Friday, March 19, 2010

Two Roads Diverged...

One of my favorite poems of all time and my stream-of-consciousness thought pattern led me to tonight's topic.

I was on my way to work this morning...following the same routine I do every morning: buckle the kiddo into his seat, pull out and head on down Highway 101, drive into town, merge into the left line in time to head of Race Street, take a left...etc. By the time I'd dropped my son off at daycare, I was beginning to consider the efficiency of my route and the possibility of a better one. I had pulled out of the driveway at the same time as another parent who left the daycare about the same time as me; but she went straight instead of turning like I did. She ended up in front of me by the time we got back to the highway. That got me thinking, and one thought led to another...until, I started thinking in poetry (I do that sometimes). Robert Frost slipped into my brain, and I started wondering about the travel decisions I make in the morning. Usually, I make them because I'm late. Pretty much every day. But, as the weather starts to improve and it starts getting lighter earlier, it will get easier to rise earlier and make it out the door on time.

Humans are creatures of habit. And while habit and routine can be supportive, comfortable, and necessary (goodness knows I rely on it to get pretty much anything done), it can also be a way to stunt growth and avoid change.

So, this coming week, try something with me. Take a different way to work and a different way home everyday. Let this guide your errands, too. Get your morning latte at a new stand. Pick up a gallon of milk at a different market. Take your kids to a different park.

I know to some degree, especially in smaller towns like mine, you can't avoid the major roads (because they are the only way to get from point A to point B). Just try to avoid your normal route as much as possible.

One week. Maybe you'll find a better route. A faster one. A prettier one. Maybe you'll find a better cup of coffee, a cheaper gallon of milk, or a better fort. Maybe you'll meet someone new.

Two roads...maybe more...diverged - which one will you take today?

The Road Not Taken

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

No comments: