The Difficulty of Enjoy(ing) the Process

The cacophony of existence makes it difficult to enjoy the process.


Enjoy the process birth through a relationship. It is a mantra to remember what is truly important. It was not a wedding date, a legal status, nor a covenantal promise to one another. The most important thing is the relationship itself, to enjoy one another.

It sounds silly to have to explicitly remind each other to enjoy the process, but the very reason it was necessary was because of how difficult it can be to enjoy the process.

The northeast wedding culture is very unique: extravagant, demanding, expensive. It puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on couples to meet their own self-created requirements. Family members and other peers who have bought into this culture also put an invisible pressure and false expectation on couples. On top of that, work is demanding, social engagements never ending, and unexpected trials of life always visiting.

The cacophony of existence makes it difficult to enjoy the process.

The Process

Seven years later since the wedding date, the signed legal papers, and the covenantal promise to one another, this mantra could not ever be more true.

The cacophony has not stopped banging its symbols of noisy existence to interrupt living life.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Oscar Wilde

It is a battle to remember to enjoy the process, for everything in life. It is a battle to enjoy one another, or put in a more familiar way, “never stop dating.”

It is difficult to enjoy the process. It is difficult to enjoy the process for everything in life.

But why?

I’m not sure!

There is probably a psychological and scientific reason, but here is a guess from my best teacher, Life.

1. Taking people for granted

Enjoy the process is necessary because it is easy to take for granted the significant other in life. We take for granted that the significant relationships in our lives can withstand the abuse they take.

“She will understand if I don’t call her tonight.”
“I’m too tired, can we talk about it tomorrow?”
“He knows how much is on my plate.”
“I don’t need to actually apologize, we have a deeper relationship than that.”
“She is young and resilient. She will understand when she’s older.”

Perhaps there is some truth to these sentiments and our stronger relationships are strong because they can withstand some level of tension. However, it is only a matter of time that something or someone will snap.

This is not only true in relationships, but in other facets of our life as well. We can take our health for granted. We can take our work for granted. We can take our lives for granted.

When we take things for granted, we are in a state of neglect and thus makes it significantly harder to enjoy the process.

2. Overemphasis on end results and achievements

The Olympics are just around the corner. If there is ever a time where the end results matter, it is the Olympics. Four years of training, dedication, and sacrifice culminating to the biggest moment of that entire process, determined by mere fractions of seconds. No one gives a crap about silver or bronze, it is only gold that matters.

I think if I told an Olympian who did not get gold or even placement to enjoy the process, they would tell me to piss off. Perhaps in some circumstances, it is the end result that really matters. But how many of us are Olympic athletes?

To the non-Olympian, I say enjoy the process.

“The present is a present.”

Korean proverb

The wedding day, as important and symbolic as it is, is only a day. Thus, why fret over one day and create unnecessary tension with the significant other that you want to spend the rest of your life with? Enjoy the process leading up to that special day, but most importantly, enjoy the process of the every day in and through marriage.

It is fulfilling and rewarding to accomplish a major project or task. But an overemphasis on results or achievements dulls the process it takes to reach that goal.

By shifting our mindset to be present in the present, we can allow ourselves to enjoy the process.

Sometimes setting our minds on the end prize helps us persevere through the difficult times. There is much value in “begin with the end in mind…” But I would also add, “… and then enjoy the process.” So maybe even to the Olympian, I would say enjoy the process of training and being disciplined, because there can be much joy in that process. If everything was just for gold, I wonder how disappointing and unfulfilling four years of life can be for many.

3. The process is difficult

It is difficult to enjoy the process, because the process itself is difficult!

Instant gratification does not make this any easier. Everything is instant now. Not just faster, but instant. Two day deliveries is not good enough anymore. Within few hours is the goal.

I have been more exposed to the food cycle and it is eye opening. We have become blinded by bright lights in the supermarkets, to how easy it is to get food. I am not even referring to the artificially manufactured processed foods, but the organic section on the far end of the store. How many of us plant a seed, water it the right amount, expose it to the right amount of sunlight, add additional organic nutrients to the soil such as egg shells and potassium-rich banana peel water, watch flowers blossom and most wither away, see some of them take round shape, nurture the plant more, and finally harvest a small, plump, red cherry tomato?

A long sentence, but a longer process indeed.

Life is a process and the process is difficult. Those of us growing up in the Modern West have been mostly shielded from greater difficulties. We use our wit to find the path of least resistance.

We avoid the process.

However, there is an inevitability to the process.

Thus, I say learn to enjoy the process.