It was 95 degrees and humid on Friday. As I drove home from the seacoast, about 2 in the afternoon, I passed through a section of Vermont where there was road work being done. I saw the orange cones but no workers and felt relief, thinking that the state had given the outside crews an emergency day off. A few miles up the road though, I realized that they had just moved and saw them working, laying new tar on one side of the road. It actually made me feel a little sick seeing these very hot, stressed-out men outside on the black top.
I used to believe that I alone was responsible for setting a schedule and sticking to it, no matter what, in order to accomplish what I felt was important. The concept of a “heat day” or a “snow day” was inconceivable. Only undisciplined, lazy people took days off, and I secretly feared that I was both, so I set routines for myself and did not veer from them in order to stay on the straight and narrow; to somehow prove that I was a “good person”.
It never occurred to me, that because I was in this world, this universe, that even extreme heat was a part of the flow of my life, offering guidance to move in a direction (possibly of no movement!). I have come to see that God speaks/offers guidance in infinite ways; through people, books, songs, breakdowns, stubbed toes, dreams, and even through the weather. When I forget that I am connected to all, when I think that I am just this singular little “unit” out here alone slugging it out, life feels like one big obstacle.
I read something by Elbert Hubbard once, and I am sure that he was saying it facetiously when he wrote, “Life is just one damned thing after another!” Life is not something that must be “overcome”, it is something to be embraced. We are either flowing with life or struggling against it, enjoying the trip or having a rough ride. Either way, the choice is ours. What will you choose today?
20 thoughts on “I have to get it done now!”
When my sister came to live with me, she introduced me to a whole new way of life, first, i didnt walk so fast! i always held her hand when we were walking, and that was so cool! She had a speech impediment, so occasionally, when I was all fired up to get done, she would look at me and say, ‘Yater’ read the book with me or watch the movie with me, and I did! My entire over compensating attitude changed to a much slower, happier way of life…and I am so glad, as I have now lost her, that I sat down with her all those times and let the whatevers go till ‘Yater’. My sister was very wise….
Thank you for this!!! I cannot tell you how much I love it…”Yater indeed!”
Your blog and Hope’s response have said it all for me today. You have both reminded me that it’s ok for me to stop, look around me, observe every nuance of life in that moment and, most of all, revel in it.
Thank you both for this.
Well, bear with me please because this post really triggered some anger I’ve been holding.
I know that we each can only change ourselves to be able to see how truly connected we all are, but I wish enough people would choose to change in order to create a tipping point where compassion becomes the rule rather than the exception.
It’s really sad that the businesses and social structures providing a means for people to make a living manage to create abusive expectations for workers, even if that isn’t a deliberate or conscious policy.
Last week I came home to find my husband stretched out on the floor in our air conditioned room looking terrible and exhausted. He’d been outside working all day and doing his best to stay with it even though it was over 100 degrees in the sun. He avoided heat exhaustion by breaking the rules to take frequent shade and water breaks and come home early, thank goodness. He works for a national company that says they value employees, but really it’s the bottom line that’s most important. He’s like many people who find themselves accepting productivity expectations even under conditions when they don’t make sense, and that really creates the feeling of being, “just this singular little “unit” out here alone slugging it out, (and) life feels like one big obstacle.” It just hurts my heart to see someone I love in that space.
This is a bit of a rant and I apologize for that, but it really makes me angry. I do feel better venting to trusted friends, so I thank you for listening.
I had to reply to your post, Barbara.
No apologies necessary. Most of us today feel as though we’re working in an atmosphere that resembles the Puritan Work Ethic on steroids. It started getting bad in the late ’80’s when the companies started bringing in those dreaded “efficiency experts.” It has been all downhill from there, with the bottom line getting top billing and the people-factor dropping to last place.
No easy answers. Your thoughts of a “tipping point” are spot-on but it will take a lot of work, and most people today are fearful of losing their jobs, so they cave to the policies.
Gee, looks like I went on a bit of a rant of my own. See? You’re not alone. Sorry for making this so long a reply.
No apologies necessary Suzanne! As always, thank you for sharing!
This message is so very timely for me today. My son is relocating for a job over eight hours away and I’ve been struggling against it. I’ve been resentful, scared and feeling abandoned. I need to refocus and accept that it is his path and may just open up my life to some new possibilities…..but boy is it hard for me to see him leave.
I love your blog! Thanks for inspiring me every time.
…even at work. As I sit here wondering what to do next because it seems there is very little to do, my need to be conscientous battles with the reality around me. So, flowing, flowing, flowing and embracing this opportunity to read your post in the here and now! Thanks!
Loved this post , Mary!
God’s guidance indeed comes in so many ways. Years ago, I was working hard at my career, 25 years of 16 hour days and I just got burned out…totally burned out. And I walked away from my career that I loved. People thought I was crazy. But I needed to refresh. My inner pendulum had swung so far to the professional side that I was very out of balance. After 5 months of healing myself with long walks, reconnecting with family and friends, swinging the pendulum back toward center, my boss asked me to come back. And I did…a new person with totally fresh perspective. Two months later, my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. We lived 2 1/2 hours apart. Every weekend my husband and I would go to stay with her and her husband as they tried to battle the disease. It was heartbreaking to see her weaken. And I would cry the entire ride up the Parkway toward home each Sunday. She passed 10 months later. But we had spent each and every one of those 10 months of weekends together. It was only after her husband found her journal and shared it with me, that I truly found out how much those weekend visits meant to her. I knew, had I not taken those 5 months to refresh, I would have never had the physical or emotional energy and strength to have given those 10 months to Jan. And I am so grateful that God gave me lead time to heal myself so that I could help her. What seemed drastic to me at the time, leaving my career, ended up such a blessing, and such an honor to be able to have given all of myself, and be totally present for Jan during her final days. Her final words to me were “don’t wait, Kath”. I know exactly what she meant…don’t wait til tomorrow, don’t wait for happiness, don’t wait for retirement, don’t wait til (whenever) for life…live it now! Thank you Lord for people like Jan and Mary and so many others in my life!
What a sad, lovely and meaningful story, Kathye. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. It is truly a blueprint for those needing to “break away.”
What a magnificent story Kathye! Thank you for sharing it with all of us.
This is a message I could read everyday, and hope that one day I won’t have to read it I will be it.
I always find such wise words here. I am usually trying to do three things at once and spacing my time so I don’t “waste” a second. You help me slow down and flow. Thank you! And . . . I love the image of Bodhi and Fred. What great examples they are! I sat out and watched the starlit sky last night — what an awesome sight!
So glad that my Mom & I recently met Jack @ his Antique store in Cambridge while visiting my sister during her surgery… We had a great conversation with him finally leading us to your terrifically positive & moving blog. I am now back in West MI working on a small film farm project. I am looking forward to catching up & moving forward with your messages. Thank you for sharing your light!
I enjoy reading your blog so much. I have begun to read it every morning (while ignoring all other emails except the Bedlam Farm blog … which is how I found out about you in the first place). Your words always speak to me and today I had another little “delight” … a quote by Elbert Hubbard. I am a volunteer at the Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum and grew up 2 blocks from where he created his “world” here in East Aurora, NY … it always delights me when I see his words in unexpected places!!
Mary, your post sat me down, giving thanks for a relatively early retirement that I took advantage of 4 years ago. I made the decision to downsize my life style and needs to make it a reality.
By the time I got through Kathye’s reply, I felt like I’d just read the most succinct treatise for a road map to living a full life: Don’t wait; live NOW! And never postpone joy.
Thank you Cheryl and I so agree!
You guys are just all awesome, thanks for your amazing affirmations for a life well lived!
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