Agley Again

 The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!

— “To A Mouse” by Robert Burns

I swear I am the queen of good intentions. I know how I want to live. More vegetables; fewer donuts. More healthy meals prepared from scratch; fewer drive-by processed calories. More fitness activity; less Facebook. More focused writing; less aimless surfing. More mindful budget decisions; less impulse spending.

More time to do the things I love; less time wasted on things that don’t really add value anywhere.

And yet so often I catch myself sliding into a state of being I call “Surviving the Week.”

Surviving the Week is about having a fridge full of fresh vegetables, but not having the mental energy to assemble them into a salad, so I go to the cafeteria and spend money I don’t need to spend on a lunch entrée in which gravy is the dominant element.

Surviving the Week is about adding more paper to the “miscellaneous” pile on my desk instead of filing it away when I’m done with it.

Surviving the Week is about collapsing on the couch to watch mindless TV, even though I know I would feel better about life if I went for a walk.

Surviving the Week is about trolling old Facebook photos when I really want to be writing, because I didn’t go for that walk, which probably would have unlocked an idea and given me something to write about.

Surviving the Week is about beating myself up for not doing the things I really want to be doing, because I am distracted by things that are easy to do at the end of a tiring day.

I encountered this little creature on a walk back in the fall.

I encountered this little creature on a walk back in the fall.

I don’t want to be Surviving the Week. I want to be living mindfully, creatively, healthfully. And sometimes I do. But other times, like Robbie Burns’ wee Mousie, my best-laid schemes do “gang agley,” and I find myself  slipping into survival mode.`

Often that means I have simply overloaded my circuits by taking on too much. The irony is, that the things I take on that leave me feeling tapped out are typically things I want and like to do.

Like staying up way too late to write this blog post.

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About Muddy River Muse

Writer. Reader Educator. Manager. Mother. Dreamer. And dedicated riverbank walker.
This entry was posted in Change one thing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Agley Again

  1. Doobster418 says:

    Another great verse by Robert Burns that is one of my favorites, along with the one you quoted:
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    An’ ev’n devotion!

  2. I’m glad you stayed up. You are not alone. I might have written exactly the same first paragraph. Have you ever done this? You are at work, at lunch time. You go to the food court because you did not have time (excuses, excuses) to pack a lunch. You scan the selections. The vendor charges $1.00 for an apple. What!? He’s nuts, you think. You say, “I’ll have the Doritos, please.”

    • Sometimes I crave a bag of Cheesies. I enjoy the first three, but by the end of the bag I always regret it 🙂

      I wimped out on making lunch today, but the universe compensated for my sloth with a fantastic spinach salad special at the cafeteria.

  3. Y. Prior says:

    I too am glad that you stayed up to write this – because this was a really great gem!

    “in which gravy is the dominant element” and was LMAO with that part.

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