Adventures in Imperfection · Life is a Highway

If You’re Afraid of a Journey, Don’t Buy Shoes

Each weekday, my son is up and out the door at 5:30 a.m. for Washburn Football work-outs. Even though he’s responsible for his alarm, the mama in me still sets a Kramer just in case.

Dane didn’t need prompted to get out of bed this morning, but I did. I’d planned to run, water the veggies and be back inside by 7:00 for e-mails and work.

Without much thought, I tied up the laces and started down the road. At 6 a.m. it was already muggy and 80 degrees, so it was only 400 meters when the monkey mind added her two cents:

It’s sooooooo hot

You’re so tired

You should have brought Cleve

You have so much work to do

It’s soooo haaaaawwwt….


So I did.

I stopped my run watch, hung my head, and walked back to the house. I watered my veggies in cadence with the voice that chastised my weak and undisciplined spirit. You’re lazy. You have so much to do. You didn’t finish the laundry. Sarah L and her FitBit group are gonna kick your butt this week. Why are you so weak? I thought you were better than that.

Then, I did my daily readings which all seemed to speak of being kind to ourselves and minding our perceptions. Even though I could feel my attitude rising above the morning, my monkey brain was still chattering about dust bunnies and cellulite. I threw off the gloves, squared her shoulders, and had a heart-to-heart talk.

You don’t have time to run – I am already caught up on e-mails and my first meeting isn’t until 2:00

You really should write or publish a blog post instead – I am going to rerun a vintage post

It’s too hot to run – But Cleve wants to go

You’re going to take him in this heat?? – I’ll shorten the run

Am I not getting anywhere with you?  – Not today, Lady…not today!

Then, as if I needed any more prodding, I found my running shoes (and dog) pointed towards the door.

If I don’t want to run, why did I buy these shoes? 

It reminded me of the post two of my dearest friends curated for me in 2014. Please enjoy the shortened excerpt of inspirational words–it’s still one of my favorites. Thank you, Christy and Jennie! xoxox


If you’re afraid of the journey, don’t buy shoes

(repost 2014)

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” — Ursula K. Le Guin


“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass


"Open Road" by MissDuck08 via DeviantArt (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
“Open Road” by MissDuck08 via DeviantArt (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)


“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
― Joseph Campbell


“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
― Norton JusterThe Phantom Tollbooth


“Whether we like it or not, we all come from someplace. And at some point in our lives, we have to make peace with that place.”
― Jeffrey StepakoffThe Orchard


“All journeys eventually end in the same place, home.”
― Chris Geiger


“Untitled” [A journey continues…]

by Mark Strand

A journey continues until it stops

A journey that stops is no longer a journey

A journey loses things on its way

A journey passes through things, things pass through it

When a journey is over, it loses itself to a place

When a journey remembers, it begins a journal

Which is a new journey about an old journey

A journey over time is different from a journey into time

An actual journey is into the future

A reflective journey is into the past



A journey always begins in a place called Here

Pack your bags and imagine your journey

Unpack your bags and imagine your journey is done



If you’re afraid of a journey, don’t buy shoes


“Untitled” [A journey continues…] by Mark Strand from Chicken, Shadow, Moon & More. © Turtle Point Press, 2000.


"Open Road" by Richard Webb via WikiCommons (CC BY-SA 2.0)
“Open Road” by Richard Webb via WikiCommons (CC BY-SA 2.0)


“Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.”
― Maya AngelouWouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now


“No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections. Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads.”
― Deepak ChopraThe Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life


“There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.”
― Wendell BerryRemembering


"The Road Ahead" by SnapThat via DeviantArt (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
“The Road Ahead” by SnapThat via DeviantArt (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)


The Journey

by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice –
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.

“The Journey” by Mary Oliver, from Dream Work (The Atlantic Monthly Press)


This is only a sampling of the original post. Want to read more? The entire post can be found here.

Have a great week!

