Monday, May 23, 2011

Pioneer Travel

Two weeks ago, I crossed the Arizona desert with a birds-eye view, looking down on a one dimensional scene  from high above.  This weekend, we drove through some of those canyons and wide open vistas, with mile after mile of deserted, dry desert; long, slow, gradual climbs and descents.
photo from Google images

photo from Google images
Whenever we drive distances across the country, we think of the pioneer wagons making that trip: mile after bumpy mile through tough, unfriendly land.  Our travel is condensed into a few hours of air conditioned comfort.  We may complain and feel uncomfortable, needing to stretch cramped muscles, but I am sure it is nothing compared to what those travelers felt on their flat wooden seats and hardened wheels. The arduous travel and the wide open distances must have been frightening, the unknown ahead of them like a gaping hole waiting to swallow them up. Each vista on the horizon would seem like a hopeful destination, only to find another mountain, another pass, another long plain with yet another mountain range on the other side.

Our lives can seem like that, too.  When going the distance seems impossible, too hard, too uncomfortable, too far to go.  We can't imagine taking all the steps required to complete a challenge. There is a balance, I think, between being aware and appreciating each necessary step, and keeping your eyes on the goal - the distant horizon. For me, this is applicable in two areas: weight loss and developing my writing skills.

  • exercise twice a day
  • careful, controlled, planned eating
  • focus on fitness and health in food choices and activities
  • the goal out ahead of me, still thirty pounds to go
  • daily blog post
  • daily journal entries
  • daily word counts for the manuscripts I'm working on
  • long-term goals of short stories and published novels
  • skills and techniques to learn and practice (like computer skills and editing)
Each of these involve lots of little, often repeated steps, with long distances ahead that remain on the distant horizon.  Are there skills and challenges you have to work towards?  Hook up your horses, get your wagon moving, head out on your travels - the journey will be worth it.

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