Breaking the Tyranny of the Streak

Or…there’s streaks, and there’s streaks.

 

Harvard Streaker Glitch
not that kind of streak

Recently I’ve been a bit frustrated by my inability to continue streaks on certain software that I enjoy. After some thought I decided to ignore all their exhortations, encouragement, and pokes and prods and release myself from the tyranny of maintaining a streak on a number of things.

At first, I felt like I was a bit… not worthy. Less than. Online you see so many people who have blogged every single day for years – writing great articles every single day. Or who sketch every single day, or take photographs every single day. For some of these things it seems like it’s really not a big deal to remember to spend maybe five minutes on a quickie – although of course, more time is better for some things. So why can’t I manage to journal in my private Penzu journal every day, and make even a quick sketch a day – even after I put sketching apps on the phone so I sketch even on days when we aren’t home very much. Not finding time for a few minutes of Japanese study – even though that app barely nags (or rewards) is a particular frustration for me. I mean, I really DO enjoy and want to learn Japanese.

But here is my biggest stumbling block. I have actual responsibilities. Three days a week my hubby has a 3 1/2 hour dialysis treatment. When we ride the Transit bus they pick us up about two and a half hours early, and can drop us off as much as three hours afterwards. Which is one of two reasons we no longer ride the Transit bus. (The second is that they are not enforcing masks, and are actively making it impossible to social distance – so we get to pick someone up at the hospital, then sit less than 2 feet away while he hacks and coughs and sneezes for two hours. Complaints are answered with “you should be grateful for this service”). Now that we are back to riding the public bus, the transportation time is a little more reasonable so at least we are not gone from the house for up to 10 hours for a 3 1/2 hour treatment. Still, we often arrive home sick, tired, and very out of sorts. Both of us – even though only he had to undergo the treatment. At any rate, 3 days a week are quite focused on one thing.

The other four are the only time I have to go grocery shopping, walk down to the machine (about 1 mile) to refill water bottles, pick up prescriptions, go to the bank, do laundry, cleaning house, or any of a dozen or so other responsibilities I simply have to do. The fact that we no longer have a vehicle means that everything entails an hour or two or more of walking or riding the bus on top the of actual errand time.

Hey, I’m not complaining. I do have a 180 day streak going on the pedometer app! We walk a lot. It’s very healthy for us. This is a good thing. So I’m about half on half on – those are excuses, and nope, that’s just life.

After some more thought, I realize I have to give myself credit for those things that there is no app for that I do have a “streak” on.

I wash the dishes by hand. Every single day. Some days, twice. Admittedly, I often skip that duty on dialysis days because it’s too late and/or I’m too tired when we get home. We also tend not to make as many dirty dishes those days so I figure that’s okay.

I manage to take vitamins every single day. Yeah, I’m kind of a health and wellness freak. I’d rather take vitamins every day than a bunch of prescriptions drugs, and then drugs for the side effects of the drugs, and so on.  I also nag the husband to take his, poor guy. Then again, he is in remarkable health for someone who has been on dialysis for ten years. That’s not me bragging, that’s what his dialysis nurse and his nephrologist say. I’d guess our streak on this one is literally years without a break.

Every single day I pray, meditate, and make offerings to the gods and goddesses. Every single day I spend a few minutes to connect and send reiki healing to any of my friends who may need it. Every day I do some little accupressure treatments on the hubby that help with various little things like blood pressure or anemia or pain. Again, streaks that are years long.

A few days ago I added to my daily chores; feeding, watering, and cleaning a litter box for the new family member. She pays in purrs. It’s a more than fair deal!

So you know what, I’m tossing out all the frustration and the guilt for the streaks I can’t seem to keep up. And giving myself a little credit for those I do.

I hope by sharing this that maybe if you are feeling a bit of guilt, or like you are not as good as someone else because you just can’t keep a streak of daily whatever going that you will take a second look at your life and realize that we are all doing the best we can do with what we have and where we are at in our lives right now. We have to set our own priorities over those things we need to accomplish, and however “good” it might be to journal or sketch or practice our second language every day, there are things that can simply be set aside for things that simply must be done. There is no shame or guilt in that. In fact, you probably deserve some kudos for taking care of business. (That often is a lot less fun than journaling, sketching, etc.)

So there, hah.

Blessedbe.