Compiling 100 entries for the Pearl Source giveaway took longer than predicted. I started yesterday afternoon, lost steam last night, finished up this morning. Larks are like that.
I’ve announced the winner on the original post. Congrats!
I also thought, as I painstakingly entered the appropriate names into a spreadsheet (having reread all the comments to discern who was in the contest, who only telling a story, and who just making a cheeky remark (GSL of course)) about a conversation I’d had earlier with my son. Careers.
I guess today’s question is: how much drudgery do we need to expect and bear up under, over time?
When my best friend and I were jointly rearing our children, five between us then, we called ourselves donkeys. My mother had taught me a song,
“Sweetly sings the donkey, at the break of day.
If you do not feed him, this is what he’ll say.
‘He haw, he haw, he haw he haw he haw he haw.”
We sang to our children as we ferried the 962nd serving of noodles to the table. Cut-up fruit and vegetables first, so they’d eat color before beige. A slog. But I never felt sacrificial. I never resented my kids — because I experienced my love for them like a drug.
These days, some people advocate Follow Your Bliss, others, Deliberate Practice. While writers may flog their ideas single-mindedly — a book entitled “It All Depends” is unlikely to sell — those of us reading probably know that you can follow your bliss only to a point. At some juncture aren’t you going to need to put your head down and engage in deliberate practice?
I feel the same way about the Law of Attraction. Envisioning your desires helps in realizing them, but so does planning for risks and understanding probabilities.
Recently I’ve been enjoying Prudential’s commercials on retirement. I know, weird. In particular, I like the one which shows how people characterize their past as half difficult, half good, but their future as perfect. We acknowledge past difficulties, but predict no more to come. Bliss and Drudgery. You can Attract only so much.
This morning, I opened my email to find a reader had written to say how much I’d helped her. After a rough divorce, and reevaluation and understanding of self, she found help here and from other midlife bloggers.
Her email made me happy. A tiny bliss. I’d been useful.
Imagine a donkey on a trail in Greece caring more about good foot placement than the wine-dark sea to her left. Sturdy Gals care most about being useful. That’s why we make good beasts of burden, even when hills are steep and dusty.
Which brings me up short.
Maybe others feel about drudgery as I do about fighting? In other words, can’t do it. No matter the waiting sea, no matter the stable, no matter the hay. Child-rearing was different, I realize now, because I would have fought for my kids not minding that death. Huh.
So I can only repeat the question, this time in light of temperament.
How much drudgery do we need to expect and bear up under?