I did not go hiking on Sunday. Which is to say that I did not go hiking today. Or yesterday – I’m not sure when you’re reading this, dear reader, but seeing as how Monday officially began about ten minutes ago, I suppose I can’t really go wrong with saying that I didn’t go hiking yesterday. By which I mean Sunday, though the statement is still correct, even though I still consider it Sunday because I haven’t gone to sleep yet. What a pain in the ass time travel can be.
So yeah, Lone and Rocky Mountains still remain unsurmounted by the inexorable Ted Wallace. But I’m coming, I can promise you that, dear mountains. That’s why I get to call myself ‘inexorable’. I know it’s a bit of arrogance on my part to so name myself, but what the heck, I’m master of this domain.
I did get some exercise this weekend – took my kayak out on the Passaic this afternoon (by which I mean Sunday afternoon). I acquired just the amount of sunburn for which I set out. And I made it past the third bridge upstream of the Fair Lawn boat launch area: the Lafayette Avenue bridge. As before, it was a tough paddle. The last time, the rain had swelled the river and the current was swift. Today I think the river was back to normal, and the current was still tough to manage. There were parts where my paddle was scraping the bottom, which was a new experience for me. My arms are blood-filled and tired, and I’ve been doing my utmost to consume as much protein in the past few hours as possible. I’ll tell ya, dear reader, whatever chilled piece of cow I bought for my dinner this evening was looking pretty good before I cooked it. I’m giving some serious consideration to this whole ‘tartar’ thing.
But I digress. As I was battling the current this afternoon, slowly gaining water on the next bridge in front of me, that’s the adjective that flowed through my mind: inexorable.
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In any case, today’s reading (by which I mean Sunday’s reading) in my zen-a-day calendar was a quote from Margaret Young:
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier.
The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.
I’ve never heard of Margaret Young before. Have you? Whatever – the compiler of my zen-a-day calendar has a penchant for picking random quotes that he/she feels are zen-enough to qualify. I’m not necessarily going to disagree about this one.
The sentiment is pretty easy to remember: be-do-have, not have-do-be – right?
I’ve encountered this particular concept many a time, and can’t say as I disagree with it. I think it’s pretty sound reasoning: if I’m cool with my insides, being cool with my oustides will naturally follow.
The tough part for me is figuring out how to put this into practice – especially since I do want to have more things (and more money), and there are lots of things I want to do, many of which require the whole more things or more money…um, thing.
My laments often go something like this: “If I only knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d be doing that.” I’m often jealous of those who have known since they were little kids that they want to be a writer or a stock broker or a garbage man. I wasn’t born with that. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve always admired my teachers, but neither do I feel that I’m yet qualified to teach, nor do I feel like locking myself into a teacher’s salary. NOR do I have any desire to teach a group of semi- or completely unwilling students, in the hopes that I can make a difference in one person’s life (someone who truly wants to learn). Besides, I spent so much of my development in school, it’s not much of a wonder that I don’t know much beyond the life of an academic.
I’d enjoy being an adventurer. One of my current heroes: Teddy Roosevelt. I’m an Edward, by the way, neither a Theodore nor a Teddy.
If you’ve some free time, read the Wikipedia article on Roosevelt. That mean old cuss lived a life to be envied. If you’ve not the time to read the whole article, click this link, and scroll up two lines to read Thomas R. Marshall’s statement regarding Roosevelt’s death.
So anyway, please pardon the digression, dear reader. The best I’ve come up with regarding putting the be-do-have thing into practice is as follows: I try to stay in the moment. I try not to dwell too much in the past, and not to project too far into the future. I try to trust that I’m right where I’m supposed to be right now, and that the winds of fortune or change or whatever will blow me in the right -do- and -have direction, as long as I’m true to my be.