Marching to the beat of my own drum.

I read a beautiful blog post today, over on my friend Alison’s blog, about marching to the beat of our own drum.

I wholeheartedly agree – once we find our ‘beat’ and take that first marching step, our world seems to come into sharp focus and we find we have passion, drive and enthusiasm.

Before I read her post, I was having a conversation with my husband about the things we have going on in life, about our dreams for the future and, in particular, my lack of ability at the moment to make much of a foray into any of it.

And then Alison’s post made me think about whether I was marching to the beat of my own drum or was I trying to fall into step with those around me and march to theirs, and I wondered whether that was the problem; the root of my apathy.

Marching to the beat of our own drum goes far beyond just being an individual or standing apart from the crowd. It is about finding what makes the hair on the back of our neck stand up; it’s feeling that anticipation and excitement churn in our stomach; it’s going to bed thinking about our passion and waking up and realising it’s the first thing that comes to mind.

It’s finding our centre, our calling, if you will.

And for most of us, that’s much easier said – or written – than done. Some of us struggle to find just one thing; some of us struggle to find only one thing.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I think that’s because I fall into the second category.

I can’t march to the beat of my own drum because I also need to tap along to the piano, play the triangle and stretch the strings on the violin, while eyeing off the trumpet, cello and the flute.

I want to play the whole orchestra, not just the drum.

There are so many things I want to do, so many causes I would love to contribute to, so many things I want to learn, that I’m not doing any of them.

I wrote in an earlier post that dreams are good and I still adhere to that.


What do you do if you are overwhelmed by your dreams and end up doing nothing towards any of them?


21 thoughts on “Marching to the beat of my own drum.

  1. Lovely post, Susannah. I know some people struggle to find the one thing. It sounds as though you have too many ‘one things’. Nice musical metaphor by the way. I hope one passion wins through for you, or maybe, just maybe, you will find a way to tie all those passions together somehow.


  2. I sometimes feels pushed or rushed toward certain publishing goals, so many friends being so successful. But I realize rushing it, or pushing myself too hard, is not for me. I do enjoy my down time! Now that I’m working outside the home full time, I don’t have nearly the free time I did two weeks ago. I may be marching more slowly than others, but I’m still marching forward.


  3. Susannah, one of the few advantages to having been 39 for a long time is finally getting some answers to questions such as yours. I am quite sure that the answer you are seeking is that it’s time for you to dream right now. See which dreams persist, gather your energies, then pursue those dreams most important to you. In the meantime, of course, you are marching to the drumbeat of the dreams you have pursued so far…family, career, whatever. Enjoy the march!


    • Esther, your 39 years have obviously not been wasted 🙂 Thank you. Such wise insightful advice. Maybe it is my time for dreaming. I just need to keep telling myself that I am not running out of time and maybe the dreams that are the ones I should be pursuing will crystallise with a bit more time.
      And yes, enjoying the march is key and as you so rightly said, family is a big one right now – and I don’t ever want to wish their growing up years away!
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, it really helped 🙂


  4. Susannah, perhaps you are a percussionist rather than a drummer, playing the triangle when you need to play the triangle, and the cymbals when crashing sounds are called for. You are a ‘suck the marrow outa life’ kinda girl and that’s what makes you wonderful. When the right art form comes your way, the one that makes you want to forsake all others, your experiences and passion for trying lots of things may be your greatest asset. Who knows?

    If the great band leader in the sky needed you to pick one, he would have made it clear by now. Maybe the universe needs you to try lots of things in order to be ready for the main performance it has in store for you down the track? After reading your post I went back and added a paragraph, because I realised I’d missed part of the story. Would love to know if it helps.


    • Yes, true, I’m sure something will ‘click’ into place at some point but if not, there is such a thing as a ‘one man, er, woman band’ isn’t there? I could just be one of them 🙂
      I will go check out your extra paragraph….


    • Yes, prioritising is great but I have trouble doing it! They all seem to vie for the top spot.
      You are right though, some dreams are meant to be just dreams, and we need to learn to be okay with that 🙂


  5. Maybe spend a month or 3 months (or however long you deem fit) on each dream on your list. That way you’re focusing on one at a time, but giving lots of attention to many over the long haul. Perhaps the key is to equalize the time spent on all of them, instead of trying to prioritize. Dreams are like children. They’re all important, all the time. 🙂


    • Yes, I have tried to do it that way but it didn’t prove too successful unfortunately. I like what you said about dreams being like children and all important, all the time. That’s great. Let’s just hope I don’t accidentally starve one of them! 🙂


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