Longfellow and me


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on the Isle of Wigh...


I just read a quote that resounded with me:


If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


In the context of my life, Longfellow’s words make so much sense. I’ve always been the type that aims high. In fact, that aim often leads me pushing myself too hard, like I commented last week. Longfellow is quoted as being a man who knew somehow that he had something to add to the field of literature, so he kept writing despite his critics.


I think if I could choose a person with whom I could have tea, Mr. Longfellow and I might have much to discuss.


I am such a natural goal setter that I can hardly enjoy a day without some goal in mind. This past week, my students were on their Labor Day break. It was lovely to have a brief respite to gather my thoughts, get some grading done, and interpret some of my recent research. When I got home each day, I had a bit of an enforced physical break due to a small string of knee injuries during the week. Instead of spending each day pushing my body in exercise, I allowed myself to rest.  Physically, I’m healing nicely; mentally, I was almost climbing the walls without a goal each day. I tried to remind myself that relaxation was the goal of the break week, and I rested.


You know what? I actually feel rested and eager to face the next week. Funny how that works!


I look now to my next goals:


  • Ten more pounds down, which will put me at -90.
  • Professional discussions this week about my book and some other opportunities that are coming my way.
  • Wrapping up my on-ground and online courses with students who are positive and energized by their accomplishments with me as their guide.
  • Guiding my children to make the decisions that will allow them to be more successful in school and relationships (not that they aren’t, but they’re growing, so my job continues).
  • Patiently laying the foundation for my family’s independence. I poured a little more concrete this week, of which I am proud.
  • Preparing myself for gall-bladder surgery, which means self-care and gentleness.


I thank Mr. Longfellow for his words and will go settle in for tea with more of his work. “A Gleam of Sunshine” fits me well today, so I’m to bask in the words and allow them to filter through my soul.


“Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,
Like pine-trees dark and high,
Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh;

This memory brightens o’er the past,
As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs
Shines on a distant field. “


Our goals are the sun peeking through the trees that obscure our vision. So long for today, my friends. I’m going to go seek the sun.



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