The night we knelt and prayed
Noticing your face was thin and pail.
I found it hard to hide my tears.
I felt ashamed.
I felt I let you down.
No mandolin wind
Could ever change a thing,
Could ever change a thing,
The coldest winter
In fourteen years
Could never, never change your mind.”
Rod Stewart – Mandolin Wind
Nobody likes difficulties. Less than I like difficulties, I dislike seeing those I love go through difficulties. For some people I love, it’s been a tough time. There seem to be seasons that are particularly harder than others, and if we allow them, these seasons can change us or make us forget our Purpose. In my own life, it may seem I’ve forgotten mine. At one point I was writing at least one blog a day. One month I wrote 55 blogs. This month I’ve written one. My difficulty was one I’ve chosen, a Master’s degree program in history. It feels like the hardest thing I’ve done in a long time and it takes up most of my time. And perhaps some are wondering if I’ve given up on my Muse, on my house on the beach, on the dreams that I wrote about so often. Or perhaps some are wondering if I’m just taking a break from all of that until school is done.
Here is my answer to both questions:
I’m not giving up. My goals are the same. I’ve just added a new one, one that takes up a lot more time than I had imagined.
But here’s the thing: I’m never, ever, ever leaving my Muse. Granted, I still need to schedule things so I can start writing again. I still need to use my time more efficiently. I’d still like to write blogs, if not every day, far more often than I’ve been doing this year. I’ve found a new Purpose, but it doesn’t replace the first one, my commitment to my Muse. (In fact, I’m still writing three pages a day in my journal every morning.)
What does one do when life gets in the way of goals? First, life didn’t get in the way. I made a decision to get more education and my Muse told me it was a good decision. (She was more prepared for this than I was.) Life getting in the way includes things like needing to buy new shoes or get a haircut or put gas in the car. And even those activities aren’t obstacles if I stay present. I needed the shoes. I needed the haircut and the gas. But everything I do, however seemingly significant or insignificant is meaningful. And in everything I do my thoughts go towards my house on the beach and a life with my Muse.
Giving up cannot be an option. Even pausing isn’t an option. I need to be here every day. I need to write and I need my Muse like I need to breathe. And, as difficult, as my education is, it was not only the right choice, it is the choice that will help me reach my dreams. No “mandolin wind,” no matter how cold and hard it blows, no difficulties, no delays, no amount of work will change a thing. I will Get Started and I will Keep Going. It’s all I know how to do.