Don’t Try and Catch the Train

How are the New Year resolutions going?  I’ve made mine, but we’re well into January now, and I’m still not out of the gate and fully back into the race.  It seems particularly hard this year to believe I can ever be a better person;  I’ve tried so many times, and look how far it’s gotten me.  I’m still pretty much just me.

I was looking through my 2011 Journal.  It has three entries. One on January first and one on January second and then it skips about five months to the final entry which reads:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Well, I’m back.  It seems pretty clear that I try to do too much, put too much into the day, and eventually I can’t sustain it and things fall apart.  Typical pattern of coming together and making a super effort to be better than I am, and pushing too hard, can’t hold it together.  There’s a sensible moderation that is within reach. And so it’s off to try and get my life together again.  As Thoreau says:  ”Do it again, and again, and forever again.”

There’s a truth to that, the need to work every day to improve ourselves.  But there’s another truth that needs emphasizing as well.  I had a dream the other night.  I was riding my bicycle along a path and traveling side by side with a freight train.  It began going faster and I tried to keep up.  It was picking up speed and pulling away, heading out over a bridge. I peddled more and more furiously, trying to catch it, eventually watching it disappear.  My trail went off to the side and then down below the bridge.  I knew that I HAD TO CATCH UP! The train was going into the mountains and it would crash if I didn’t stop it!

That’s life itself, busy day to day life, pulling away as the New Year begins, and I tell myself I have to be there to keep things from crashing.  But that’s an illusion.  It’s the frantic chase that robs us of the life that is with us now and always with us.  All I can say to myself this New Year is:  Bill, don’t try and catch the train. Don’t try and catch the train.