I thought I would forget to think about willingness, and I did forget. Then today, facing perhaps some time to write about it, I decided to take the dog for a quick walk. That’s because we were going to an evening meeting, and I’m unwilling to work all day and then go out half the night without at least walking the dog. So I thought about willingness. It’s better for me to think about that than about having a confrontation with another dog.
I thought about how, when something is new and exciting, like a relationship, or a job, or a project, I am very willing to put in lots of time and make many sacrifices. Likewise when I perceive the potential pay off to be big, like in learning to knit, I’m again willing to try and fail and try again. Time on task.
I did not approach the program that way, enthusiastically. Really almost no one does. And I still don’t, even though I’m committed it to longer and more than to anything else in my life.
Then I went to the meeting, and the topic was “choice.” The woman who brought the topic up spoke of having an annoying co-worker. Honestly I don’t know how she worked that into “choice” since my mind wandered badly. But I got the gist. And I have an annoying co-worker or two myself. And what came to my mind is the choice I make, many times a day, when I choose whether to work on my attitude, or not to work on it.
I have many many tools at my disposal. Some I’ve used long and hard and well, like gratitude. Gratitude is second nature to me now, and it feels more like a part of my being than like a tool. I use it constantly and automatically. Other tools I make a conscious effort to use more effectively. Inventory and prayer are two things that don’t come as naturally, that I make a point to think about, when I can, in times of distress. Some tools I’m sure I still probably ignore, or almost ignore. If I live long enough, and/or if it hurts bad enough, I may pick them up and ask for instructions as well.
Then I got home and I read this poem, by Robert Frost:
A TIME TO TALK
When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, “What is it?”
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.