Monday, June 27, 2011

Grief and Toil

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote:

She could no longer borrow from the future, to help her through the present grief. To- morrow would bring its own trial with it; so would the next day, and so would the next; each its own trial, and yet the very same that was no so unutterably grievous to be borne. The days of the far-off future would toil onward, still with the same burden for her to take up, and bear along with her, but never to fling down.

This is a passage I read nearly twenty years ago, but it didn't mean much to me at that young age. When you're a thirteen-year-old, you have your whole life ahead of you, the whole world at your fingertips. Anything is possible, and nothing is off limits.

When you get to be an adult, that can change. The promise that tomorrow will be better isn't always there. We can't lay our heads down at night, knowing we can shut our eyes on our day and somehow expect our problems to be lessened in the morning. At least, not all of them, and in most cases, not the most troublesome ones.

There are times that I look ahead and see the same problem, the same concern, facing me for weeks or months at a time. It just won't go away. And there are so many times that I wonder what the point is- I simply cannot get any stronger. I'm at full strength now, I promise you that.

But what I can do is get better. All of the challenges, the same ones I will be facing a year from now, are forcing me to evaluate those strengths I have, and my weaknesses, and figure out how to improve my life my using them both. It also encourages me to draw on my faith. Some days it's nothing more than caffeine and faith that get me through to the next.

But get through I do. And while I can't borrow from tomorrow, I can borrow from myself. Bend a little here, give a little there, and push myself past my own limits by pulling projects off the back burner, by improving and growing in things I'm already doing, and never giving up on my long term goals.

1 comment:

ClayItAgain / 12MidnightOils said...

I wish I had had your philosophy at that age