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Another journey round the sun ...



"I am here today to cross the swamp, not to fight all the alligators.”

Rosamund Stone Zander


 

This week I celebrated another journey around the sun.


Birthdays are funny things.


As children we crave them … as adults we may dread them. Personally, I feel grateful for them. I think getting older is a privilege.


Ok, so I don't love the ever-increasing wrinkles on my face, or the weird way my right knee likes to creak, but that's ok … I might not love the signs of aging but I do appreciate the opportunity to experience them.

 

My dad died at the age of 30, 3 weeks after my 5th birthday.


It's a childhood trauma that shaped me, broke me, built me and is part of me.


For every year that passes, I choose to be grateful. An opportunity of further life that he never had.


Rather poetically, 27 years later, on the anniversary of his death, I gave birth to his first grandchild. Life gifts in mysterious and beautiful ways.

 

Birthdays are a reflective time.


We may think about the year past, and the year to come. What will we keep? What will we change?


I heard the quote above this week, and loved It. It gave me a really 'a-ha' moment. Plus I'm a sucker for a metaphor.


On life's journey, we are often distracted by alligators. We spend a lot of time fighting them, rather than working on how to reach the goal of getting through the swamp. It is so easy to distract ourselves trying to tick off tasks on the ever-replenishing 'to do' list.


The things that may well need to be done (or do they?), and that we allow to become a priority and so are distracted from the endgame.

 

As I head off round the sun for another year of adventure,


I am making a promise to myself to always ask myself if the task I am doing is helping me cross the swamp.


Or is that task a pesky alligator sending me off course, zapping my energy, and stopping me from getting to where I want to go.


I am going to work towards resisting the distracting, add-to-the-list things, and choose to really focus on doing the things that matter.


I am going to live my next year focussing on what's on the other side of the swamp … those goals, those dreams, those aspirations both in the short term and in the long … and how to get there, rather than the obstacles that are distracting me.

 

I know I won't always get it right.


I know that I will stray from my path sometimes. I know that I will procrastinate. That's ok. I'm human.


But by the time I have completed my next loop around the sun, I am going to be well on my way to crossing that swamp. I may have even reached the other side.


How about you?

Where might you be this time next year?

What goals are you working towards?

Can you ignore those pesky alligators and keep focussed on your journey across the swamp?




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