Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I have this little stack of promise on my end table in the form of books. One is a book on cycling training, another is a book on dog training, and yet another is a book on writing that I devoured last summer and want to revisit now that I'm putting words to the page with more consistency.

In addition to these tangible, paper wells of potential, I have some virtual resources I'm eager to digest: a few sermons I want to listen to on-line from weeks we've had to miss church, a teleclass on essay writing I've been thinking about since December, and a few internet searches I need to run as I continue my preparations to make a go of freelance writing in the fall.

And then there are the more pressing tasks I want to take care of: making phone calls, returning e-mails, creating a couple more playlists and spin routines for the classes I'm subbing for over the next couple weeks, downloading my thoughts here.

Frankly, there are so many things I want to do come nap time--that precious hour and a half in my day when the house is quiet, my time is my own, and my thoughts can wander uninterrupted--that my brain goes into overload and I end up doing just the most essential tasks, unable to decide where to begin.

Is it better to read about dog training first since we're watching the DVD's that go along with the book in our spare evening hours or to read the cycling book first since it will help me learn how to add resistance training to my weekly spin regimen in addition to helping me craft thoughtful, productive spin classes? Do I read this wonderful book on writing, knowing it will inspire me as I gratefully sit down to this blog every few days or do I spend the time looking for markets that might be interested in some of my existing writing?

It's a nice "problem" to have--so many interests and goals and beginnings and possibilities and resources that I don't know where to begin. For me, the learning and preparation is as enjoyable as the actual work, so in some ways, the fun has already begun though the actual events are several weeks or months away. But the excitement isn't helpful if I'm paralyzed with the desire to do everything at once. It's time to make a plan.

Probably I should begin with the cycling book, since getting my training underway for this summer's MS 150 (a 150 mile bike ride over two days to benefit the National MS Society) will be easy to do once I have the information. I plan on adding about twenty minutes of weights or weight-bearing activity to my Tuesday/Thursday spin workouts so that I can increase my strength in addition to my stamina. I was thrilled to finish the ride last year but felt my energy and power waning toward the middle of day two; I hope to finish faster and stronger this year.

More importantly, as I watch my sister with MS do everything in her power to take advantage of the ability her body does have right now, I feel compelled to do the same. Our bodies are a gift. Our health is precious. It is a blessing to move. Now.

Once I finish the cycling book, I can finish the dog training book. We put in an application for a puppy a couple weeks ago (I know, I know: what are we thinking?!?). In the process of looking for adult dogs needing to be re-homed due to circumstances (not temperament issues), I ended up spending forty-five minutes on the phone with a kind, kind man who breeds the kind of dog we're looking for. He's been working with dogs for decades, has raised his kids and his grandkids around them, and he couldn't stop talking about what a wonderful experience it has been for both the children and the dogs to grow up together. If he was looking to place a litter of his own puppies, I might have been suspicious that he was trying to sell me a line, but he's not--he won't be breeding his dogs for several months to a year, at least. His sincere enthusiasm for the benefits of raising and training a dog in the family caused Josh and I to really discuss what we're looking for in a pet, and ultimately, we decided we'd be willing to take on the short-term inconveniences of a puppy for the potential long-term gain for all of us.

All that to say, the litter we're interested in will be eight weeks old come March, so I figure I'll finish the dog training book and DVD's and probably end up re-reading it again by then. We may not get one of those puppies or we may get it when it's a few weeks older, and that would be fine (here, Josh gasps in disbelief--his enthusiasm rivals any five-year-old's), but I want to be ready just in case Pup prances into our life five weeks from now.

And I see the writing resources as an on-going interest that serves my passion. I love to write. I love this blog. I feel almost giddy when I learn that there are others out there who enjoy my blog, too. Though there are times I spend hours on a post and then delete it or when I can't for the life of me figure out what to write about, it is always a gift, a privilege to me, to come to this space and string words into sentences and paragraphs and stories. And when Abby starts preschool a few mornings a week in the fall, I'll see if I might be able to put my craft to work, too. So I'll always be pursuing it, but there will be times when other things--like a puppy, like life--will have to take precedence.

In the meantime, I am struck daily, hourly even, by how very lucky and blessed I am to get to do these things I love: to raise my children, to challenge my body, to teach spin classes that require me to find and listen to music as I choreograph an hour of cycling to my favorite tunes, to write and read and write some more, to undertake new adventures--our latest of the canine variety, to learn.

I used to think the opportunity to do anything new ended with graduation from college. I used to envy the high school students I taught who got to take music lessons, play sports, work on the school paper, and learn, learn, learn something new every day. I'm realizing, though, that while there are seasons of stasis--here, newborn life comes to mind--I am every bit as capable of learning something new now as I was fifteen years ago. In fact, I may be better equipped now because I actually know what I like and don't like, can more readily identify my strengths and weaknesses, and, in turn, tailor my pursuits accordingly.

The horizon is as wide and as bright as it ever was, perhaps more so. With a library card, an hour in the day, and a little imagination, the world is ripe with possibility.

The trick is figuring out where to begin...and beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin