How is it that the blessings in our life are also the challenge?
This is playing out before me right now as I sit down to write. I am outside with the dogs, who seem to want me involved. I love these two girls, Maggie and Liv. Yet they seem to request a sort of moderation to their play, escalating to wrestling eventually if I don’t intervene. Plus they are really cute and I love playing with them, attuning to them, joining their world, and enriching their lives. Yet I wanted to write. So they are playing their game, or some version of it which involved possessing the ball and pulling up grass or chewing the ball, as the other waits patiently to go in for the ball or for me to “take it”…which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Maggie’s mouth won’t release if you pull it; she tugs back. So she has to drop it. Liv will drop it less often but will let me pull it out of her mouth. It’s important to note these differences in interacting with them. Of all the things I could be doing, playing with dogs outside on a comfortably warm and breezy day is at the top of the list. I am counting my blessings.
Writing has been a whole unique process that has also felt difficult at times, especially when I have a long streak, though it isn’t always in my attention. I have written every day for over 300 days now, though I lost my streak the other day when I only wrote around 500 words. There were times when I was working to maintain my writing that it was really challenging; there were unexpected power and internet outages, travel, and other things. It became work at times to be able to do the writing, which required about 15 minutes online. Yet I did it, even without internet at home for a few weeks. I noticed how it would feel like a burden or a challenge, and question if I wanted to. Often it was no question; writing and the daily practice is so valuable for so many reasons.
This time when I lost my streak I had 247 days, which is my longest streak of writing 750words. I had undergone an unplanned root canal that day and felt spent in the worst way, that I had exhausted all my inner resources in getting through that experience…and then I was struggling to make it through my writing. I was self conscious as I typed as Liv groaned at me. It seemed loud. I was unable to come up with many words it seemed. I was writing about it all. It felt arduous. The pain medication kicked in and I was processing the day.
I went to bed, only to wake up in the early morning with the clarity that I had not finished my writing and thus lost my streak. That next day I wrote early in the day. I usually do. Now I’m at 8 days again. It’s truly humbling starting over. Yet I had to in this case; writing is one of my rocks, even though with the streak broken it felt like I now had nothing consistent in my life as a daily practice. To keep going and be faced with my small streak was hard and I was proud of how I handled it. Other times when I have inadvertently lost my streak I’ve felt it much more intensely.
Even positive things can be a mix; I am learning that is what life is as a human. Even a good day can be hard. Working toward something can take effort, which can bring a range of emotions or impacts. Triggers about the past can make things hard for one person that is not a thing for another. It’s good to be able to hold that perspective, and that it is okay to feel things. It doesnt mean I am a bad or negative person because something is hard or face a challenge or do something imperfectly — like publishing blog posts without a goal or strategy.
I thought I was going to write about something else. But this is what came. And I did play with dogs.