Welcome to Five For Ten! Click that link to learn more, and then join me here for the next ten days as I participate in Five for Ten.

I don’t know yet whether my posts will align with the overall Wonder, Friend goal of musings, discussion and answers. I hemmed and hawed too long before I decided to take the plunge, so I really haven’t worked out the details yet. I ultimately decided that lack of planning was not reason enough to pass up this opportunity.

It’s been years since I had a writing assignment, and seeing as getting back into practice was the original impetus behind Wonder, Friend, I thought ten days’ worth of writing assignments might be good for me.

That said, when I saw today’s topic I very nearly backed right out of this gig. Courage. What do I have to say about courage? I’m the queen of playing it safe. So here goes… I hope you enjoy the next ten days as much as I anticipate enjoying them.

Courage.

The word immediately brings some images to mind. A cowardly lion in search of courage. A brave soldier calling on every ounce of courage in his being.

What about the day-to-day courage? What about the courage required to put one foot in front of the other every day? The courage to be the person you were born to be?

Last night, my husband and I sat across from each other and each said, “I’m disappointed. This is not what I had in mind.”

Lest you jump to the obvious, but wrong, conclusions, we are not having marital difficulties with a capital D. In fact, we’re quite possibly the only two people on the planet who think the other is funny. This morning at breakfast I nearly wet my pants when he inadvertently made an off-color remark involving a banana. That’s all I’m saying. We were made for each other. The only two people on the planet who can stand us in such quantity.

But in this real life business of managing career and family and everything in between, we are kind of failing. No, we are totally failing.

One small caveat: The kids. They are fed, clothed and loved. We do all we can to nourish their minds and spirits. We play with them and laugh with them and do all we can to teach them how to be productive citizens of the world. They are the one area where we will say we’re succeeding. So please don’t call the authorities after reading the preceding paragraph.

Where we’re failing is, well, everywhere else. We’re out of shape. Over tired. Under nourished. Over caffienated. Disorganized. Disoriented. Disillusioned. Spiritually floundering.

Both of us have been aware of our failings for a while, but nobody said anything. Finally, this past Saturday I got a little mad. Um, no. A lot mad. Crazy mad. The kind of mad where your vision blurs a bit. Anyone familiar with that? No? Count yourself blessed, because it’s not a good feeling at all.

The kids were tucked away in bed and I walked into our kitchen and, frankly, lost it. The house was out of order, I could not think of one real thing we’d accomplished that day, and my husband and I had spent almost no time together. Certainly we hadn’t spent any quality time together. We had not had a true conversation all day. Instead we communicated in fits and starts, between taking care of the kids and doing all the “stuff” we had to do that day.

At the time I could not explain to my husband why I was so angry, although I knew. I knew I was tired of merely surviving every day instead of living every day. So I screwed up all my courage last night, sat down across from my husband, and told him why I had been so angry the day before.

Turns out, he felt the same way.

We leaned on our courage – lost for so long, but now so needed – and laid out all the disappointments. We listened. We discussed solutions. Set new goals. Agreed to disagree on a few points.

I know that this is such a first-world problem. We’re blessed beyond belief and we know that. We do – I promise. No need for lectures. The problem, as we see it, is that we’re squandering our blessings. We’re not doing all we are capable of. We are ashamed that we are not accomplishing more with the gifts we’ve been given.

Why aren’t we doing more?

We decided it boils down to fear. We can’t quite put our finger on what we’re afraid of in each instance where our life is lacking. It’s clear, however, that our behinds will stay firmly planted to our sofa if we don’t employ a little more courage every day.