“Not all those who wander are lost.”
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
I’m not sure what to write at the moment. I just know I have a goal and, due to an error on my part, instead of being closer to my goal, I’m actually further from it. This blog will get me to where I was yesterday. Then I can move forward again. When I discovered the problem last night, that two blogs were actually just rough drafts that somehow got published, I immediately thought of Steven Pressfield’s words in The War of Art:
The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got. The professional must be alert for this counterattack.
I have ten days to write 27 blogs. I don’t feel like the finish line is in sight at all. I feel like I’m running a marathon but I don’t have the luxury of pacing myself; I have to sprint. I remember the last time I sprinted. Actually, I just walked really fast.
It was the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. It was about 20 miles a day. And I really didn’t know what I was doing. I just thought it would be fun to walk that much. The first and second days were extremely hard, especially the second day. On the night of the second day, there was a show and a dance for the participants. Then there was an exercise coach who happened to mention a way to walk more quickly and efficiently, by moving the arms along with the body. I tried it. I also made sure not to stop too often as I had on the previous two days. I just kept going and I kept walking, stopping only to eat or use the restroom. But my time was about six hours so I was pretty happy.
How did I do it? I did two things.
1. I kept putting one foot in front of the other. Most of the time that was easy. I had adrenaline and enthusiasm pushing me forward. Sadly, I spent a lot of time thinking angry thoughts about people who made it a point not to support me for this walk. Still, I refused to let even negative emotions slow my progress.
2. I refused to stop unless I had to. I knew if I stopped too often or even slowed down, it would take me forever to reach the finish line. In fact, some people didn’t finish. They had to be picked up by shuttles. I was determined not to be one of those people. I had no judgment about them; I just didn’t want to be one of them.
That’s what this goal of 150 blog is like. It’s like this crazy 3-Day walk. By the way, I wasn’t paid for my time or efforts. In fact, I had to raise $2,000 in order to participate. Raising the funds is its’ own story. This was before I had read The War of Art, but I definitely learned about Resistance. I was amazed at the number of people who were against this, including two women, one who had breast cancer!
Still, that wasn’t my greatest resistance. My greatest resistance was focusing on the negative aspects of my journey. The truth is that, despite my detractors, I raised all the money I needed and more. I was able to use some of my donations to help others raise their funds.
Both the walk and my 150-blog-goal remind me of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey described in The Hero of a Thousand Faces:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
That all sounds very encouraging. It’s what I achieved when I did the walk. I’ve done it other times. But often the hero resists the call. I’ve done that far too often when I’ve been lazy, angry, negative or afraid.
I resist or have resisted the call
· Every time I don’t study
· When I give into my children’s whining
· When I exceed the speed limit
· When I complain
· When I gossip
· When I spend my thought life in resentment or regret.
I’m not saying I’m a hero, but I can be. It’s mostly about doing my best and setting examples. Doing the 3-Day walk helped me to prove to the world and to myself that I could do the difficult stuff and see it through to the end. I’ve done it before and I can do it again.
Sometimes, for me, the hardest part of the journey is between the halfway and three-fourths point. I’m at the worst point possible. There is pressure, but no reward. The clock is ticking and, honestly, it does not look like I’m going to make it. I’ve gone too far to turn back and I’ve invested too much time to quit. At the same time, the end looks so far away. It feels like it’s never going to end. And, even if I do reach my goal, I have no guarantee of any results but sore fingers and wondering if I should have spent my time doing something else.
But I’m past the half-way mark, so I’m going to keep going. Maybe I’m being dramatic, but I think there’s something at stake here. I have no idea what it is. I just know I need to do my best. I just know that I need to Get Started and Keep Going.