Sunday, March 15, 2015

Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Three o'clock in the morning is never a good time to make decisions or to write a post to be seen publicly. I bet you can guess what time it is here. I awoke with too much on my mind to keep it contained my head anymore, so here I sit, in front of a keyboard, clicking out the excess onto the page in a effort to make room in my brain. 

This week has been mentally tough. Far too many thoughts and far too many tasks to complete -- which are yet to be completed -- have hung in the air around me, taunting me at my every turn. "You aren't finished yet," one says. "I still need to be completed," says another. "I'm not going away," says the one I am really avoiding.

Not only have I wrestled with an ever-growing to-do list, but my conscience has felt the burden of weighing who I am against who I want to be. Likely, I am not the only person on this earth who feels that pull between two sides of oneself, but the mind has a clever way of making one feel alone in the thought. What in the world am I talking about? 

I want to read more of the books that keep stacking on my shelves, but I get lost in an online pursuit of how to care for my
lavender plants, which was intended to be a five-minute search but ended as a 45-minute diversion that somehow included checking email, perusing for camera accessories, and catching up on the latest news. When I realize I'm running late for an appointment, the book remains on the shelf, collecting another day's dust.

I'd like to eat healthier meals, prepared in my kitchen with the intention of nourishing both body and soul, but find myself rushing to convenience foods as I convince myself I do not have time before the next pressing project to prepare a thoughtful meal. Inevitable guilt ensues post-meal as I realize the convenience was short-lived and did not contribute to the energy needed to pursue said project. 

I'd like to be kinder, understanding that not everyone approaches an issue with the same background so a decision different from the mainstream is a reflection of our different lives, all of which should be embraced as worthy. Easier said than done when someone seems to be contrary just for the entertainment of being contrary. Yet, I let them get under my skin and find unkind utterances flowing much-to-easily off my tongue. 

I'd like to live a more simple life, ridding my household of excess of material belongings as well as unproductive routines, only to find myself willingly caught in the cycle of both of these drains on  my energy. 

Most of all, I'd like to write more, and specifically on a writing project that has been on my mind for almost a year. I peck out a few words here and there, but the parts just do not seem to be bound together with any synergy, and their attempt at inspiration seems forced. Moreover, I find myself diving into other creative projects under the guise of growth, when I know I'm really just avoiding the fact that writing on this project is harder than I thought. It's a subject very close to my heart, and I feel compelled to write, yet transcribing it from thought to paper is like trying to describe a Van Gogh to a blind person. (Let's be clear: I'm relating the subject matter to a Van Gogh, not my writing abilities.)

With all these thoughts wrestling for space in my head, I was met with a beautiful essay from a dear friend this week, where she speaks on the very subject with which I struggle: the pursuit of balance and the desire to accept things as they are. Her words give me peace. She reminds me that my desires for a simpler, healthier life are not only valid, but attainable. Most of all, her words remind me that being aware of who I want to be is the first step, and the second (third, fourth) steps of action toward that goal can be hard, can be painful, but will be worth it. 

No one will do this for me. Each one of those wishes I wrote above are attainable, but I have work toward each one. They will not appear simply because I want them. I have to work. I have to work. I have to work. Then when the work seems too much, take a break, take a breath, rest a bit, but know the work is not yet done. As much as I wish for someone to help, these are mine alone. 

The distractions that pull me away from the work are not unusual, and quite common to anyone in pursuit of a thing that is beyond their current state. As I watched the last snowfall of the season (what I hope to be the last snowfall) recently, the only words that described my feelings were penned by Robert Frost almost a century ago. Mr. Frost also seemed to also struggle with distractions keeping him from what he must do. And so, I'm not so alone in this after all.

Stopping by Words on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods are these I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

by Robert Frost, 1922.

Yes, Mr. Frost, I also have promises to keep. So I close this post, knowing I have to walk the miles before I can rest. With that, I am off to grab the stack of files I brought home with me, determined to tackle them into submission (and completion) before the sun sets on another day.


  1. Love this! So I am not the only one that feels this way.

    1. I brought home three large projects and finished the last one at 6 pm tonight. I feel free! :-)

  2. I think every single one of us feels this internal battle to varying degrees and our ego loves to make us feel alone in that feeling. Our ego loves to feed off our guilt and fuel the thought that those things are not attainable. But they are and I know it, you know it and every one of us can know it. We can always choose between our distractions and our desire for an existence filled with simplicity, gentleness, nourishment and wellness. At first the choice is not easy, but like everything new, with practice we find ourselves making those decisions that drive us towards our dream more and more. And then we wake up and discover we've done it. We've created the reality we always desired. Have you read Elizabeth's Squam blog post as well? As a believer in serendipity over coincidence, I'm certain it is no accident we have all had this same awareness of late.

    I just read your reply to Gina as well... YAY to you for finishing those three projects! Revel in that freedom and use that feeling to create more freedom :-)

    1. True, true, true . . . After clearing those projects yesterday from my mind and my desk, the overwhelming feeling of freedom lead me directly toward some of the good things I mentioned. Both of Elizabeth's posts prodded me to knuckle down and just do what I know I need to do, and you are right, I don't believe the feeling is coincidence. Perhaps it has something to do with the slow exit of winter and the eeks and starts toward our spring -- a time for all to begin again.

      With that thought, and with the inspiration/urging of others through their shared thoughts, I began a new routine this morning, which already has me entering the day more gently, more focused, and more closely to the days I picture in my head. Each day is a new beginning, a day to forget the old nonsense (in my case), and to give it one more go toward building the kind of life that makes me thrive.

    2. Change of seasons indeed. I'm feeling it too although shifting towards autumn. For those astrologically inclined, I think there may be something in this to do with the planetary lineup at the moment. A build up perhaps toward the New Moon on the 19th, a total solar eclipse on the 20th and the Equinox on the 21st!!! It's a busy week up there in the stars :-)

      I love that you began a new routine this morning. Each day is most definitely a new beginning and we can thrive together. We'll be warrior goddess women embracing our chosen realities :-)

      This warrior goddess is bleary eyed for bed... a fresh new Tuesday awaits. Happy Monday Rita xo


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