Saturday, November 21, 2015

Moving Toward "Enough"

When I get to work of a morning (my grandparents used to say "of a morning" and I like the expression), I park in a large parking lot and then I have a short walk to get to the office. I have two paths I can choose to get to my office. Since I first started working there, my most favored path has been the outside path that follows a meandering brick walkway. There are huge oak trees stretching their branches above me and more often than not, squirrels are playing among the trees. Whether I am going in to work or leaving out from work, it is, for me, a time of grounding and centering, almost always the walk is a brief exercise in contemplation.

I could enter into the building and walk a couple of long hallways to get to our office. That too can be a grounding and centering experience. Any other job I've had, I've always been able to park very close to the entrance, so I've not had this experience of a slow walk into, or out of work. I'm kind of grateful for the longer path to get to work.

I'm still walking fairly regularly. I've even added short bursts of running (or jogging?) into my walk, mostly just because I can. I've never been a runner and I doubt I'll ever be much of one, ever (like never), but there's something freeing for me about the experience. As I do with so many important (and difficult) things, I "sneak up" on the run. I'll be walking along, enjoying myself and settling into a groove when the voices in my head start discussing whether or not now is the time to break into a run. I listen to the clamor for a bit and then I look around at my surroundings and find a marking spot to begin my run and very quickly, I decide on a spot where I will allow myself to stop running and resume walking. And then, suddenly, while the voices are still discussing the matter, my feet and I just take off running. Lately my feet and I have been marking our "stop running" spot just a little further out than either of us think I can go. Achieving that small stretch in going beyond what I think I can do feels so good.

Sometimes I feel almost like featherly when I break out into a run...

Almost. One picture I'm getting when I think of myself breaking out into a run (and imagine I am soaring into flight) is that of a chicken flapping its feathers to jump up on a fence. Not exactly graceful, not exactly flying, but still, extending an effort. And that is me, extending the effort. It's way better than just sitting on the ground saying "But I can't, I can't."

I read this recently, and I like it a lot...

"What is the fullest way that we can live our lives? If we tried to achieve that, then at the end, we'll have no regrets. Whatever the outcome, I tried. As one wise old leader suggested for his epitaph: He did what he could with what he had."

I have regrets. I don't think any of us get by without having regrets. But we can't let them beat us up or cripple us. And we can begin again, now, at this moment, again, to try and do the best we can.

This is a whole 'nother blog post, but what I'd add to the epitaph above, if I were to make it mine, would be "And it was enough."

Yes, mine would say this:

"She did what she could with what she had. And it was enough."