44 thoughts on “If You’re Afraid of a Journey, Don’t Buy Shoes

      1. It just did – a visceral reaction I typically get when I think how old, young, near, far … we are all connected in some way.
        Add to that – I swear that someone has said the same thing to me before, too

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well there is very little separation. Six degrees seems pretty far to me. I probably said it in the past without attribution. He also told me how to growth things in SE Louisiana. “Just dump the seeds in, everything grows here.” That year, without any work at all, I had over ten bushels of tomatoes and about the same of peppers. That’s what happens when you live in a hothouse. I also had a basil bush that grew from one of those little plastic pots you buy anywhere into a 6 foot bush.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Noisy little monkey brain!
      Re: the poems and quotes are all courtesy of Christy and Jennie – almost 6 years ago they opened my eyes to writers-new-to-me, genre, and poetry. They STILL do. In fact…it was Christy who told me about you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ (Great shoes, BTW!)

    I’ve come to realize that life is merely one journey comprised of many. And we can make as many turns and about-faces, twists and pauses as necessary. The moment we think we’re done, something else pops up.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Awww. Thanks so much. Likewise. Most of my stuff lately has been on my Remembering My Divinity site. Been going through a mystical experience that tends to go on for a number of years (the more intense part being in the beginning, I’ve heard). It’s being the living definition of trial by fire in a lot of ways.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. But that’s the thing Michelle…we ‘wanted’ to come here. Learn to trip and stumble and because of those very things find the unconditional love and happiness we are looking for. Who would have thought that by trashing ourselves it would lead to such a beauty within. Your turning back had great purpose, it fired the monkey up to show you ‘you’. No greater love can it give so that you are guided to that inner heart waiting to be set free ❤
    By the way, my inner clock works perfectly. My heart tells me every time when I need to see something within myself…as for the time…meh! What is it but a man made construct to wind us tighter and tighter until there is no time left for anything. Our fears are that spring within it. Let them go and you are forever free ❤
    Great post my friend, those poems and chats above are that inner journey, each piece telling us to just 'let go'. But first the understanding as we do during our lifetime to be set free. Nothing we do is 'wrong', each a teacher to guide us on that path dear lady, so that you can share it for us on here. Each of us a guide to those that follow 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We had the same version of winter to summer. It’s been an odd one!!
        Nice to see you again in my mailbox with a new post. On those sporadic occasions I’m on IG, I see your photos, but great to see you here too!!


    1. You nailed it! The active inner dialogue as well as the need for mental earplugs. My mental earplugs are the birds, bees, flowers, and trees – hard to be full of angst when I’m playing in my garden 🙂


  3. Someone I used to know called those monkey voices “the committee”, like a meeting of know-it-alls who really don’t know anything and who only want to bring me down. Not easy to ignore but I love putting them in their place. 😉 xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ALL wonderful quotes! Love this! Hubby and I were talking the other night about growth. Growth is always uncomfortable and people do not like to be uncomfortable. But if you are not growing, you are dying. I always want to learn new things and I cannot imagine people who say “I know everything I care to know and I don’t need to learn anything new” WHAT????? I am constantly asked why in the world did I want to go back to school… they could never go through that again, what difference does it make at this age… blah, blah, blah! Even my dad said “Why?” You know? I have decided that even if I don’t go back to work, I am a richer and more fulfilled person because I went back to college and accomplished something. It feels good! Yes, I am uncomfortable at times… Bus Law class kicked my butt, but I learned so much! My brain is bigger! LOL!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are such the seeker of knowledge and growth – you always have been. Your spirit, positive vibes, and sheer energy level inspire me. Love your thoughts on knowledge, too.
      Was it Seneca or Marcus A who said, “You can’t learn what you already think you know.”
      I live by that mantra ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “All journeys eventually end in the same place, home.”
    ― Chris Geiger

    Such insight, dear. Thank you.

    The quote above is my FAVE)))) xx from Duluth.

    PS. on my desk at school I have a glass ornament saying “EVOLVE.” This has always been my word.

    Liked by 1 person

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