I recently received notification that WordPress has been publishing this daily blog for eleven years. Add to this, more than another year on the Yahoo! blogging platform, and we have about a dozen years for bluejayblog’s existence. I mentioned this on Facebook as an FYI and ego-stroke.
One of the social media commenters asked how I could endure the chore of writing every day for twelve years. I tapped out a short reply stating that blogging doesn’t feel like a chore; it’s more like a guilty pleasure. If blogging was unpleasant, I wouldn’t do it. Meanwhile, the question about endurance remained as I went about the day–doing chores and whatnot.
Athletes and fitness fans possess the ability to endure great stresses on their bodies. I’m guessing that enjoyment is at the core of their abilities to endure, too. When I was much younger and had healthier joints, I used to jog. Despite the initial pain, the activity was enjoyable. Also, the endorphins that pumped through my body elevated my mood and set a happy tone for the remainder of each day.
Later, when jogging was out of the question, most days, I walked to work. Although I owned a nice car, it seemed senseless to drive one mile then park it outdoors for nine or ten hours. Walking not only seemed sensible; the daily walks were pleasant. What some of my colleagues thought was endurance, actually brought me joy.
I remember an old pithy saying about endurance: Mountain climbers endure steep grades; walking in snow, one endures hidden hazards; encounters with unstable people require emotional endurance. It seems that much of our lives entail exercising a certain amount of endurance. Regardless of one’s activities and relationships, we have cultivated ways to endure.
Many of my friends are good at scheduling their lives so as to accomplish their numerous daily responsibilities. They formally lay out schedules to get an overall grasp of each day’s activities. This helps to prepare their minds to ration out their energy and time so they maintain their reserves throughout the day. Doing this keeps frustration at bay and allows for more time to enjoy their hobbies and entertainments. There is also the satisfaction of knowing that they finish what they set out to do.
The average worker must have the strength and patience to endure. To work at a job is like a marathon. Every day she or he must climb out of bed and travel to the worksite. Whether or not the work is meaningful, there are still difficult, trying situations in the workplace with troublesome supervisors and coworkers. Repetitive tasks feel soulless and mind-numbing. The end of the day cannot come fast enough. Somehow the worker makes it through the day, and the remainder of the week, only to start over the next week. I believe that workers should give themselves pats on the back for their endurance.
“Endurance, after all, is the only reason we even exist. We think of ourselves as nature’s deadliest animals, but the truth is, a naked human is the biggest wimp in the wild. We have no fangs, no claws, no strength, and no speed.”–author and journalist, Christopher McDougall
Have you pondered the physical human condition and come to a similar conclusion to that of Mr. McDougall’s? If the average person found her or himself in the middle of the wilderness without the benefit of clothing, “survival gear”, or even basic tools and weapons, she or he would be at a severe disadvantage compared to the other living beings. The human mind has had to adapt to various conditions to not only survive, but to thrive. In order to exist as a species, we have been forced to endure great hardships.
One of the ingredients that helps us to endure each day is to take each day one at a time. When living in the present is the foremost mindset, we are better able to live effective, satisfying lives. I hope your day, today, is more than a test of endurance.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Napoleon Bonaparte. “The first virtue in a soldier is endurance of fatigue; courage is only the second virtue.”