A train moving quickly in an open desert. You're riding horseback (or whatever vehicle you dream about!) alongside it, trying to catch up. This train is your life. You feel like you are always racing just to meet it by the time it reaches the next station because, you just don't want to miss a thing. You can't follow another train, or leave this one. Like I said, it's your life. While you are living, this is you.
What's so funny, is that, seeing as it is your life, you are the one setting the pace. No one but yourself is is making that train 1) go through the desert or 2) go that fast or 3) go to a specific destination but you. The milestone/station you are running towards is your own expectation. Life isn't moving your train, you are ... and usually at a speed much to fast for you to even be on it!
I've learnt aspects of it before, and I'm learning a new angle of it again - personal expectation. Ever so "sneakily", it creeps into my thoughts and before I know it, I am discouraged because of little lies I am listening. Thoughts I have created in my mind due to out-of-reach expectations.
I started thinking about it last week when an acquaintance shared with me a study about women who are on Pinterest...a lot! I did not read the exact article so I am paraphrasing pieces of what I remember! Basically, researchers were finding that some women were feeling inadequate and unproductive in their own lives/homes/family life. 'I wish my house looked like that...', 'How come I don't have time to do all that I want to do...', 'My kids need me to do this..." etc, etc. The conclusion of the study: In theory, stimulating and inspiring ideas is an innocent action. Getting caught up in comparing and pining for what we don't have can eat away at we DO have or what we DO. Causing us to feel like we aren't doing or don't have enough ... inadequacy.
Personally, I'm not sure that Pinterest has done this in my life (I still love Pinterest & plan to still use it), but I know other distractions have led me to believe that I am just not "there" yet.
In my mind, my house should be clean, my quiet time and personal time scheduled at the same time every day, I should have a creative project on the go, dinner made ahead of time, regular outings with friends planned, my garden already planned and seeded, a family routine set in place, blah blah blah. The list seriously goes on. I laugh out loud as I write this, because those things written on paper seem like I think I'm superwoman or something!
But, friends, do you see? That is the train I am trying to keep up with. A train moving so quickly to do-do-do ... I'm not savoring the moments (chew-chew-chew!!). They are all nice and novel ideas, but it can all slip away too fast if all I want to do is reach the next benchmark on my to-do list.
I'll never stop striving to do better, but for now, I really just want to ride my own train and take in the scenery. Enjoy my little family. Breathe in each morning as a mercy. Live satisfied with what I do/don't accomplish.
"This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
pic pix: a cute little train station, Meiringen, Switzerland, May.2009