Monday, October 21, 2013

Soreness, The Dishwasher, Plans, and Goals

Woke at the usual time and made my way with only slight difficulty downstairs. This is a happy surprise since I ran a half marathon yesterday and expected to be way more stiff and sore. What a relief.

I started coffee and opened the dishwasher to find that nothing in the bottom rack had come clean. This set me off. Having gotten up to write, I ground my teeth about the writing time I was losing as I washed each dish and tried to figure out the dishwasher's problem. Unable to walk away and leave a sign for my family that the machine was broken, I looked through owner's manual self-help section. The jets on the bottom arm might be clogged. I removed the arm and ran water through it, poking at the jets with a fork to dislodge clogs. Replacing the arm, I added a cup of white vinegar and started a hot wash. I'll know tomorrow morning if I made any progress or if I'll need to call someone.

This morning is like the race yesterday. I have a plan but things come up. My plans for a race are to run hard and feel good about the finish and my time. Yesterday, however, I hadn't trained enough and I was both thirsty and needing to pee the entire race. Half a dozen times I ran off to the woods along the side of the road, while at every water station I slowed to grab energy drink. My friend needed to stretch at one point, so we stopped. All this went into the new "plan" which was no plan at all. It was simply running the race.

This morning too has gone according to some new "plan" that is just living the morning but, like the race, I'm still on track to finish. Running the race I'm in and living the day before me is a struggle. Going with things feels like failing. It would be if I was surrendering. Fighting is another failing. The way through lies between.

The longer race is one in which I'm figuring out the next stage of my life. I don't leave that to chance nor do I want to fight and scream about the way things are. The middle ground is wide and has more than just two options. Still, I feel like fighting or just giving in. It's a habit I have to be reminded to avoid. I need a new habit which is to go on and adjust to the new plan, to be open to new possibilities when one thing falls apart.

Go back to the dishwasher. Had I given in to the frustration of the broken machine and surrendered to a morning interrupted, I wouldn't be writing this. I had planned to get up, unload the dishwasher, pour coffee, and write. The morning is all about writing, not the dishwasher. The writing goes on so long as I don't break down with the dishwasher.

A plan pales in comparison with the goal. Today I wrote. Yesterday I crossed the finish line of a half marathon. I'm late getting these words down because the dishwasher broke and I'm a little sore from running the race yesterday. But I wasn't too sore to walk, the dishes are clean, the machine might be fixed, and despite the disruption to my plan, here I am at the keyboard, holding fast to the goal which is to write on.