The Road Not Taken

This weekend, as my family and I explored the mountains, I was reminded of the all time classic poem,The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.  This poem has found a special place in my heart.

Everyday I’m presented with choices. Endless. Unrelenting. Choices.  It starts the second I wake up.  Do I sleep in today?  What should I wear? What should I feed the kids for breakfast?  For most, choosing the better choice isn’t hard.  Well, except with sleeping in, that’s a beast.

Then there are those choices where the outcome isn’t clear.  How should I discipline the kids? Should I eat artificial sweeteners? How much time should I spend writing instead of being with my kids?  Having to choose when the path is unclear is troubling.  If I discipline incorrectly am I creating monsters?  Will I get cancer from my Diet Coke? Will my children resent me as adults because I chose to write?

When things are rough and I’m feeling overwhelmed I know I choose the easier path, even when it is heading in a direction I don’t want to go.  I sleep in, eat brownies, and (gasp) yell. The problem with the easy path is that it is so enticing.  I’ll admit, I don’t want trial in my life. I hate confrontation and discord more than heights, snakes, and spiders combined. However, hating trials don’t mean that they don’t seek me out.  I have battles everyday, just like everyone else.

In the end, I must decide on where I want go.  Having a goal helps to steer in the right direction.  If I want to trim my waist line I have to stop haunting my kitchen hunting for treats.  If I want my children to speak kindly to each other I have to speak kindly to them.  If I want more time writing and working toward finishing my book, I have to spend less time watching TV and browsing the internet.

I have to take the road not taken.  Even when it’s hard.  Especially when it’s hard.

road-not-takenThe Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

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;

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,

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

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.