How Long is Too Long?

How long is too long?

When does
skill and efficacy 
too comfortable—
the yoga pants
of professional life?

When does challenge
cross the line
from novel and inventive
the kind of hard
that is just busy—
no longer
stretching my skills,
no longer 
pushing me to grow
in the way
I need to grow
in order to be myself? 

Is it really about time at all? 

What work 
is the right work? 

It’s all important. . . 
but I’m discovering
that it’s no longer
all important 
to me. 

Is that selfish. . . 
or is it a sign
that it has been
too long,
that it is not
the right work? 

I am numb
to repetition,
to unproductive patterns
of behavior
that serve adults
and not kids. 

(Numb is terrifying,
because numb is not me.) 

Is this just the pandemic talking? 

Am I in the right headspace
to make big decisions?
(Absolutely not.)

And yet. . . 

The well-worn path
is not the one
I long to tread—
even if I
blazed that path
Every day in the month of March I am writing as a part of the Slice of Life Challenge on Two Writing Teachers Blog. Join us!


  1. aggiekesler

    wow…lots of reflection and questioning life in this poem.

    This stanza stuck out to me:
    It’s all important. . .
    but I’m discovering
    that it’s no longer
    all important
    to me.

    I’ve often wondered the same thing…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lainie Levin

    Your words resonated with me today, Amy. One thing I love so much is the notion that as we grow and change, so does our definition of difficult, or comfortable. Even those paths we blaze ourselves, and congratulate ourselves at one point for forging, become tired and comfortable. It’s the mark, I think, of a reflective teacher. We may have an ideal picture in our heads of the “there” we wish to reach in our practice, but let’s be honest. There IS no “there.” Once we know more, we see further. And yes, the yoga pants of comfortable practices are nice to be in every so often. But the push (especially from within) is much more rewarding…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amy Ellerman

      Wow—what a tremendous compliment. Thank you. I hope your writing is helping you to work through things in the way it is helping me. I know having a community like this to share with is important as we wrestle with this year.


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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s