Tag Archives: deep breath

Chasing a Moving Marker

When I’m left with my own thoughts in the quieter moments of the night, I can’t help but look at the miles I’ve logged on this marathon and wonder where it ends. Is there some perfectly painted finish line that will welcome me with open arms? Or is every step its own achievement?

Some would posit that if you wake up in the morning and take a deep breath, it is a reminder that you are here for a reason. Every day is a gift, each moment another opportunity, etc. I suppose there’s some merit to that sentiment, but a proponent of the macrocosmic perspective would argue that the mundanity and daily minutiae are worthless without some greater result. It doesn’t much matter how many hours you spend in the woodshop if you never make a chair.

I suppose I’m fairly split. While finding satisfaction in daily victories is critically important to properly nurture the soul, looking back at a life that didn’t create some substantial impact would feel like a monumental waste of roughly eight decades. Perhaps, like most things, there’s some balance to be struck.

Also, the actions we take and decisions we make may not permanently transform the planet, but they can deeply affect someone else’s life—for better or worse. I’m reminded of the Dr. Seuss quote:

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.”

Sometimes our choices have a ripple effect that we’ll never know or even understand.

So maybe it’s best to stop looking back at those starting blocks or too far ahead at some figurative finish line. Even if the present moment is wrapped in doubt, pain, or regret, it’s worth acknowledging…before it’s gone.

Adolescence Interrupted 


Cutting Through the Static

We’re often told to stay on the path. Avoid distraction. Maintain focus. Keep our eyes on the prize. I won’t dispute that these pieces of advice are apt reminders, but the real challenge is putting the prospect into practice.

Deterrents and impediments wait for us at every turn. As if intentionally constructed by the principal designer behind Double Dare’s demented obstacle course, unthinkable pitfalls lie in wait beneath far too many piles of leaves. Many days can feel like a fever dream of implausible coincidences, cleverly choreographed in the control room of The Truman Show. We duck and spin and bounce off these padded pillars that seem specifically situated to reroute us from our plotted course.

We chalk most missed catches up to fate or universal interference, but there are lessons living in the midst of that hazy smoke screen. Tasks wait to be tackled. Puzzles long to be solved.

So, how do we maintain a consistent level of perseverance, despite the flying pies? It’s not a question easily answered, but I have found that the higher the tower of obstacles is stacked, the faster it produces an exponential growth effect. As a way of fighting the impending wave of overwhelming water, never look at every brick in the tower at once.

Take a deep breath, and attack one task and one challenge at a time. Appreciate the satisfaction felt from checking off each box, slowly and deliberately, when the job is complete.

I have remained on this path, the wind whipping in my face, for a long time. Despite the sometimes frightening financial hurdles, I have honored the deal I made with myself to live a creative existence because of an artistic impetus to put something out into the world. Staying true to these desires and resolutions has not made for smooth sailing, but it has anchored that distant finish line to an unwavering track. One step, and one breath, at a time.

Adolescence Interrupted