The Next Right Step


Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We are not handed a guide at birth entitled Fail-proof Steps to Living This Life. As such, I’ve lived most of my life through a lot of trial and error–heavy on the error side. I’ve also learned that sometimes I just have to take the next right step and try not to run the entire marathon at once. I’m getting ok with that practice.
There is a source that I go to often for life advice. Poet Mary Oliver never fails to enlighten me or ease my weariness. She gives some of the best advice on living a life in her poem, ‘Sometimes:’

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

This sounds like what many of us bloggers do here on WordPress. We tell stories about our lives in the hope that someone may be touched by reading them. Maybe our words provide inspiration, encouragement, or motivation where it is most needed. Sometimes healing occurs while reading another’s words. Or a community is formed. Or a lesson is learned. Or someone is empowered to create meaning, change, or beauty in their own lives. Maybe a memory is brought to surface, a smile appears, a tear forms in the corner of an eye.
Then other times–nothing.
Scroll. Scroll. Scroll.
We never know what may stem from a post, we just keep paying attention, writing, and hoping. And we also keep reading what others write–it’s a circle, this writing life. What we give is also often what we most need to receive. In the new year, 2018, I’ll keep paying attention, staying forever astonished, and always writing and reading. And I’ll just keep taking the next right step.

I’ve referenced this bit of Mary Oliver wisdom before in another post that you’ll find here.

A big thanks to everyone who read, liked, shared, and commented on my blog in 2017. I’m grateful for my blogging community. Here’s to 2018!

Photo taken November 2017 at The Porches Writing Retreat.

12 thoughts on “The Next Right Step

  1. I remember hitting the “Like” button on this post soon after it appeared, but I was overwhelmed with holiday activity at the time and didn’t get a chance to say that both the photo and your message here are so appealing. WordPress has been a great community of writers and readers – one of the few wholly positive arenas in my life. May 2018 bring you more reading and writing happiness!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So accurately stated and truthfully said. This blogging life is unchartered territory but something drives each of us on, taking baby step by baby step to who knows where, or what we will encounter or who we will meet along the way — not unlike life which is pretty astonishing in itself. Thankful to read about your journey and for being able to share mine with you, all the best for 2018 and then some.

    Liked by 1 person

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