13 Jun 11

by Randy Pierce

Finally, we take a break from our many hiking topics and address a common question. Do the challenges of it all overwhelm me? Many see the outward signs as me sustaining a steady positive, and they often presume that I’m either putting on a show or never overwhelmed. For the most part, neither is true. I am absolutely aware and buffeted by the challenges. It is my choice to take on these challenges directly and reach a resolution, or at least a plan for such immediately. This philosophy keeps me from letting the sustained weight of such a load wear me down, but it does not prevent frustrations as I deal with it. I’m well aware that I do not hold a monopoly on challenge, yet I am also aware that my problems are not inconsequential. For me, the trick is in defining the real issue up front and thereby allowing for real problem solving, and an acceptance that change is often a necessary aspect of removing a present concern.

In its simplistic form, there are mornings when I wake up and think, “Yeah, I’m still blind; can’t I ever get a break?”, and I view this as a natural and acceptable way to feel – but it really isn’t the key. The root of the issue is most likely a need to travel somewhere or utilize my time more carefully as many tasks may take longer. Whatever the frustration is that led to that thought, it is more about what my blindness is making more difficult. With steps and a plan, anything can usually be resolved, even if the resolution may involve reaching out for help.

On a more complex level, it is generally understood that the feeling of controlling our situation gives us comfort and eases frustration. I may not be able to control my blindness for now, but I can significantly impact most of the ways that this challenge impacts me. Learning to apply that lesson to all aspects of our lives can make a significant difference.

Our 2020 Vision Quest team is accomplishing some tremendous things. In the process, the work can be very challenging and can seem to spin a bit out of control. It’s actually one of the hardest aspects of my present life – to manage the caring people of team 2020 along with the other responsibilities of running a charity. The reality is that these things are not out of control, though there are real needs that must be given proper attention. While these challenges contribute to my most recent and pressing feeling of being overwhelmed, I continue to try and take my own advice. I guess we’ll see how well it works as we progress, but in the meanwhile, maybe some of you might be thinking that you have some time and skills to offer us in strengthening our mission. How about an email?

I’d like to close this blog post with a quote from the person for whom Mt. Hale was named. I hope to always have the same success with his quote as I did with his mountain:

“I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~Edward Everett Hale

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