Shel Silverstein an American poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of children’s books. In one of these books (“A Light in the Attic”), Silverstein included this poem:
In Search of Cinderella (by Shel Silverstein)
From dawn to dusk,
From town to town,
Without a single clue,
I seek the tender, slender foot
To fit this crystal shoe.
From dusk to dawn,
I try it on
Each damsel that I meet.
And I still love her so, but oh,
I’ve started hating feet.
Though this poem is certainly written for children, I think it can have meaning for us, as well. The Prince in Silverstein’s poem has a definitely goal that he seeks with diligence. He spends all day every day working to achieve this goal. Certainly, it is an admirable goal… to find his one true love. However, he has allowed this effort to so consume him that he finds drudgery and comes to hate the journey.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever found yourself thinking that someday in the future you’ll be happy, or set, or satisfied, or able to do what you want? Have you ever thought, “When my kids finish college and leave home, we’ll be able to do what we’ve dreamed?” Or, “when I finish this degree…” Or, “when we pay off the house…” Or, “when I get that next promotion…” Or, “when I finish that last chemo treatment…” It is so easy to get so caught up in believing that that ‘goal’ down the road will bring happiness that we come to hate the journey. Then, that day comes when you have ‘achieved the goal’ you learn that it wasn’t the ultimate happiness you had hoped. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to have life goals… almost essential. It is noble to be focused, dedicated, and on a specific pathway to achieve something big. However, we should work to avoid allowing this to become so important that we come to hate the process or hate the journey because you may wake up one day and wonder where the time has gone.
I think “Searching for Cinderella” was Silverstein’s way of saying, “We need to stop and smell the roses along the way.” Life is too precious, too wonderful, and too filled with large and small joys that it is simply wrong to miss it. So, don’t let today go by without experiencing the smell of a rose along the way!
Thanks for all you do! Have a fabulous day!
(By the way, I attached a link to my favorite Cinderella-theme song this morning, as well. Enjoy!)