Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Poised to ride the rapids (or fall off waterfalls)

The road less traveled has always appealed to me – not for me the suburban life, the ‘usual’ sort of career, the security of family. When I married, I married someone who wouldn’t contribute at all because I wanted to do it all myself. Twenty or so years later on, I decided that this was a mistake. Silly me.

I wanted to do stuff in ways that other people don’t usually try. I didn’t want to be helped or supported or interfered with in any way. I was ‘too big for that’ as I informed my dad once when he asked me to sit on his lap. As a grown up, I was too big for everything including my own boots.

Of course, the school of hard knocks beats some sense into one at some point, and one realizes that the road least traveled is unfrequented for very good reasons. Its rocky and winding, you can’t ask for directions because no-one knows the route and, in the end, it might just lead off the edge of a cliff.

I have, in the past, rather ruefully referred to this as ‘A love of doing things the hard way’. Don’t get me wrong: I’m proud of lots of the things I did the hard way, inordinately and sometimes perversely so.

I love the fact that I’ve succeeded in building a lifestyle for myself outside of the mainstream, but instead of heading into the fiercest part of the current with a determination to succeed regardless of the odds, which is what I used to do, I much prefer being in a quiet backwater just drifting along.

For a long time, one of my favorite things to say was ‘Why spoil the beautiful now by focusing on a beautiful tomorrow that may never come?’ but I think its time I got off my delightful bottom and started having a few goals other than just being happy which I do quite well anyway.

Now it’s just a matter of deciding what I want, which is more difficult than one might think it would be, because I’m rather contented as I am. I’ll let you know if I come up with anything…

Today’ pic: a quiet backwater. Are you wondering if there's a waterfall ahead? Yes, there is. I fell off it, so I know. Anyway, it seems appropriate.


  1. We all make sacrifices for something. I still think "lifestyle" is a worthy goal in itself and always opted for that over "success" and yet I think I found both. "Still waters run deep", take a life vest just in case!

  2. I have always been a "floater" because I couldn't come up with goals or plans--not the best way to live but I'm still here (and still trying to decide what I'd like to be when I grow up). At 68, I'm rather content to just be.

  3. I'm on break but I had to read YOUR blog!

    I have no doubt you will find your way on that road less traveled, as you have already demonstrated so well.
    As an oppressed goal oriented person, I wish I had more of your style. There is a freedom about you that permeates your writing too.

    I married my first husband for many wrong reasons and knew it was a mistake. It took me a lot of years to finally listen.

    I look forward to hearing more.
    As I read your comment on my blog today, I was in near tears. Thank you.

    Now then, off the computer I go!

  4. I can almost hear the sound of 'running water' in your pic.
    Somehow, I feel as if I know where you are coming from.
    Live for today, plan for tomorrow.
    May your days be sunny and bright, no matter where the future takes you.

  5. I really connected with your post. My mom has always said that I "march to the beat of my own drummer." In other words, I'd say the path I walk is one less traveled, and you're right, it really is bumpy, and difficult because no one else ever travels it. I'd like to believe it is the one where authentic happiness is found though. If you'd be so kind as to let me throw out some advice, I'd say not to leave the path less traveled, but just look down it a little. Even with the undergrowth and ominous tree around, you can still see down to the next bend. Please don't stop being unique just to fit an easy mold. If you do, we'll be short one more awesome unique person. We have enough mold fitters.

  6. I think it's important that you create your own reality. Hope all goes well.

  7. I've taken a well-traveled road. It's been a spirit-sapping ride - the scenery is all predictable. It was that way until I took up art again, now there are splashes of color and light. And goals. I had set aside goals as well. I can't tell you how much I want to simply leave this path, and hop onto the road less traveled (I think it is called a midlife crisis!) but obligations and commitments keep me on the narrow path. So be happy with your life adventure and follow this new idea of goals, but stay on your path. It's interesting. And goals, by the way, can still be consistent with happiness - and should be.

  8. Being able to go to bed while thinking "well, that was a bgreat day! I wonder what new stuff is going to happen tomorrow?" makes nit a life well-lived.
    Socrates said that the unexamined life isn't worth living: sounds to me that you're doing OK.
    Mind you, i say that a life without a cat in it isn't worth the bother...

  9. I love what you have to say here. You have a wonderful way of describing life that many people can relate too. I too took the road full of rocks and am now trying to decide what to do with my life. Wishing you luck in what ever it is you decide.

    By the way it's me T.K. changed my account and blog and wanted to keep in touch with one of my favorite bloggers. ;)

  10. Heff: Oooh, I don't know, sometimes one succeeds in doing silly stuff.

    Stonepost: You BET I'm taking a life vest.

    HWF: I love your comment! And I wonder too: what WILL I do if I grow up? I'm not sure I want to!

    PAMO: I'm madly flattered that you're popping past my blog despite taking time off! Purrs. Looks pleased with self. My comment on your blog? It doesn't begin do you justice, though I tried! Glad you got the feeling behind it all the same.

    Chez: You sum it up perfectly. Its what I want to do. I hope you'll get your share of sunshine too - its in arrears...

    Paulsifer: Welcome! Conforming might be a pleasant change - then again, maybe not...

    Israel: I can create my own reality? Woohoo! That rocks! Now to transform the sea into whiskey and myself into a duck...

    Dan: I know what you mean - the longer one stays on a course, the harder it is to change. There are no islands in the stream.

    Aotea Writer: I like you. I also have two cats. This makes me a happy individual.

    CC: Pretty flower - re-inventing yourself? I must come and see.