I could have titled this post a couple of things:
“Never Show Weakness”
“Stay Tough, It Only Hurts For a Minute”
My car wouldn’t start this morning (again!), I will have my Alien tomorrow, my boss is trapped in Hawaii under a state of emergency and I have a new person starting tomorrow while I’m ultimately in my department completely alone, our elderly dog is fading and in so doing, making a horror show of our house. My spouse is not working in his regular job as a power engineer, he’s grunt labour on the production floor and hating every second of it.
What is it that they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I don’t actually think that’s right. I think it would be more accurate to say what you live through, go to work through, bend without breaking through makes you stronger. What you still eat well and exercise and clean your house and be pleasant to your friends through makes you stronger. That which you do not give up on or give in to or be defeated by makes you stronger. Your own strength during turmoil makes you stronger for the next time. Knowing that where you think your limits are may not be anywhere near where they actually are forces you to push on and push through.
I always work to the assumption that it could get worse. Today, given everything above that is going on all at the same time along with various other ongoing stressors, I would like to just go home and crawl into my bed and pretend that the world doesn’t exist. But what if tomorrow is worse? What if tomorrow all the same things are going on but something else difficult gets added to the mix. I have to assume that since what is going on is not more than I can actually bear, that my choice in the matter is to just keep pushing on.
There is a plus side and a minus side to behaving in this way though.
The plus side is that people want to help people who don’t need help so the stronger you are, the more that people are willing to get involved. I’ve had this proven to me a few times in the recent past. This issue I’m having with my car has been a recurring issue as far back as 5 years ago (why it’s just flaring up now when it seemed to self-correct five years ago, I’m unsure). I was complaining about this to the production guys in the morning meeting today. These are all the exact same people that I complained to about this same problem 5 years ago. All the same guys that didn’t offer so much as an “oh, that sucks” five years ago. This morning one of them texted me the name of some company that is cheap and easily accessible, one of the guys actually offered to come to our house and pull my alternator to take to get rebuilt and all of them discussed the “symptoms” and tried to see if they could diagnose it there in the boardroom.
The day that I had a bombshell dropped on me at work and Ray took over and essentially took care of every aspect of me for three days, cooking and cleaning and pampering and rubbing and loving. A little further back after I’d been diagnosed with my heart condition and I got a whole bunch of emails and texts about “here to help”, “call if you need anything”, rushing up to my desk to check on me every time someone called first aid. All the exact same people that around 6 years ago would say and do absolutely nothing. Because 6 or 10 years ago (my whole life up until 5 years ago, actually) I gave up and gave in every time the wind blew my hair sideways. People want to help people who don’t need help. And conversely I have watched people whine and piss and moan and excuse-make and wallow and complain yet change nothing and most people take a wide berth around such behaviour!
Unfortunately sometimes, the people who push through and push on and grow themselves stronger and build their endurance are people who cannot relax. If you’re looking at every situation from the “it can always get worse” standpoint then it would be fairly safe to assume that you will never take the rest that your body and brain could be screaming for. It’s the tarnished side of the penny, for sure!
Sometimes we are riding the train of life and sometimes we’re running beside it. I’m not a perfectionist, don’t be mistaken, I make all sorts of errors and misjudgements and my floors have hair & lint on them and my garden is weedy more than it should be and our laundry doesn’t get ironed. But I don’t give in to life…..and I don’t understand people who do. Maybe that makes me seem uncaring or hard or heartless. Everyone has their own story, everyone has their own degree of difficulty. I happen to think that mine and those of close friends over the last few years have been more difficult than normal. I see people with struggles galore sticking it out and making their way and keeping up. And I see people who aren’t still running alongside their train. They are laying on the tracks after having been flattened by it because they stopped. They stopped trying or gave up or gave in. I don’t want to know what would happen if I stopped and let my train flatten me. I don’t want to see if I could get back up or if I would be the same person or if I would be somewhat damaged. I choose to always keep running so that I never have to peel myself off the tracks and start catching up.
That’s all I’m saying. Just keep moving. Don’t stop. Don’t let that train take you out.
In my effort to keep moving, to keep improving and building my resistance to the lows and to prove to my sometimes disbelieving self how strong I can be, I paid for a 10K yesterday. I’m not currently trained for a 10K, I struggle through 5 and this race is in 39 days. But you can’t build strength or improvement without going further and working harder. You can’t keep doing exactly the same things and expect to get different results. The mere desire to do something is not enough; it’s the work and the struggle and the battle that takes you from desire to success.