Changing Goals and Grace

"Grace is the voice that calls us to change and then gives us the power to pull it off." -Max LucadoIt’s the start of both round 3 of ROW80 (in which we state our goals) and the latest (penultimate) class for my MBA today. I had had great dreams of finishing a lot of writing during the three-week break after the previous MBA classes came to an end… and am still only halfway to that goal. While I’m not a fan of anything this week’s quotable source stands for, the quote itself is a useful perspective as I face another month of crazy, in preparation for a few more months of insanity. It’s akin to the old Creighton Abrams quote about eating an elephant one bite at a time, but with the understanding that there is an underlying spirit that gives us the vitality to achieve those things we’ve set our minds to doing.

In the midst of a to-do list that includes everything from establishing new insurance, to making sure we have the furniture we need, to turning on all the proper utilities, to finding another holistic vet for Kyra, to boxing up all those worldly goods that are coming with us to Virginia, on top of a full-time job, and another class, it’s a lot easier to focus on the elephant than that quiet voice that keeps telling me things will improve for all of us once we’ve completed the transition. It’s much easier to feel harried and tense about the likelihood that something will fall between the cracks than to feel contentment at the unfolding of the path.

Freya and her babies.Yet this weekend brought a parallel profundity: One of my mom’s dogs successfully birthed her third litter. That would only be a minor miracle until you take into account that she is seven and considered at the outside edge of her fertility. We watched for an anxious day as pre-labor drew on and on and the booming fireworks stressed out all the dogs in the household. We drove with the girl to a local emergency vet and then to another one half an hour away where a surgeon was standing by in case puppies or mother were shown to be in distress. In the end, the surgeon reviewed the evidence and said… don’t use my surgical skills. The secondary message was that based on previous performance and current evidence, this girl could manage this task without the extra intervention. In fact, Freya’s birthing began four hours later as we all slept, quietly, peacefully, and with no need for our agitation. It ended six hours later with five thriving, healthy pups. Having a window into the joy Freya has in her puppies and the meditation on adorability that are the pups themselves pulled me out of most of my worries for at least a little while–and reinforced my appreciation for Puppy Therapy.


It has been another lesson in patience and each thing having its proper time and place. And hubs found another article that underlines the same message–this time in the context of maturing as opposed to aging. The article is a different kind of reminder to let go of expectations, listen to the world around you for those subtle messages, and surrender to the changes that come regardless of our attempts to hold back the tide.

For now my proper time and place includes a lot of responsibilities and stresses. I know I won’t be writing as much as I’d hoped, but I also know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. So my goal for this round: To not let the stress lead to crazy. Secondarily, to finish the move and the class, figure out a regular walking route, and keep up with my other responsibilities. While I know this puts fiction word production at the bottom of my priority list again for the moment, I suspect that at the halfway point of this round I’ll be able to make some upward revisions on my word count goals, and I will treat that as my reward for getting through this eye of the needle. Meantime, check out my cohorts’ goals, and come back next week to see whether being back in Wisconsin helps me feel more productive.

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6 thoughts on “Changing Goals and Grace

  1. Those are good goals. Very good goals. Your current priorities seem straight, and they’re only taking away from your writing temporarily. Be sure to take ME time, to rest and recharge; your other goals will benefit, and you’ll be able to get back to your writing in earnest. πŸ˜€

    And yes, those puppies are adorable! 😎 AWWWWW!

    1. πŸ™‚
      I’m glad to see we’re on the same page with some me time with this round’s goals… I suspect most of mine for this month will come during the 18-hour road trip on the 31st and 1st…

      1. I have actually scheduled a solid hour every day for recharging. I might take it during dialysis, or after, when my brain doesn’t function, but I *know* that time is mine, every day, and not to be used for forwarding my other goals. It’s more difficult than you might think, actually.

  2. Such sweet, cute puppies! πŸ™‚ And what a pretty mama too.

    Our little old lady dog’s health is failing, but despite her struggles with stairs, and walking, and even eating some days, she brings joy every where she goes. Big doggie smiles and tail wags and cuddles. I think happiness, because of the good things around us like soft beds and tummy rubs and a round of fetch, rather than approaching life with a “despite X” sort of mentality goes a long way. Joey can’t walk without stumbling now, and she can’t see well, but she can smell a piece of ham from three rooms away, and what could be better or more important that early morning, sneaking with Mom, ham treats? LOL.

    I know you’ve been hard at it for a long, long, long time, but what you’ve accomplished is astounding! You’ll all settle in and establish a new routine soon, and life will be wonderful. Full, sometimes chaotic, but joy and love will see you through.

    …I want to snuggle the puppies……

    1. awww… And I want to snuggle you. I keep thinking I owe you a massive thank you email, but since I’m so lame I can’t reply directly… You get a public apology and mea culpa here.
      At some point, your suggestions will add to my to-do list; for now… I’m giving a public shout-out to Jennifer’s outstanding critiquing abilities. πŸ™‚
      Thanks for hanging in there with me… and good luck with your aged furbaby. πŸ™‚

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