to attempt something by exertion of effort,
to strive to achieve or reach .
serious determined effort or activity directed toward a goal.
Christmas has passed and I am relieved not to have to listen to holiday music anymore, since right after Thanksgiving there are commercials on TV and songs on the radio and on stores’ playlists.There is no escape from Christmas whether you celebrate it or not. Or whether we are strongly advised to tone down holiday gatherings in the face of the pandemic. The pall over our celebrations seems to have made the desire to have a tree, put up decorations, listen to holiday songs all the stronger, the presence of Christmas all the more ubiquitous.
The presents of Christmas are another matter, This year, I really struggled to get gifts, the one part of the holiday I observe. In the last few years I have made little packages, with V’s limited help, for school staff: spiced tea mix, taco seasoning, baked items, all nicely decorated; these are things that don’t seem safe now and that I didn’t have the focus or energy to put together. Even though school has been mostly virtual it doesn’t mean the gifts shouldn’t be real.
And I struggled to come up with ideas for the few other people on my gift list, to have the inspiration I used to have to find thoughtful appropriate presents.
Pandemic may be the official word of the year but struggle has been a close second for many of us.
To make strenuous efforts in the face of difficulties;
To proceed with difficulty or with great effort.
It’s not by definition a very fun word or experience.
Who wants to read something titled Struggle? (Well, i do but I’m assuming you may not.) Yet struggle is part of every life, and its synonyms are not all negative, many are simply about effort: work, toil, endeavor, labor, hustle.
Endeavor is a lot more palatable, and its meaning: to strive to achieve – is a positive spin on struggle. To work with set purpose. I endeavor to have a good day, to set aside time for myself, to keep the house from becoming too much of a mess, to keep V engaged and regulated, to appreciate when he is in good spirits (most of the time), be accepting when he is not and empathic when I fall short. Gratitude is an endeavor, as is humor or forgiveness.
Everyone struggles with something and most of us endeavor to turn the tides of misfortune as best we can. There is no in-person school until January 14th and I will endeavor to help us do the best we can to get through each day, to have good food and music and long walks and to be okay with the long lapses in between.
The antonym for endeavor is to quit or give up. I struggle, for the most part successfully, not to do that. It doesn’t seem an option. And so we keep going, an attainable goal and simple yet constant endeavor.