I’m not much into poetry but this poem by Robert Frost has always inspired me to think about the consequences of each decision. Once that one decision is made, the world around you and the possibilities for the future change- for better or for worse.
The Road Less Traveled
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I like my routines.
They fill me with confidence and security. And they fill my schedule as well. My day is packed with work that satisfies my conscience. I get the things done that need to get done. My blog posts get scheduled. I attend the appointments on my calendar. I keep busy. I am comfortable that this is how life is supposed to be- but still.
Something nags at the back of my mind. What about the new skill I wanted to learn. What about the dreams on my list? When will I get my business foundation in place. When will I make that family getaway happen? When will we visit that new place we always talk about. What is the point of all this business when it isn’t focused on making the retirement lifestyle that I say I want happen?
It comes down to a choice.
It is a much more difficult choice than it seems because tomorrow will be the same whatever path I choose. Nothing I do today can make my dreams happen tomorrow. It will take time. Then there is the risk and uncertainty of the path less traveled which keep me veering back to the path I know. You know the nagging questions. “What if it doesn’t turn out well?” “What if I don’t like it?” “What if if keeps me from my routine? “ And the devastating, “Maybe I can’t do it?.” It is hard to keep on that less traveled path.
Well, when I manage to keep control I tell myself what if I never reach the goals and dreams I talk so much about? How will I feel at the end of life telling myself how well I managed my rut; how skillfully I filled my calendar with busy work. Have I let the comfort of business as usual keep me from reaching my goals? The road less traveled beckons.