Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Friday, June 24, 2011

To Live Deliberately

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.... I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..."   Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Nicole Lawton

I'm not going to run off to Walden Pond (though it looks lovely, doesn't it?), but I do feel a keen desire to live deliberately and suck out all the marrow of life. Sometimes I feel like there are a million things getting in the way. I move from one activity to the next feeling like I should be doing something else instead, something more important. This vague sense of guilt follows me around.

But, hello? That is life. Those little daily moments are the "essential facts of life." Living deliberately is not so much about what you do, but about your state of mind while you do it. If I would just take the time to be in the moment--to notice, to wonder, to enjoy--I would realize that I am not missing out on anything. Be it writing, walking, taking care of my family, visiting friends or relaxing at the park. That is the marrow. I just need a reminder now and then.

And Thoreau said something else I wholeheartedly agree with: 

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."


Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify. 

(He said so much more, I may have to start a Thoreau quote post as a regular feature)

What do you do to suck out all the marrow of life?


Shallee said...

I love this. I think it's so important to LIVE life, and not just write about it. There are so many amazing things to experience in the real world!

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

I spend lots of time with my kids.
They live this way without ever thinking about it. I can't help but do the same when I am with them.

Jen said...

Oh. MY. GOSH!!...i LOVE that guy!...thanks so much for sharing, i'm gonna have to go look up some of his quotes myself now :)
totally understand what you're saying. i've lived a lot of years without a purpose. and it's nice to realize that our purpose is just to exist. making our existence intentional is an AMAzinG change of perspective :)

Terry W. Ervin II said...

Good thoughts to keep in mind!

Angie said...

Yep, Jen. It can be life-changing, huh?

Thanks for stopping by, Terry.

CL Beck, author said...

Nice post, thanks. Love Thoreau. Wish I could go live at a pond for awhile, but instead of getting a classic book from the experience, all I'd probably get is mosquito bites! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love the quotes and your thoughts on them. As I cleaned up an old Disney Princess kitchen, and tea set that my daughters have outgrown, I wondered if I had sucked the marrow out of those moments enough. I have to admit I have the tea set sitting next to me, wondering, could I possibly get them to sit down and have lemonade tea with me again?
But now, I need to stand up and live in the moment, and not over-nostalgicize the past!

Joanne said...

It's a nice reminder, to immerse ourselves in the moments of our choices ... Simplifying lets us see just what those choices are.

chy said...

Nice Perception, I love playing card, reading book also some time i find myself immersed in my technical job (Telecom)when i face new tools n technique .

Angie said...

LOL, Cindy. I know what you mean. Those mosquitoes can be killer.

Tyrean, I have that same feeling as my kids get older. I think there are good times ahead, though.

Chy, it's nice to meet you. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Renae W. Mackley said...

It's a juggling act, isn't it. But we have to take/make time for the essentials and for those things that we love, like going to our own Walden Pond and writing when we're really motivated.
Angie, come check out my blog. I've awarded you the Irresistable Sweet Blog Award at

Angie said...

Ah, thanks Renae!

Jolene Perry said...

LOVE this.
I've accepted that I live in the little details, because I love to live there. I make myself too busy and run around, but it's because I love to be that way. I think we just have to figure out how we work best and then just enjoy it.

There's some deep thinking going on over here today ;D

Danyelle said...

I never fail to come here and be lifted up. Thank you. :D
I love the idea of living deliberately, of being in that state of mind. Great reminder!

ali said...

Ahh! I love that Thoreau quote!

As for the rest--I try to live every day that way. To allow myself to be wholly where I am at that moment. Wholly HERE. It's hard though. But worth the effort!

Brenda Susan said...

"Living Deliberately" is a beautiful way to describe ones life, thanx!