Two days. Two.
I texted a friend the other day and we mulled over this fact in mutual disbelief. How is it possible? Didn’t that phone call just come through? Didn’t I just sink to the floor, crying and hugging a very confused Bolt before calling every person I could think of just a few weeks ago? Apparently not, because it’s almost here.
Tonight some of my agility family came to the new apartment to drink wine, wish us well, and share lots of laughs. It was absolutely the thing I needed at just the right moment. A perfect distraction from thinking and worrying too much.
I’ve been clenching my teeth too hard at night. Sometimes I wake up from a headache and a nagging jaw. It sets me on edge for the day and can be hard to shake off. A habit that started a few years back, but one that seems to have settled in to stay. My dentist is impressed by it (in a bad way). Natural remedies don’t seem to work well. You can recommend some if you like, but chances are I’ve already tried them. My stress has found its place to burrow. I just wish it wasn’t taking it out on my teeth. (Also, I would very much prefer not to require a mouthguard at night like some recumbent, unconscious soccer player).
It’s a lot at once, this summer. I can appreciate that and acknowledge it tonight in the new space we’re calling home. Listening to the cars pass here at night, the muffled voices of people walking home, is a reminder of how much has changed and how quickly. There are still crickets and silence and familiar things, but this place hums with more energy than I’m used to and I’m completely falling in love with it. Last year I wrote about shaking things up because that’s where Joe and I were. I chose to take a forced move as a sign to let go of what was comfortable. Two job changes and a career shift.A lifelong dream realized. A wedding. An out-of-state move.
(Mouthguard, enter stage left.)
I’m often told I do too much. And as much as I want to take that sentiment as a compliment, I know that it’s not. Socrates wrote, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Barren? Harsh. I’ve always prided myself on being busy. It meant I was productive. It meant I was young, active, and, let’s be honest here, it meant that my life was full. But I’m not sure that’s necessarily true.
I have an extremely talented young friend. She is lightyears beyond where I was at her age, truly. I am consistently surprised by her insights, maturity, and depth of understanding the big picture. It took me much longer to be where she is. Anyway, I could gush about her for pages, but I won’t. She wrote recently about this same phenomenon (not uncommon for us to have the same thoughts around the same time). There’s nothing wrong with narrowing down our focus—of finding what we excel in and staying in that framework. After this summer, that is a goal of mine. To settle into a routine, at least for a little while. To excel at this new job venture I’ve taken. To explore our new city on a deeper level. To connect with photography a bit better. To continue the journey to health I’ve been on these last few years. And of course, to meet more goals in agility and life with Bolt (yes there are still goals after this).
For now, though, my focus is on the coming week and next weekend especially. I can’t help but to run through checklists over and over. To think back over training this summer and the months before and wonder if it was enough. It’s hard not to worry you didn’t do enough—that you could have pushed a little further, done a little better. I’ve lived with this mindset for most of my life and I know how destructive it can be. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Our dogs are not machines, nor are we. I tried to strike a balance this summer for the two of us. Between trialing, training, bubble-wrapping, and conditioning, we lived a normal life. There were days off, and pizza, and lazy mornings in bed. Through it, there were milestones. I made it to the 65lbs lost club today and a few weeks ago, got my mile down to 7:30. Bolt had a check in with our chiropractor Sunday night and, for the first time almost ever, she said he was perfect. It was a validation of everything we worked on this summer. It was relief.
No matter what happens next week, this will be the greatest learning venture I’ve ever taken. I can’t help but become a bit of a puddle whenever I think of everything that went in this dream. I could write an Oscar’s-style speech over it (I won’t, but I could). Cherish your village. Remember how many people are a part of your journey in big–and small– ways. In the past week alone I’ve stood in awe of that realization. Our lives interconnect in unexpected, complex, and beautiful ways.
So I’m letting go. Of all the doubts over what I worry I should have done. I’m trusting that the work has been put in, both physically and mentally.
Now it’s a game of belief, a little of luck, and a whole lot of grit.
Let’s do this, my boy.
(And, in the meantime, I still might clench my teeth too hard at night.)