I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. -- Henry David Thoreau
I have seen and heard that quote often, I bet you have too. People pull it out and use it when desiring a sense of simplicity, most of the time it is when their life is in chaos; over-stressed, over-scheduled, just over-everything. It is during those times that they desire to focus on what is important in life, a life focused on their core values. It is easier said than done.
Even while living on a state park, I struggle with guarding my time and focus, just as someone who lives in the city and has a fast paced life. We can all fill our time with things to do, places to be, commitments outside of our main jobs, oh and don't even get me started on the time-sucking Facebook and other "technological advances".
I think Thoreau meant to live each moment to its fullest by studying what it meant to be alive, to be living as part of the great plan of God and nature. I do desire to live deliberately, be my authentic self, to be alive. Don't we all?
I also think you have to understand your place in the world, how you fit in, and by understanding that, understanding yourself. I think we all struggle at times with knowing what our place in this world is. Actually, I know my place and it is an extraordinarily beautiful place full of love, commitment, family and God. But, staying focused, embracing it and being THANKFUL for it gets lost sometimes. I get over-committed to things that do not enhance my life nor that of my family, it just becomes one more thing to get done. I know there will be those things, but I am learning (not fast on the upswing there) that those need to be fewer and far between. I must learn the word NO and be alright with it.
Yes, I go to the woods often, but usually I am so focused on avoiding poison ivy, watching for snakes, making sure the kids are not doing something that would put them in danger, helping build a cabin, cutting grass, etc.
Even in the woods, I have been missing what is right there waiting for me to experience - beauty, simplicity, God's creation. Sure, Big Buckaroo and I sit on the deck at the end of the day holding hands and watching the fireflies come out, but I am usually hurried to enjoy those moments so I can get to the next chore of getting the kids to bed.
So, enough! I want to truly experience my life every day, and every day have it deliberately focused on the values I want to live by.
Wish me luck,
The Park Wife