Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Road Will Show You

Returning to life in America, small town or big city, women are flowing in the River of Jobs whether of necessity or will. It is path shining with income, belonging, and achievement. My internal compass quietly murmurs, "Honor your loves and good things will follow," but it competes with, "I need one of those too."

Then there is the work of home life-- it's not glamorous or high paying, but there is lots of it. My house is clean and reasonably organized for the moment. My yard is shipshape. I have cooking projects to make and recipes to test. I have a basement full of fabric to sew. I have writing prompts to pursue. I have children to fetch, care for, and homework to review. The reality is I can barely keep up with this full-time job.

My husband's grandmother once gave us these directions to a favorite stop along the Ohio river, "The road will show you."

A few years back, my husband driving at my behest to an unnamed restaurant in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, was pushing me for directions when I quipped, "The road will show you." I had yibber yabbered on the drive previously with my friend and had not noticed the specifics of the route, despite being the driver. It was my birthday dinner so my husband kindly aimed the car in the direction my finger pointed, toward the tall pines and into the dark night. We found it and had a memorable dinner.

Whenever I get into the orchestrate life mode, the unknowns invariably remind me that I'm not in control. It can be maddening. My husband tends to say at these moments, "Stop trying so hard honey bunny." There is a fierceness in my soul that thinks it can overcome all obstacles which exists right next to the parts of me that know, "The road will show you."

Negotiating these varying views is maddening-- I push myself into crazy woman mode. Push, wait, oh, over there, no, no, no chill, oh, they're passing you by, kick it up a notch, stop it! It is a recipe for insanity which of course got me thinking I probably ought to wait for a few road signs.

I've come to this: The world is full of shiny things. Be true to your passions, your strengths, and your loves. Use them as a basis to winnow opportunities that beckon. Push yourself to help others more than you think you can. In time, the road will show you, but when the arrows indicate "turn here" or the sign says "detour," ignore at your own peril and quit trying to find a shortcut.

The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr