My Road Goes Ever On
Amazing Achievements of Humankind
Reflecting on relationship fulfillment and balancing hopeful expectations with reality is probably one of the most amazing achievements of humankind.
January shouldn’t act like March, with bright sunshine, highs in the sixties, blustery winds, and thunderstorms. But then, who in their right mind doesn’t appreciate a break from winter’s deep freeze? Now that temps have regulated in the forties with ice and snow on the way, my seasonal expectations are decisively met. For a few minutes, anyway.
Just last month, I was well prepared for Christmas—had all my gifts bought early and holiday cards and meals ready at hand. Settled before my heater with a comfortable list, checking items off one by one, I knew how the end of the year would flow. Or so I thought. I didn’t expect a large editing assignment, a sudden arctic blast, two graduations, and an invitation to a family get-together.
Winter is supposed to mean bare tree branches swaying under a leaden sky, while drifts of snow scuttle across frozen fields. But this winter has offered thermal gymnastics with temps soaring one day and plunging the next. The sunshine has been great for the solar array, while my reading goals have receded as I spent quality time playing outside with the dogs.
How often do mental images pull me through seasons, relationships, and life itself, only to dissolve in the face of reality? And can reality, lived in the present, be more fulfilling than what I imagined?
More often than not, I peruse my daily calendar, attacking the to-do list like stages on a battlefield. Get over this hurdle, march to the next front, take the far hill, and enjoy life from a loftier perspective. But goals, even with the best of intentions, can be as duplicitous as morning fog.
Now, I am faced with a new year that I can’t even begin to imagine. Considering how many close friends and family have died, I awake to face the gift of each day with a mental note attached, Surprise!
By my second cup of coffee, I’m back to making plans and plastering goals all over my notebook. Car oil changes must be scheduled. Math lessons reviewed. Meals prepared. Laundry laundered. If I ever hope to get my books onto Audible, proper steps must be followed. Novels won’t write themselves. Corrections plague authors, like nagging ghosts. And then there are those books due at the library under threat of a stiff fine.
Balancing hopeful expectations, the desire for family and relationship fulfillment, with reality as it actually unfolds is probably one of the most amazing achievements of humankind. We need to plan or nothing would get done. Life, here on planet Earth, does follow a linear time frame. Stuck with it. No use grousing over what can’t be changed.
Unless, of course, some quantum mechanics maniac/genius figures out how to time travel. Then, Lord help us, we’ll have billions of timelines to mess with. But here, now, as our beautiful planet Earth spins on its axis, I have options. Also known—eternally—as free will.
There are roads to repair, bridges to build, friends to encounter, and kindness to bestow. If it’s too cold to build, then bake. If a child has a sore throat, then tea and honey with shortbread are a gentle option. The book list may wait, but dogs are always ready for a romp in the woods. A blue sky? Rejoice and get your vitamin D for the day. Clouds and a cold wind sweep in? Snuggle up and climb inside a good story. Death grabs a loved one? Grieve. There is no more honest pastime than sincere grief, though it rarely shows itself on a to-do list.
The best part of making plans is knowing when to set them aside for something better—real life.
Perhaps January shouldn’t act like March, but when it does, there’s a one-in-a-lifetime kite that just might fly.
A. K. Frailey is the author of 17 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
Make the most of life’s journey.
For books by A. K. Frailey check out her Amazon Author Page
“I loved reading Ann’s wise, hope-giving thoughts about life and love. Truly, life is the art of overcoming obstacles and becoming stronger to live a fuller life. Beautiful work!” ~Ksenia
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