"Working hard for something we don't care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion."When I set my goals last week, I worried whether I’d manage the 500-word bar but didn’t think I’d have a problem with the walking or the at-home date night. It’s interesting to see that even with the major headache of nightly course work and weekly papers off my plate, life still has a way of adjusting the goals and priority we set for ourselves. In my case, I’m now at 26,431 words on Fire to Dragon, so managed all but 70 of the words in my goal.

The weather, on the other hand, offered us snow and ice and Wisconsin-like temperatures, so while we still walked the dogs, we were lucky if it was a mile each day. With the prediction for freezing rain tonight, that’s likely to persist a few more days, because it really is surprising the number of people who don’t shovel in Virginia… making for a scary number of icy sidewalk hazards for those of us trying to stay fit.

The other big miss was the other one I’d thought easy: A stay-at-home date night. When I get home at 7, and it’s dinner time, then writing time, that doesn’t leave much time for cuddling in front of a show or movie. On the other hand, we did celebrate my brother’s birthday at an entertaining Teppanyaki restaurant, so left our furbabies at home alone for the longest stretch yet. Apparently two hours apart means KouKi is shrieking and frantic by the time she sees us again–though she didn’t destroy her crate or anything in it, so maybe, eventually, she’ll be as chill as Santino was about the experience. I hope so, because Natasha was at the other end of the house to stay away from the racket, and I hate to see a puppy that upset.

Of course, it couldn’t have helped that we discovered Friday that she had a major infestation of roundworms. Those parasites could explain the issues we’ve had with diarrhea from her, though it seems, too, we caught it early enough that her growth and general vitality has not been significantly impacted. She’s already at 22.5 pounds and still playing daily. Regardless, I had the gut-churning “joy” of receiving a text from hubs with pictorial evidence that the medication was working. All I will say, for those of you with visual memories of Star Wars, episode 6 (version 1!), is … Sarlacc pit. </gag> We’ll find out whether she needs another round of treatment next week, and are planning on getting the other two tested as well, since, as the vet said, this is an environmental hazard here.

Odd that in almost two decades of dog ownership, though, this is the first we’ve run across the issue, given the wide geographic range we’ve lived in. It looks like I will finally be investing in Panacur, which my mom (a Berner breeder) swears by.

The most interesting part of my week was the persistent sense that I was missing deadlines. Almost like the schoolwork was a phantom limb, teasing me with remembered stress. So when I saw the quote above drift past on my Facebook feed, I had to consider the difference between stress and passion. I’m feeling significantly less stressed in some ways, but have started setting up deadlines for my writing that will add to my stress, given the amount of work I anticipate investing in that process. In fact, I discovered a critique group accepting new members this week and submitted an application. Another writer friend had posted an article debunking the 10,000 hours to mastery myth, prodding me further down the road of looking for someone(s) to poke holes in my story telling. Which, ironically, will make the hard writing work more stressful, but I hope ultimately leads to an affirmation of my passion.

We’ll see. As it is, writing book three of a series has enough challenges that this story feels more of a slog to tell. I really hope that makes for effortless reading on the other end. Once again, time will tell. But I’m starting to operate as if March will be my release month, since I feel hopeful that the pace I’ve set is both realistic and achievable.

I didn’t even try to deal with our remaining boxes, or to establish a study schedule for the PMP, but at least I seem to finally be past the cold/flu that has been so draining for the past month and a half. It seems someone’s Internet-posted remedy of honey water has turned the tide for both of us. So we’ll see whether I have more energy this week to be able to shoe-horn in more progress. Otherwise, check out how my fellow ROW80ers are doing, and I’ll be back next week to let you know if I’m any closer to achieving my goals.

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One thought on “Working Hard

  1. Love the quote you shared. 🙂
    Congrats on your word count. Good stuff!
    The poochie we’re fostering just got over his flea infestations (not from neglect but because no-one was getting bitten and he scratches anyway so we didn’t know; sigh!) and now he has an ear infection. 😛
    Anyhoo, all the best with your writing … and other goals.
    Have a great week!

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