The past couple of weeks have been a bit trying and honestly, I am not too sad to see the back of them. A minor car accident, getting off a night shift only to discover that the loaner car I had driven to work in had been towed, further car and towing issues for my older daughter, stomach virus for my younger daughter, a burst water main, and finally a power outage that somehow affected only our street.
In the midst of these setbacks however, I found it kind of amusing to see and hear things that seemed to hint towards a message of persevering; I’ll share just a couple:
The first came by way of a podcast I listened to while working out; the host played a snippet of the forthcoming talk, and in that snippet I heard the following quote:
“DON’T WISH IT WERE EASIER; WISH YOU WERE STRONGER!”
It’s funny how, of all the words I heard, those ones in particular seemed volumes louder. It’s not as if they were new and enlightening, but they were a great reminder to not despair but to keep pressing forward. It’s easy to feel sorry for one’s self when things go wrong, yet finding the strength to persevere is, I believe, the far better option. Why, for example, set up camp in a dry and arid dessert if just over the horizon lies a beautiful coastline with pristine beaches. Sure, it might take some effort to get there but it beats camping out in the land of misery.
The second observation made was when I was out running one morning. About 7km into my run, I encountered a fallen tree that was completely obstructing my path. It wasn’t really a challenge as such, since I could easily climb over, but I thought of it as a metaphor for the obstacles I had earlier faced. It made me think that we only have two choices in such situations: we either quit and give up, or we contemplate how to get around or over them. I chose the latter because the former would have guaranteed two things:
1/ an unaccomplished goal – since I had set out with a predetermined route and distance
2/ a learned behavior that would have wired my brain to turn back or give up whenever something blocks my path – and that’s unacceptable.