Whether the commute will be the long drive to Columbus or the few steps to my office to work from home, the morning always starts the same. Together, Gary and I begin the day helping our sweet Labrador, Sam, check all the things off his morning list. A while back, Sam’s medical needs grew to the point that we created a spreadsheet to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Sam eagerly eats his Scooby Snacks, which are his pills cleverly disguised in diabetic friendly treats, gets his eyedrops, insulin, breakfast, and takes care of other doggie business. These things are accomplished with tail wagging and ears up. Sam’s determination to greet every day, and to find his blue ball, even though playtime is remarkedly shorter than in his younger days, is a determination to be admired.
Determination is such a varied thing. We take life one year, one month, one day or one hour at a time depending upon our challenges. Those challenges can be within ourselves – hoping and wondering if we can reach our dreams instead of believing and pursuing them. The challenges can come from things we have no control over like how people treat us and other circumstances like a pandemic, discrimination and more. But challenges are meant to be met. Even if the challenges get the upper hand, we win simply through the fact that we fought them. This is true, but of course, a sweeter win is the one where you walk away with the cherished chalice, the awaited award, the pined-for prize.
As I am writing this to you, I am preparing for my final oral defense for my doctorate degree in education. When you read this, I will have already presented it — one of the last few milestones to meet before the treasured EdD can take permanent residence at the end of my name. When I first began this journey, there were those who scoffed at me, actually made fun of me. And I’ve had people minimize the long hours week after week, month after month and year after year that I have spent in pursuit of this dream. But there have been others who have checked in to see how things were going and to ask when they can call me “Doctor.” And while I have the fire and the drive within me to do this, those people have been the inspirational vitamins to keep me nurtured through this long battle. Foremost among those who have supported me is my husband, Gary. To call him wonderful and our relationship amazing is like saying that when a dog hugs you it feels just okay. There are no real words to describe the happiness, trust, love and energy we share.
Like Sam, I too have a list to check things off of. And my bucket list is about to be minus one “what if…”. While I have plans for putting this degree to work; like Sam, I also have plans to use the gift of time I will soon be awarded to play. It might not be with a blue ball, but with toys of a different sort. My running shoes, books, and more have been quietly awaiting this moment.
If you have a dream that you can’t stop thinking about, I encourage you to find a way to chase it down. And if you know someone who is on that journey, let them know you believe in them. Together, we can help each other check one more “what if” off our lists and replace it with a dream lifted to reality.
Written and submitted by Amy Randall-McSorley for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.