This morning, I walked our dog, Ellie, after Ty got on the bus. It was cloudy, 50 degrees, and windy. As much as I love walking through our neighborhood in Fall and savoring the beautiful leaves, this was not a pleasant walk. I was cold. But I was there because Ellie needed me to be. She needed to expend some energy and, yes, relieve herself. After rounding the first bend, the scene struck me as funny.
My cold self wanted to go back to the house for a cup of coffee, but instead I walked on in the wind because Ellie loved it. It also struck me that I was carrying a plastic bag of her poop. Considering the situation, I asked myself, "Who's the Master here?"
Often in life, we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations in which we surrender our desires to the needs or wants of others. As mothers, we do this on a daily basis. In fact, we do it all day long. We allow a frightened child whose ventured into our rooms at 3 am to slide in to the warm spot we've been creating all night. We get up early to make sure everyone has breakfast, brushes their teeth, and has what they need for their day. A big one--at least for me--is the surrender of career and a life outside our homes because we believe it's best for our families. Especially when the other parent works hard and long hours to provide the life we want to give our kids.
As adults, we all give up the carefree world of childhood. We have little "unstructured play time." Yes, my husband loves being a pilot, but he loves being with us more. It is a sacrifice for him to be away as much as he is. He's fortunate that he can do what he loves, but he's surrendering something. Several of my friends have spouses who are physicians that spend nights in the hospital on call, and weekends away at continuing education seminars. Another friend stays home with his two boys so his wife can travel the world for her work.
In these situations, who is the Master? Our children? Our jobs? Our responsibilities? The answer to that question depends entirely on your perception. I chose to marry a pilot. I chose to stay at home when my children were small. I chose to give up a career in law to be there when my kids get off the bus. And today, I chose to walk Ellie. Rather than see myself as sacrificing for the best of others, I choose to see my life for what it is. A conscious choice that brings me fulfillment and joy.
In attempting to publish The Beauty of Grace, I am not a victim of the process. I don't pump out query letter after query letter and pursue all avenues of social networking with other writers, agents, and publishers because I have to. While writing is a compulsion for which there is no therapy or medication, I choose to put my work out there. To seek a place in the publishing industry. It might be cold and windy, and some days I might feel as though I'm carrying a bag of dog poop, but it is still my choice to be there.