Simon is right (oooooh – how I hate to admit that – especially after this morning when we were lying in bed and he kept saying I was wrong and I countered with “I’m right” – and then he got smug and I had to bite and hit him and he got even more smug until I offered the ultimate threat – no more drawing pictures on his back – and he admitted I was right all along…) – even when the hike is tedious and not pretty, as long as I’m out for a few hours I feel every so much better. (by the way – the argument was about a space blanket versus a car window shield – which would work better as a warm boot insole. I said window shield and he said blanket and I said the blanket would bunch under the foot and he said I was wrong and I said…… well, you can probably take it from there)
So today, he dropped me off with the puppies on Red Mountain Road and we set out to explore a road about a half hour uphill. I timed our trip for exactly three hours so that we’d be back for our pick-up. If it had been up to Abby we would have been gone twenty minutes max. Her paws are not happy in the cold. Shanara, on the other hand, bulldozed through and almost got herself stuck in a snowbank. After that little episode, she stayed in my tracks as I broke trail – for the most part.
But three hours was good for them – I don’t think they would have done all that well with more. Even though it’s a touch warmer, it was still about minus twelve when we left this morning.
I’m adjusting to the cold – or rather, I’m adjusting to my toes, fingers and thumbs being icy even with all the warming hacks I’ve been trying out. Even those little hand warmer packets serve little purpose when it gets this cold.
Still, I was out in it and being out moving my body was the payoff – that and a couple of good photos. And now the joy of sitting in a warm house getting work done.
I talked with Simon about this yesterday (he’s such a wonderful listener, caring about what I say) – about how I am working on getting my biggest driving needs me. I think I have Achievement sussed out. I have a list of things I do every day: editing one chapter, writing two pages, sending in one submission – and now, added to the that is a weekly job – writing and submitting one magazine article. Yesterday was my first – to the New York Times.
The important thing here is doing it. It feels good.
I also get that feeling of achievement from ticking off and getting done all the everyday things – cleaning, laundry, cooking – staying on top of it all – making this house a home.
And every one of these is a constructive strategy so I can’t help but feel good.
Admiration – right now, I am feeding this internally. When I get everything done, I admire myself. I may not get quite the hit I do when I receive admiration from peers or professional organizations – but I get it and it’s a constructive strategy.
Autonomy is my biggest challenge. And I love Simon even more than I thought possible because he really is making every effort to make sure I get this met. Of course that’s a contradiction in terms because autonomy demands I do it on my own. Where he helps is driving me to trailheads – and just letting me be me. He makes no demands of me – ever – that I change or be anything other than authentic. It all helps. It all makes a difference.
Bit by bit and day by day we are moving ahead, making a life, learning, growing, finding out what works and what doesn’t. There is an adventure-filled future out there and we are moving into it (whether we like it or not). Somehow, being who we are, I suspect life will never be dull for us.