Today I can see the telltale signs of progress in some of my favorite moments in each year. Take nesting season, for instance. Every spring like clockwork, a certain feathered someone climbs into his nest and waits for the ladybirds to come (while his proud featherless mommy snaps picture after cute picture of the phenomenon!).

I’ve never been a huge fan of progress.

In past years (decades), my preference has mostly been for perfection.

As in, that old saying about just enjoying the journey instead of launching myself headlong towards the destination, preferably as quickly and efficiently as possible….well, ha.

But today, things are shifting.

Today, I’m realizing that some destinations aren’t so desirable.

Take death, for instance (mine as well as those I love). I mean, it’s not like any of us can put it off forever, but there’s no need to rush towards it either, if you know what I mean.

Also, aging. Finding the first grey hairs is kind of fun and challenging (oh! change! which wild and funky new full-grey-coverage hair color should I choose this time?)

The first sag, the first wrinkle, the first general downward shift….the effect (for me at least) has  been a lot like suddenly finding myself driving through an older, somewhat dilapidated yet still charming small town.

Oh look! How quaint – a real, live wrinkle! Let’s take a picture, hon! Yes of course I want to be in the picture with it! Maybe you should use the zoom lens so we can really see it well….

But then after awhile there’s no call to mention zoom lenses, and you discover the friendly wrinkle has followed you home, moved in next door and invited their extended kin to do the same. 

Same holds true for the now-routine regular rounds of size upgrades going on in your closet, the increasingly desperate search for truly comfy footwear with adequate arch support, the no longer optional daily servings of dark leafy green vegetables…..

However, at the ripe, rich middle age of 46, I have to say – progress is growing on me. And not just literally, either.

I am liking progress more and more. Reason being: progress is trustworthy.

Progress keeps its word.

Progress is reliable, steady.

Progress makes for good company.

Progress is polite at a party, never grandiose nor too self-effacing. Progress knows when to offer advice and when to simply listen. Progress won’t make eligible singles cross a room to meet you, but it also handily avoids the professional hangers-on who may be using their flashy exteriors to mess up your already fragile interiors.

Progress always delivers on its promises, no matter how difficult it becomes or how extended the time period gets between promise-made and promise-kept.

I am living proof of this, whether I perhaps liked it or appreciated it at the time or not. For example, thanks to progress, I have now recovered from a two-decade-long battle with an eating disorder.

Thanks to progress, I am now managing my cyclical anxiety and depression quite well (if I do say so myself).

Thanks to progress, I now have the most wonderful relationship with my parents and some truly great “life friends.”

Thanks to progress, today I share my home and heart with a variety of species, including one special set of feathers and two uber-cute shells who mentor and enrich me every day in every way.

Thanks to progress, I am HERE. As in, I am still here (like, not dead from my eating disorder or any one of the nearly countless other ailments that could have taken me down at any point over the years).

And as in, I am really here – present, aware, connected, living my life as me, for me, consciously and as competently as I’ve ever been able to do thus far in my life.

Don’t get me wrong – I can see there is still progress to be made. It might be a lot or a little, depending on how ambitious I may be feeling on any given day and how consistently that ambition persists.

But to have come this far….and truly, there are days when I can’t make any progress at all, unless you count (and I do) the gratitude of simply basking in all the progress I’ve already made, often in spite of me and with the always-faithful, ever-encouraging support of progress itself.

Today’s Takeaway: Do you ever look back over your previous years and wonder if perhaps the journey IS the destination? I’ve caught myself wondering that more than a few times this year in particular. Like, any one day could be considered a destination in itself. And all of life could be considered a journey leading up to the final destination from which there is no (known) return. That thought alone is enough to keep my mind busy for days – heck, years!

P.S. This post comes from my monthly free e-newsletter, “Good News for Recovery + Life.” Read the full edition HERE!