Going for thirty

In my long quest for productivity, I have downloaded an app called coach.me.

It lets you set goals and then track progress day by day. I set myself the goal of thirty days consecutive writing on this blog.

So far I am on day 9. I have started writing streaks before, and around about day 10 it feels like that Marilyn Monroe movie “The 7 year itch”. The excitement is gone and the grind is real. This app certainly helps, though.

This is ten, tomorrow is eleven. And on we go.

For the dogs

I write this with a dog at my feet. After a great walk in the park yesterday during which the usual sniffing of other dog butts, running after birds, more sniffing……actually a whole load of sniffing and running occurred – anyways, after that walk my dogs now have to stay confined to the garden for 3 weeks. Thank God we have a garden. It’s not big but at least there are things to….well, to sniff!

This lockdown will take its toll in some ways, and it will help us to grow in other ways. I plan to teach the girls about training a dog. My dogs are not the most well-trained animals but I do understand the behaviour / reward thing….they come when I whistle if that counts?

For now the spaniel is happy at my feet – he scratches the door to come in whenever I am at the computer. I am really disappointed we are not allowed to walk the dogs. But I am glad we have the dogs, they will help us get through this. With any luck, they will be better trained pooches on the other side of the lockdown.

Last minute

With the looming shutdown happening tonight, we did as much as possible outdoors today and organised odd jobs like shopping for dog food because we thought the dog food shop would have to close.

Discoveries from today included

  • An owl in the tree in the park
  • the dog shop will be open during the shut down, but no dog walking allowed. Highs and lows for pooches
  • my children can shout….I mean really shout incredibly loud

Home again

Holiday was cut short by a military lockdown. Not your usual reason.

It’s nice to be home. I’m trying to be optimistic. This is a chance to live differently. Thank the Gods we are allowed to walk the dogs. This is good for both my dogs and my marriage!

21 days can sometimes fly by. My children are confused about the interruption but I think they’ll cope fine.

We have food, we have plenty of work to do on the house, and actual job work which is still coming in over this period though to a lesser extent.

We have entertainment, a garden with a pool. We have space in the house and we have shops down the road. We have every chance of side stepping this damned virus.

Here’s to healthy kids, dogs, marriages and national lockdowns.

Living with Heartbreak

An unexpected halt to an idea will cause heartbreak. Heartbreak is inevitable and yet we spend most our lives trying to avoid it. How to live with heartbreak?

Like most of the world, South Africa is shutting down in response to the corona virus. It is heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for my kids who have had their holiday cut short. Heartbreaking for my wife and I to forget all the plans we had made. Our ideas around freedom, health, community are all being challenged. This too is a heartbreak. How to live with heartbreak? I’m finding this quote from David Whyte helpful:

If heartbreak is inevitable and inescapable, it might be asking us to look for it and make friends with it, to see it as our constant and instructive companion, and perhaps, in the depth of its impact as well as in its hindsight, and even, its own reward. Heartbreak asks us not to look for an alternative path, because there is no alternative path. It is an introduction to what we love and have loved, an inescapable and often beautiful question, something and someone that has been with us all along, asking us to be ready for the ultimate letting go.

The quote suggests that there is a use to this feeling of loss and damage. We must be ready to let go. We must all get ready to die. Not just in times of crisis but every day. Use the time you’re given as if you will have to let it all go one day. As if your time will come to an end. Because it will.

Misalignment

Here’s an interesting quote:

We banish the misaligned when we align with what we are called to, we become visible and real when we give our gift and stop waiting for the gift to be given to us.

I am ruminating on this like a cow with cud.

Contraction versus expansion

There is some clarity that comes with the dread of an impending pandemic. When times get tough it’s a lot easier to prioritise your life.

Some silly examples; I now know for sure that I can’t buy anything fancy. I can’t go on any big trips. The house will not get expanded this year. I won’t visit my family overseas. This is before I even think about plans we may have had at work for our company. So many cancelled plans. All because of uncertainty around Corona virus.

In more normal, predictable times I would toy with all the exciting ideas I could think of. Weigh them up. Choose one over the other. Now I can put all these haunting wishes to sleep.

When this thing passes I will stretch myself again. Until then it’s a period of contraction, consolidation, concentration on the task at hand. Just a period. Nothing more and nothing less.

Not exciting, but necessary for long term planning and resilience.