it you share with me, with us.

And here’s a link to that article that gave me so much food for thought; perhaps it will you, too. 

Rob WhiteheadMonday, August 28, 2023