There has been much that I have been very thankful for, lately. Of course, I am thankful for everything, everyday, but this has gone above and beyond recently. I am most thankful for God, family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. God has blessed me with some wonderful people in my life who have helped and supported me, personally and professionally. I do like to believe that God puts good people in our lives to help us, even in the most turbulent times. I am most thankful for my son and those who have gone before me, especially my parents. Without them, I would never be where I am today. In fact, I dread the thought of where I might be without them.
I have a few personal friends, but they are good friends who I trust and respect. Friends are people who care about and support you, and who are there for you as much as they can be; it is a two-way street. I have several colleagues who are friends, and while they are friends generally only at work, they are good people I can count on and vice versa. In my work, I have been very blessed to have wonderful supervisors, and I am so thankful to be able to work with them in the venues that I do. I have only a couple of neighbors who I would reach out to for something, but they are helpful in times when it is needed.
I must also say that I am thankful for my work. It took me until late in my 20s to discover my calling in teaching. I love teaching, learning, and imparting knowledge to my students, coupled with building relationships and observing growth in different forms along the way. Later in life, I discovered counseling, and that is also rewarding work for me. We all need help, support, guidance, and people we can rely on during our lives.
I am a person who is open to helping others, but also learning from others, including those who I may be helping, as well. This helps me to grow more as a person, and to remember to take nothing for granted. Sadly, there is always someone out there who is in a worse situation than you. In my counseling training, I learned that it is important to hold the belief that people have it within themselves to help, change, and/or improve themselves. Sometimes, people don’t believe that, but it starts with Number One. People have to truly love themselves, within, before they can love, help, and/or support others.
So, this brings me to a post that I made several months ago, here, that I deleted because it was too personal for my comfort level. I am revisiting the same idea again, but in a slightly different way. The post related to Robert Frost’s (1915) famous poem, “The Road not Taken,” republished to follow from The Poetry Foundation at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44272/the-road-not-taken:
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
I love this poem. I have loved this poem since I first read it in school. It is so real. It is so applicable. It is so palpable. Robert Frost hit the nail on the head with this poem since it so exquisitely relates to many real life experiences. I often share with my son, students, and others that life is all about choices. Frost’s poem is not only about choices, but also about potentially making the “right” choice. Sometimes we know the difference between right and wrong, but we may need some guidance in selecting and/or staying on the right road.
I am so thankful that I have been blessed with such a great friend who has helped me more than once to choose and remain on the right path. Obviously, God has brought my friend into my life for a reason, or perhaps, many reasons. He is a good personal friend who has leant his ear and his wisdom, helping me to carry on in the right way, without tripping, falling, and then, regretting my error. On two occasions in the past year, my friend’s support has saved me from snares that I would never have even considered before this time in my life.
Sometimes, when you feel you’re getting older and life is passing you by, you wonder what things would be like if life was different, but you must always be honest, responsible, and accountable; keep a clear head and conscience; make the right choices; and follow the road less traveled. My friend’s words of wisdom often echo throughout my brain, and I have good reason to keep them at the forefront of my thoughts.
Therefore, that brings me to the final thought about my post: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” – And it truly has made all the difference! I am so blessed!