Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Task and Art of Repaving a Path

I have been noticing a lot of road construction recently. Tearing up roads, pouring down tar, the big rollers smoothing over the tar, all in the blazing sun. You wonder if this is what hell could be like. I mean, heat, on heat, then add some more heat.

That got me to thinking about life. And, how hard it is to start over. And looking at the path you are on. Trying to figure out if this is the right one or not. Or which one should I take? How should I narrow this down?

And, I realized, sometimes you don't have to completely take another road in life. It might be better to improve the road you are on first. Heck, you leave behind the road you were just on and, that road, well, could use some work.

I think re-paving a road is a lot harder than just abandoning the road and going off in another direction. It takes evaluation - how much damage needs to be repaired. It takes hard work - from the little patch up jobs to the complete destruction and re-building. It can be difficult - sweating it out, situations that are already very heated, pushing even further.

But, when you are done, when the road cools, you have something you can travel on again, smoothly. The small holes, the extra bits are gone. The road is lighter and you feel like you are flying. There is a quiet excitement, a newness, a self-confidence. You are now ready to take the next step in life.

So, please pardon the appearance, I am trying to repave my road. I'll let you know how it goes.

Got this IChing reading a bit ago - found it relevant to my feelings above:
60: Limits and Connections
Thursday, July 10th, 2008

General Meaning: Limits are necessary to give purpose and direction to life. Swimming in a sea of boundless opportunity would soon lead to exhaustion. Winging it alone in a sky of boundless opportunity would lead to being lost. In human affairs, the making of choices, and alliances, implies limitation, for in choosing one path another must be abandoned.

One key to a successful life is to select your limits consciously and carefully - to be discriminating in the setting of personal boundaries and knowing when to join in formation. Thrift, for example, often precedes prosperity; just as the letting go of selfish interests often leads to greater personal reward. Only by consciously accepting useful limits can one's energy be channeled to good purpose, and lead to lasting accomplishment.

Point yourself toward a middle way, the mean between discipline and freedom of spirit. Limits will come of their own accord; but to be able to consciously select your own affiliations in life - that's knowing how to fly! At the same time, do not go overboard on discipline. Even limitation must be limited, so that in attempting to bring order and direction into your life you do not choke off vital sources of enthusiasm and spontaneity.

Similarly, in groups and organizations, the rules and regulations should strike a balance between being too strict and too soft. If too strict, they build frustration among people, and ultimately become destructive. If too lenient, sloppiness becomes acceptable, and energy is soon dissipated. The best path is one which allows for the fulfillment of individual potential, while encouraging self-discipline and focus.

1 comment:

Robert said...

One day at a time Steph. You have done well and have so much to be proud of.

Steph my friend I am most proud of you.