Junot Diaz once said," God Bless perseverance. Because it's not easy."
I was reflecting this weekend, on my life, and on those words, and how very very true are they?
Once upon a time, when I was young, I couldn't see further than the tip of my nose. I thought that if only I tried hard enough, life would always be rosy and wonderful. I would achieve anything I desired, and all I had to do for that was work hard.
Isn't that a lovely thought from the mind of a naive girl?
Part of it, of course, is true. If you work hard, and if you work endlessly and tirelessly, and do not give up, you will accomplish things. That is, if the things are within your power.
For instance, your career. I worked endlessly for my career. I have worked long nights, all nights, early mornings, weekends, holidays. On top of being a full-time mom, and at times, having a regular full-time job, and being a full-time college student.
I got up as early as it took, stayed up as late as it took. I cried, I laughed, but I never gave up. And it paid off. I now am a full-time author, and I worked hard for that. It was something that I could control, that I was able to work hard for.
But what happens when things are out of your control? What happens if something you work endlessly and tirelessly for (in my case, my son's recovery from addiction) isn't in your control, and never was?
That's the hard question.
And friends, if I had the right answer, a one-size-fits-all answer, I'd surely share it with you. The sad truth is, I don't. I wasn't given a handbook to handle these things. Were you?
Instead, I've come to realize that persistence is still key. Only at times, we have to draw a line where we cannot cross-- for the good of our sanity and health.
I still accept every phone call, at whatever time of night or morning, but now, if I'm verbally abused, I say, "Babe, I love you. But call me back when you can respect me."
I still have the utmost perseverance when I love him. I will persevere in that until the day I die.
But I have realized, as have many before me have realized, that sometimes, when we are determined to be successful, determined to be persistent, we have to change what we are persistent about, for the good of our well-being. We have to love ourselves too.
So, dear friends. Look at your goals. Look at your passions. Look at the things you are unfaltering about, and just take a quick assessment. Are these things items that YOU control? If yes, then persist away. Work through the nights and the mornings. Work hard, and long, and you will succeed.
If not, however, then assess how you can change to still persevere, but not beat your sweet heads against the wall. Persevere always, in the ways that you can.
That is my advice, and I hope it is good.