While I didn't relate to all of your article, I found that your last few sentences really hammered home something integral in my life.
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
I also see that daily training would actually be very easy, if I decided to throw everything else out and just do aikido. The difficult thing isn't doing a lot of aikido. The difficult thing is integrating training into the rest of my life. The difficult thing is living an integrated life.
I have found that, indeed, the truly difficult thing is living an integrated life. For what Aikido takes away, something else must give. That time training replaces time spent with family, friends, games, sports, etc. And something inside us rears its head. That something? I've seen it called a lot of things from dedication to perserverence to commitment to devotion to prioritizing, etc etc etc. But it affects people differently.
There are two ways of looking at this.
The first way of looking at this is from the person who "takes" Aikido. This person shifts priorities around the cycles that he/she has in training. It's a love going to the dojo and hate going to the dojo. It's the stubbornness to go even when it isn't fun. The major difference here (compared to the one I'll detail below) is that during the low training periods, this person isn't affected all that much. There isn't a great sense of loss (there will be some) and some other priority is voluntarily placed ahead of training.
The second way (or example) of looking at this is from the person who "lives" Aikido. This person shifts priorities in his/her life around Aikido. Not necessarily that Aikido comes first, but that it occupies a larger portion of what's important. This person goes to training because to not go creates a void inside them, creates a missing piece of themselves, a substance of internal makeup is missing. And when priorities are changed, it is involuntary that Aikido training is missed (job relocation, death in family, etc). When this happens, the loss is felt greatly inside.
Finally, these examples don't have to be two separate people. It can be the same person just at different times in their lives. However, it usually occurs in order of the first example to the second and very rarely the other way around. Once a person lives Aikido, it's hard to replace.
So, yes, daily training can be easy. But more importantly, "The difficult thing is living an integrated life."