It is Easy to Come and Go. The Hard Thing is to Stay

Coming back to my blog after several weeks, it feels strange. A stranger – in a space I considered my home for several months.

I do not have sound reasons for staying away for so long. May be it was because I got busier than usual at office.  Or I was too tired to trudge to my inner spring after work, at night. There were other interesting preoccupations, too.

Once I allow the many reasons to overwhelm my individual and unique voice, it is easy to sink in the sea of oblivion and nothingness. After that, finding the old rhythm is not too easy. It happens with flailing arms, and many gasps for fresh air.

I can persuade myself that I had reasons enough for wandering away. The fact is, I missed the thrill of plumbing my depths and unearthing its treasures.

I can blame it on my lack of will power and self-discipline.

There is a possibility, focusing on too many activities takes a toll on my will power (which I must confess I do not possess in great abundance).

Recently I read there have been many studies on willpower. They show that we all have a limited amount of this resource and every time we draw from it, the resource gets depleted. The conclusion is, beyond a limit, our will power reaches a breaking point.

I reckon the alternative is to love what one does. Work then becomes play. And, there is no need to summon the reserves of will power.

Yet, as the poet and novelist Wendell Berry reminds me, love is a recipe.

Love involves some work. May be a lot of work. When I love something or someone, there are many small and big rituals to pay heed to. When I pay attention to the recipes of love in my work and play, what emerges will be a thing of beauty and substance.

So, whether it is my work or blog or marathon training, what matters is the staying power, doing the small and big things, when they ought to be done. Like the ingredients in a recipe.

Many, many years ago, I came across a post card with the picture of a sentry guarding a bridge, similar to the picture below. The caption read: “It is easy to come and go, the hard thing is to stay.”
It is Easy to Come and Go

No one has made it big in life with a switch-on, switch-off approach. The winners plough their fields every day, through rain or sunshine.

Just two days back, I chanced upon these words of wisdom from Epictetus who lived about 2000 years ago.

How long can you afford to put off who you really want to be? Your nobler self cannot wait any longer. Put your principles into practice – NOW. Stop the excuses & procrastination. This is your life! From this instant on, vow to stop disappointing yourself. Decide to be extraordinary and do what you need to do – now.”

Now that I am back in circulation, I won’t worry too much about my reserves of will power.

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