second step


People say that the first step is the hardest.

I’m wondering this morning if it’s really the second step that is the hardest.

The first step can be one that’s half asleep and unaware.  You might not understand what it means to be out on a run on the cool first official day of Fall…it might be something that you’re doing in a half conscious state.  It’s not something to fear.

The second step really kicks in the reality of the situation.  After the second step things get even more real.

And all the steps that follow the second step are where the real proving ground can be found.

It’s continuing even after you really understand what the thing you’ve just started is really going to cost you that really matters.

So…I don’t know how much faith I’d put in the notion that the “first step is the hardest”.

I know that I’ve taken a bunch of first steps that didn’t go much farther than that initial movement. It’s easy to start.


It’s harder to stick with something and see it through to some sort of conclusion.

Although, when we went canoeing again…and took my 4-year old with us this time…you’d think that the hardest part of the trip was getting the boat in the water.

You would think that transporting everything and taking the boat down off the top of the Cherokee would be the hardest part and that everything would be easy after that.

You would think that it would all go down like that.

“Go down” is a bad way to characterize the situation.

You don’t want to think about “go down” when you’re in the middle of a very deep lake on a windy day with a restless four-year old who won’t sit still. You don’t want to think about any of that.

I think your animal nature takes over and it’s just about survival at that point.

It’s funny to consider being on the lake with a four-year old who’s never been in a small boat a matter of survival.

We cut a longer planned trip a little short when things really started to escalate a couple of hundred yards from shore.  It wasn’t pleasant for the canoe to be rocking like it was with one professed adult, two teenagers, and a cramped and cranky four-year old in a formerly untested canoe.

It wasn’t a good feeling to be rocking in the deep end.

Maybe the first step really is the hardest sometimes.  Maybe the first step is the hardest when you have enough experience under your belt to forecast what you think a situation is going to hold?  Maybe the hardest part of the “first step” is getting over apprehensions that don’t even have any toehold on reality yet?

We’ll go out in the canoe again…it’s fun to be out on the water…but I think I will try and be more amusing or something because Nate didn’t enjoy it after the first half hour.

I’ll understand that in addition to the “dog and pony show” we have going on, I’ll have to remember to throw in some juggling or something to keep little people laughing and happy.

Juggling in an overloaded wind-swept canoe sounds like it might be entertaining for all of us.

At least it’s a first step.

The next step is the one I worry about.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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