10  Yesterday was a difficult day. Not in the sense of having bad things happen, though that is what we usually mean when we say that.  And not in the sense of having to work hard, though I did. It was difficult in the sense that I was doing things that are difficult to accomplish.

I nearly finished the rough draft of the first grade book, but the parts I am working on are hard. I am taking the store blog through a transition, and that is hard. I’m trying to keep the store website poised for the next step with it, without actually knowing when I will be allowed to take the next step. I am trying to figure out some things about my new business that are difficult to achieve. I had talks with my kids on changing majors and coping with marital troubles and working on a career, and those are difficult topics, especially 10since I am trying to be supportive but not intrusive. The music was hard last night, and just at the point where I felt I was beginning to sing it (as opposed to merely producing notes), the director got frustrated and said “Oh, come on!” to the sopranos, and then, after a moment, “We’re done. See you next week.” I had a bunch of frustrating tasks to undertake, none enormously important, but all having to be done.

I also discovered that one of the terms I was working with in the first grade book is so commonly used in Bondage and Discipline circles that the B&D usage is what you come up with when you first type it into a search engine, and that was an unforeseen difficulty, let me tell you. I was tempted to decide that it didn’t matter, since few first graders travel in B&D circles, but I had a mental image of teachers googling the term in order to get more background… And of course I am terminally 10unhip, so it might be that teachers would, rather than googling the term, snap the book closed and put it back on the shelf instead of buying it, having seen that expression. Kind of like the way my kids bridle with disgust when I mention thongs, which were a type of footwear in my youth.

What all this made me think of is how rarely we do difficult things as adults.

 We expect our kids to all the time. If they struggle with math, we expect them to work harder. If they want to give up on their piano lessons, we refuse to allow them to be quitters. But for us, as adults, the fact that something is hard for us is enough reason to give it up.

We are prepared to work hard. But not at things that are hard for us.

10How many times do you hear people say, “I’m no good at that,” “I don’t do that,” “That’s not one of my gifts,” “I’m just not a _____ person”?

And perhaps that is a privilege of adulthood, and one that we have earned by trying hard at all kinds of things for which we have no natural talent, all through our childhoods.

 In any case, I was struggling enough yesterday morning that my usual 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. stuff wasn’t completed till nearly 10:00. I normally go to the gym around 8:00, but by 10:00 I felt too rushed. I also definitely needed to get up and move a bit.

I decided to lop the changing and driving time off my morning workout by taking the dog on a neighborhood walk instead.

It was cool (by our standards, I mean — #1 daughter reports that going from an 80s autumn to Pennsylvania ideas10 of “great weather” is a chilly experience) and misty, and I enjoyed checking out the seasonal decorations. I even took some pictures for you.

You will have noticed a sameness, I expect.

Essentially, in my neighborhood, we have pumpkins on the porch, with choice of potted mums or autumnal wreath.

Me too. I went with the wreath.

I think you have to go downtown to get resin tombstones or phosphorescent skeletons.

I might have to do that.

Go downtown, I mean. Although #2 son might prefer to have the tombstones and stuff. This may be what he has in mind when he says that the house is not sufficiently decorated.

 It was Fiona, the big dog, that I took with me on my walk. Going for a walk with her is like going on a walk with a tractor or something, at least for the first mile. After that, she gets worn out and quits trying to pull my arm out of the socket.

She needs to learn Controlled Walking. Or, 10since I am the human, I need to teach it to her.

We stopped by the pumpkin patch, where we were sociable. This is a side benefit of Pampered Chef, actually. Having practiced a higher level of sociability with strangers, I am finding it more natural to be sociable with acquaintances. Fiona the dog is just naturally sociable. She and I found this wonderful warty pumpkin on the table of winged gourds.

It was part of a new truckload of pumpkins that arrived yesterday. I may have to go back and buy it. I had already gotten some winged gourds when  I was minding the pumpkin patch. Yesterday’s mail brought a very sharp Hallowe’en card  from Scriveling, and I think it looks very good on the mantle with the winged gourds.10

A warty pumpkin might be just what is needed to complete the effect.

Today I will be at the store, so there is no hope of my finishing the draft today, but there is always tomorrow. Maybe I will return to it refreshed and do better.

This is also the night when I go directly from work to class, with no dinner in between. And I am expecting shipments today, which I will not be home to receive, sort, and deliver.

I have also mislaid the homework for tonight’s class. I may or may not be able to find it in the time available this morning. And it is bill-paying day, so I must try to fit that in somewhere.

All these things are small things, hardly worth mentioning. I don’t know whether I am hoping for an easier day today, or trying to convince myself that I will have another difficult one.