The everyday struggle

The dragons are formidable, but no match for our faith and tenacity.  Disney's California Adventure Park, July 2004

The dragons are formidable, but they are no match for our faith and tenacity.
Disney’s California Adventure Park, July 2004

“One wrestles with one’s dragons until the end of one’s life — it is a constant and eternal process.  The crises in one’s life only show up in intensity what is going on every day.  The crises are there, perhaps in order to illuminate the everyday struggle…so that one may be better prepared to fight, not “next time” but all the time — tomorrow and the day after.”Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I’ve often said that the crises are easier to get through than the relatively smaller challenges that come with each day.  During a crisis, we typically have adrenaline, determination and the active support of friends and family to get us through.  There is also the feeling that, whatever is happening, it is time-limited and will pass.  In between major life events, though, the seemingly minor setbacks and relentless annoyances can take a cumulative toll that is ultimately as formidable as the life-and-death moments.

I think Anne Lindbergh’s insights are correct; life is an ongoing struggle for pretty much all of us, though our individual circumstances vary on the surface.  During her 94 years, she weathered larger storms than most of us will, but  so many of us are drawn to her writing not because of her accounts of remarkable and unprecedented experiences.  Rather, it is her knack for detailing the common trials we all must negotiate; the ubiquitous obstacles we must overcome just to get through another day.

If your path today is impeded by figurative dragons, or only pesky gnats and flies, I hope you’ll have plenty of illumination to guide your way.  Remember how much you have survived already, and take heart!  You obviously have the right stuff to get through another day.

One year ago today:

A light from the shadows

This post was first published on April 4, 2021. The dates were adjusted to allow the Easter weekend posts of 2014 to appear on Easter weekend 2021. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I just chased away an ant that was coming towards my yoga blanket. I like that phrase, “wrestle with one’s dragons.”
    An ant can be chased away or easily smooshed. Dragons, well, they’re not easy to chase away. Nearly impossible to smoosh. I guess that’s why we wrestle?
    As long as the dragon hasn’t slain us, it seems as though we may be winning?
    Not smooshing the ant was a choice that I probably won’t later regret.
    Should you slay a dragon, if you have opportunity and means?
    Hmm. Things to ponder.
    Thank you, Julia!

    • The dragon also has a positive connotation, especially in many Asian cultures. For years, actually until after Jeff died, I wore a beautiful gold dragon necklace (visible in many of my photos) that Jeff gave me in 1996 when I finished my graduate degree. It was crafted by a Chinese jeweler who attached a fortune to each piece he created. The fortune for my particular necklace was the reason Jeff chose it: “Eternal vigilance, courage and strength are your legacy.” So perhaps dragons should not always be slayed. But sometimes they need to retire. But my necklace remains one of my most treasured possessions.

      • What a wonderful insight, Julia! Thanks!

  2. Mary Ellen Davis

    There’s an old saying: “You can sit on a mountain. You can’t sit on a tack.” It’s the little things that get you! Make a great day…moment by moment!

    • Mary Ellen, I had not heard that saying before, but I love it! It’s so true. And as one ages, it’s interesting how many things start to seem more like tacks– annoying and potentially destructive if they continue, but not HUGE as compared to, say, bereavement, serious illness or major heartbreak.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

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