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Théodore Géricault, after Nicolas Poussin:
Man Clutching a Horse in Water,
Poussin's "Deluge" (1816)

" … a seemingly new you to see it through."

Renewing seems indistinguishable until after it’s over. During, it might be anything. It runs on intention until it succeeds or fails. One intends to renew, but one never really knows whether one'll be successful until the resulting feeling finally catches up to them. Until then, Renewing can resemble anything, even its opposite.

This underlying feature renders Renewing more similar than different from other intentions.
We live, it often seems, on speculation that we're achieving what we intend, the jury being out until very near or even after the end of the intentional engagement. We pretend our way through and into, claiming that we know what nobody could ever rightfully know. The proof of Renewing only reveals itself to the renewed, never to the aspiring pursuer of that end.

This need for Renewing often comes, though, in the middle of some pursuit, when the energies that started the work start lagging. The old enthusiasm fades, and the workday drags. I tend to redouble my efforts then, believing myself disciplined.  I can become dedicated to hurting myself in pursuit of my ends. This tactic works, though never nearly as well as anticipated. The mileage goes to Hell, the sense of purpose takes a beating, and I'm left wondering what I think I'm doing. I'm then in need of Renewing.

Anything might qualify as a Renewing activity, though the classic identifier tends to be its difference from whatever focus had grown wearying. The opposite of that often gets prescribed if an opposite can be determined. Absent that, almost anything different might work. Best if the difference seems more than superficial and also somewhat less than radical. Only in extraordinary cases must extreme differences be considered. One rarely really needs passage to the moon. An afternoon off engaging in some favorite often proves a perfectly adequate respite. If sitting's the problem, take a walk. It walking's the issue, sit a spell.

The actual Renewing takes care of itself. The chosen activity serves as a distraction while the internal processing happens. Muscles untangle, and thoughts finagle their way back into reason again. The exhaustion that claimed the foreground gives way to vigor, and one genuinely feels as if they're beginning all over again, but from the middle, nearer the ending. The sense of adventure should start to haunt again, and almost anything seems possible going forward from then. A new beginning, better than the original, not nearly as naive, and infinitely more appreciative. There's more to do, much more to do, and a seemingly new you to see it through.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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