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I stepped in what?

Have you ever walked across a room at home and felt your foot sink into something that is definitely not flooring of any kind? 

How about innocently stepping onto a stair and finding a foreign object lodged between your tender toes?

Or perhaps removing your shoes and noticing a trail of smears, of the most unpleasant sort, on the doormat you just walked across?

Living with boys and dogs (and chickens) is the ideal recipe for frequently landing your feet in something painful, noxious, or both. From droppings to LEGO bricks, my poor feet have taken a beating and there doesn’t seem to be any sign that they’ll get a break anytime soon. In fact, if today is any indication, there appears to be an increase in occurances of the foot-befouling variety. Admittedly, I find my two canine comrades the primary culprits for the most rank instances of muck and pain-induced hobbling. From the puddle of urine I walked through to the gnawed-upon bone I stepped on, today has been a doozy. Add the incessant whining of Gus into the picture and the misery is truly complete. 

I freely confess that there are times when I don’t really want to investigate whatever material I’ve stepped on and will often groan and squeeze my eyes shut while trying to mute the four-letter words that want to spew from my lips. I’m not always successful with the latter. But, I can’t just leave it there, sticking to my sock or soaking into my slipper. So, I hop awkwardly to the sink, while giving the guilty four-legged fiend the stink eye. Some cleaning supplies and a foot rinse take care of the mess but the ire is much harder to let get rid of. Inevitably, I end up talking to the dog about how disgusted I am and how I can’t believe he did that in the house, as if those vapid eyes could understand a single thing I’m saying. More often than not, the dog just ends up looking at me like I’m a dolt. And I end up feeling like one because, well, I’m talking to a dog. Sigh. 

Instead of stepping into muck, I’d like to step into realization. Specifically, fulfillment of the commitment I made to myself to see my dream to fruition. But moving forward is hard work, and the sludge I sometimes walk through can slow me down or knock me off track. 

Perhaps you sometimes feel like your day to day activities are filled with landmines of unpleasantness that you invariably step right into, but somehow manage to muddle through (though possibly a little worse for wear). Or maybe, you’ve stepped in one too many messes and running the risk of letting your defenses down and going barefoot seems too risky. It is all too easy to get mired down in the messiness that comes with each day, but gaining a perspective on how to work around such experiences is essential, though not easy. Taking digestible bites of the big picture helps us to feel less overwhelmed by the enormity of a task and allows us to feel a measure of success when we see each piece completed. 

For myself, I know that in the end, it is up to me to take these steps. And with those strides through life, to accept with messes with the successes (wow! Did you see me rhyme? I’m a poet!...actually, I really am). 

So here’s to the stuff we step in...may it not all be noxious and painful!

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