There’s nothing like the feeling of completing something: a project, an assignment, a journey.
That sense of accomplishment is almost overwhelming, especially if it was a long time in coming. Of course, there are building projects – like house renovations – which you know will take years when you start and they just become part of your daily life, but even these have that sense of ‘I’m done!’ at the end. It’s a great feeling.
I’ve been part of an old house renovation; the work is hard and tedious at times. The wallpaper alone will make you crazy! Yet, you know that you are doing something to make your life better. Your living conditions will be improved because of the work. It’s a worthy cause; and the end of that journey is special. Houses will always hold a special place for projects and journeys alike; they bring you - home.
But there are other ‘journeys’ that we take. We do endless assignments at work or for school; we make literal journeys in our cars or by airplane; we talk of being better and set out to be so. Life is full of journeys; and if we are wise, we will embrace them. We will discover it’s in that gap between ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ where the most growth happens. It’s a huge part of human development.
I’m putting the finishing touches on a long project (one and a half years); and it is fulfilling to say the least. I’ve talked to dozens of people along the way. I’ve learned about what it means to be important to others. I’ve discovered aspects of life I didn’t know existed, but if there—make that Life so much more fuller, if that’s the right word. A chuckle, a wink or a touch on the arm will mean all the difference in how someone else will view life from then on. People are interconnected; and that’s special every day.
To try to summarize how one person impacts others is not easy. It’s in the small, simple things; it’s in the major crossroads of Life; it’s in the day-to-day presence of those you love. It’s in memories; it’s in a song; it’s on the refrigerator; and it’s in our hearts.
For years, to the dreaded question of ‘What is your greatest work accomplishment?’ during a job interview, I would relate mine. In my first job, we were hired to take the work of several locations and centralize it into one regional location. The company was reconfiguring; and this was the way they were going to do it. There were only seven of us; and when the trucks drove up from all the separate locations, we were floored. After they drove away, we had pile after pile of files, work documents, equipment (working and not) and the directive of ‘Get this stuff together.’
It took us two years – day after long work day – to do it, but finally, it was done! The feeling of accomplishment was incredible. I have never been part of something like that before or since; and I think of it often especially when I have what seems an impossible task. It never compares to those days in 1984-85 when we pulled together on a journey of sorts. We worked – and did the current work, too – but we had fun along the way. I will always have a fond memory of working with those people.
My current project is different, but a journey nonetheless. I feel that same sense of accomplishment. I’m doing it for a specific reason; and it’s a worthy project. It will live on and give a measure of comfort in the years to come. I am honored to be part of this journey just like I was back in the 1980s.
Sometimes, we get caught up in results, but it’s how you got there that really counts. It’s what we remember; it’s what we smile at; it’s what we feel when we look back on that journey; not the end.
Not the end at all…
Dwayne Wilder is a Sherman native who currently lives in Denison. Wilder’s Whole World is his commentary about life in Texoma and the world. Wilder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.