Hidden Influences In Life

My Road Goes Ever On

Menagerie of Hidden Influences

There are Hidden Influences In Life that affect me and my family. Sticking to priorities may keep me sane. I must decide how to spend my day and my life. 

My synaptic mailbox is full.

Sitting in a relatively quiet room—the birds are chirping outside, the downstairs refrigerator is rattling, and the drier is whirling about—I alternate my gaze from myriad unfinished projects to pictures and paintings covering the walls to the well-tended jungle growing just beyond my porch.

In a conversation with a friend today, we shared the compactness of every waking hour. So much happens that our brains jump the tracks at little things. Even attempting to drive a well-known path suddenly seems like wandering among a menagerie of hidden influences.

It’s when we slip into habitual actions that images, memories, shoved aside I-will-deal-with-it-later emotional sucker punches leap in for the kill.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our wide and wild, varied, and far-reaching world. I even love texting. Especially the sheer fun of sending a string of ridiculous emojis. But the benefit of instant communication is the inherent danger of instant communication. So much. So fast.


My eldest brother, who—like me—remembers the days of landlines, snail mail, and when there was such a reality as “long-distance” shared that he had to leave his phone in another room because the constant notice pings were getting too much for his nerves.

My daughter told me the other day that we humans have figured out how to grow meat in vats. Not from animals, mind you, just from cells of animals—replicated. Like something off of Star Trek. She was thrilled with the idea. “Think about it—real meat but no suffering animals!”

And a couple of young friends asked my advice on how to get married, with God as their witness without involving religion since the religions they’ve experienced have been severely disappointing.

What do the last few examples have in common? They all happened when I was too busy to think about what they meant to me. My thoughts tumble over each other trying to sort out whether I am worried about meat vats getting married long distance without any religious affiliation.

So much needs to be tended to in a day. Like breathing in humid air that could smother a hippopotamus, formatting a Spanish version of one of my books, sending a goodies box to my dad, walking the dog despite attacking insects, answering multitudinous emails, viewing social media, checking the weather app in a vain expectation that it will now announce a cool front, and figuring out how on earth to get the chickens to quit laying on the porch steps.

When the sun finally decides to have mercy on my soul and hits the horizon, I’m weary—body and soul.

Unlike my earlier break from social media, I’ve decided, once again, to reign in the forces that play tug-of-war with my life without cutting anything off completely. Priorities matter. Sticking to those priorities may keep me sane. So, I don’t have to break away, so much as choose how to spend my time, engage my mind, and grow my soul.

Time to sit outside and empty the mailbox.


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 novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction inspirational books, check out

A. K. Frailey’s Amazon Author Page

Hidden Influences In Life


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


“I had to read the stories time and time again, but I never grew tired. On the contrary, I got more and more involved with the feelings and thoughts. Thank you so much.” ~Edith N. Mendel Fréccia



“I was really challenged and uplifted by this book.” ~Baumgardner

For a complete list of books by A. K. Frailey, book trailers, and reviews,

check out

A. K. Frailey’s Books Page

Photo https://pixabay.com/illustrations/man-forest-trees-buildings-horizon-5606892/ 


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