Should you take a new path?

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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.

Robert Frost

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.

Which will I follow?

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Janette January 19, 2011, 1:03 pm

    All great questions. I ask myself the same ones.
    Stretching out of my comfort zone is difficult.
    I’ll put it on the calendar- for April!

  • January 19, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I’ve never found the comfort of routine comfortable…I’ve always had to do something “odd” compared to what was expected. Perhaps that is why…I don’t like meeting others expectations, I prefer to set my own, and the best way for that is “the road less traveled” because if it’s less traveled it’s unfamiliar to folks who would st those expectations, so they can’t.

    All progress comes from someone getting outside their expectations, their comfort zone. Henry Ford was comfortable fixing bicycles…and he used the road less traveled to give us cars. Same with the Wright brothers…two boys rally, who never finished high school and also had a shop that specialized in bicycles and printing presses. Their “road less traveled” gave us airplanes so the TSA could sexually molest us…LOL.

    I’ll take the unworn grass of an untraveled road over a concrete interstate any day.

  • Ralph@retirement lifestyle January 19, 2011, 4:19 pm

    After Taxes?
    Ralph@retirement lifestyle’s last Blog Post ..Should you take a new path

  • January 19, 2011, 4:25 pm

    I dunno Ralph…I saw 4 cars today. Damn traffic jam…

  • January 20, 2011, 8:52 am

    Ralph, the locals come back, wandering around seeing if there is any land that has opened up for hunting. Not the city folks who wind up on my road just poking around looking at the scenery and the hillbillies though…not after I play “Dueling Banjos”, the theme from “Deliverance”, real loud.

  • Anne Sales January 21, 2011, 5:16 am

    Robert Frost is one of my most favourite poets and obviously his poems. I’ve got a poster of this poem hanging on my wall. I’m a very reflective person and so it’s natural for me to take the road less travelled by but sometimes I get overboard and make my own way too 😀
    Anne Sales’s last Blog Post ..IX Web Hosting Promo Code

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