Two Roads Diverged

Debbie Hatch  |  Family & F.I.T.  

When I recited The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost, at a high school oratory competition, I had no idea how much of an impact the poem would actually have upon my entire life.


Road 2

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,



Road 1
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The first stanza reminds me, continually, that all of life is about choices.
  • I choose what time to get up in the morning.
  • I choose whether to start my day with gratitude and intention or to wait for things to “just happen” to me.
  • I choose whether to have breakfast, and what to eat.
  • I choose whether to exercise or not.
  • I choose to pack a lunch or be left at the mercy of “what’s available” when I’m hungry.
  • I choose to leave for work on time, or to spend a little more time somewhere else and be forced to fight traffic.
  • I choose to stop for coffee or not.
  • I choose to say “good morning” and smile at people as we start our day, or to ignore them and stay in my own head.
  • I choose my reaction to the weather, and the traffic, and the supervisor who comes in with demands the second I arrive at my desk.
  • I choose to check e-mail, and Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, and Pinterest – or I choose to get right to work.
  • I choose whether to take a few breaks through the day, and remain productive, or to feel chained to the desk getting more lethargic as the hours pass.
  • I choose to go to the gym or not.
  • I choose to go straight home or not.
  • I choose what to have for dinner.
  • I choose to interact with family and friends, or to veg in front of the television until it’s time for bed.
  • I choose when to go to bed.
  • I choose what to do for a job.
  • I choose whether to stay in a relationship.
  • I choose who to have for friends.
  • I choose who to share my deepest secrets with – and who not to.
  • I choose to learn, or not.
  • I choose to better myself, or not.
  • I choose to be happy, or not.  To be positive or not.


I must also choose to accept responsibility for these actions, and this is the part we don’t like.  This is where the big deal mindset shift happens.  This is where I can’t blame somebody else – anybody else; I can’t blame the situation; I can’t blame the weather, or the day, or the supervisor, my spouse, or, or, or……..

I must choose to accept responsibility for my own actions and any repercussions that come from those actions.

I am in charge and I choose to act like it.






The third stanza reminds me that time is of the essence.  The time to make the decision is now and while I may have full intention to come back, to later make a different decision……..

Tomorrow.  Next Monday.  Next month.  The first of the year.  Once I finish the degree.                                            Once I get the promotion.  After the kids get older.  When I have more money.

…….rarely does that ever happen.  “Knowing how way leads on to way, I doubt if I should ever come back.”

Red tree


I asked this in my Facebook post this morning.  I’m asking it again here.  Now.

“Where will you choose to put yourself today?  What will you choose to make yourself available to?”





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