You Must Pace Yourself to Save Yourself

Make hay while the sun shines. It’s one of my favorites. 

Now, daylight wanes and though not rotted, my shadowed hay lays lackluster. Frosted, if you will. As is the field. 

If hay represents “When Summer was a Bluebird Day,” also known to my writer’s heart as the “Fantastic Story that Never Was,” then let the field represent this podcast. 

It’s tragic, but true. Really, how hard is it to record what I write? 

How hard is it to write something? 

According to reality, it’s quite hard, and I’m weary of killing myself to make everything work. I could write a blog series on why it’s best to shake off the shackles of homespun expectations and embrace radio silence, but I’d rather not. I’d rather learn to knit, discover who I am as a mother, craft clumsy stories for fun, experiment with poetry, bake, and all of those kinds of things that I can’t do when I’m under my own gun to produce, produce, produce. 

And for what? I never did quite figure that out. Except that it is so fun to write and record. It really is. 

I’m like Dorothy (again) learning to look no further than my own backyard. 

Who knew a backyard could represent freedom? 

As for what happened this summer, it rained. Then, we drove unknowingly through the snowiest region of Alaska before descending suddenly into a subtropical paradise of waterfalls. We experienced an earthquake while tent camping, and felt like lake drifters disturbed by sudden wake. We visited the sea towns of Valdez and Homer. We saw five brown bear in our neighborhood. We bought a house in town. We vacationed in the South for six cumulative weeks while cold summer faded to fall. 

My bluebird day moment came the morning we put an offer on our house. The sky broke long enough for us to see clearly where we belong in this big Alaska adventure. 

As for where I belong currently in my creative journey, well, it seems I have known all along. It seems that what I wrote to close out episode one all those months ago was written for Future Me to read today: 

“You must pace yourself to save yourself. 

Each unnecessary movement or word uttered to fill empty space can drain the energy store you need to make that eight or ten or twelve miles before dusk. While a hurried and inconsistent pace can make it seem as if you are cheating the system, you’re only cheating yourself of that precious commodity called energy.

I think often of mana, that mysterious morsel God gave to the Israelites each morning as they wandered the desert. ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed,’ says Exodus 16:18. Those who tried to save extra portions for the next morning ended up with smelly maggots.

Don’t cheat yourself and reap smelly maggots. Take only what you need, what you are given, each day. Each moment. Then, someday, you’ll look back on a bountiful harvest, knowing precisely why you did what you did.”

Until the next episode, peace out!

17. You Must Pace Yourself to Save Yourself Life Out Here

Hibernation: the current state of this podcast. It's tragic but true yet there's good news. If you need more of Life Out Here in Alaska subscribe at or follow @katouhere on Instagram. Until the next episode, may faith illuminate your life out there. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s