▪️DON'T QUIT

I stopped.

I can say with all honesty that it has been a “non-stop” summer for me. I’ve been running full throttle since June 1st. All the while wondering when there would be rest in my schedule. Some days I pined for margin, even so I dragged myself to do the next thing in front of me. I’ve been careful not to glance or think too much about what’s coming up on my calendar. Instead I kept to the task of making short “must do” lists, added regularly to the ongoing, “must do soon” list I was keeping, and focused on getting things crossed off. One by one. It’s not been ideal, but somehow I’ve navigated the demands of the summer and reached my port of call, back to school week.

It’s right here at this intersection where I am tempted to stop. Sure, I wouldn’t call it quitting, I’d just stop. Like a silent death I’d slow down all the doings of my agenda and let the momentum wain. Until eventually there would be nothing. That is how we stop. Permanently.

A port of call is designed to be an intermittent stop on a longer journey, not a destination. Giving into the hustle and bustle of everyone else’s life is a deadly temptation, not for them, but for me. Yes, it makes the sailing in your life smooth. There is nothing to rock the boat. Because you have no course charted, no destination to reach.

I can’t give in, I must adopt a NO QUIT mantra, even if it’s only for this week, or even today.

That’s what happened to me 3 years ago. I stopped. Just after I reached 50 blog posts, life happened and I stopped. I could probably cry and ocean of tears thinking what might have been if I’d only kept going. Steadily moving forward, one word at a time. Where would I be now? Why did I stop? I’ll tell you…lack of perseverance. I didn’t have what it takes to push through the choppy water and stay on course. Guess what… here I am, just over 50 blog posts again and what am I most tempted to do? You guessed it, stop.

As I tie off this week to get everyone else’s life moving forward, I am tempted to stop, rest just a little too long, put the engine in idle. If I hadn’t already learned what stopping does, I would have an excuse, but this time it would be QUITTING.

When you’re tired and worn out, you are tempted to quit. However, when you don’t, eventually perseverance will kick in and you’ll make it through to the other side. Take a brief rest and move toward what’s next. It takes courage to do what’s next.

Even if you don’t want to, you don’t like it, or it’s boring. You do it because every time you choose not to quit you make yourself stronger. And that stronger you is who you want to be when you’re not bogged down by all the day to day stuff. You want to be that stronger version of yourself when you have the margin to travel, because traveling all be it fun, requires a lot of work and energy. Or margin for you to go back to school, which by the way also requires a lot of stamina. Or wherever your destination might be. The reality is that most of the things you wish you could be doing if you weren’t consumed with the day to day rigors of life and being there for all your people, require you to be strong.

Isn’t that what perseverance is for, to make us stronger? If you’re like me and are thirsty for margin, take a drink from the promise that right now you are strength training and your future self will thank you for it. This summer I settled for less margin knowing that an hour or two here and there would need to be enough to get me through. Even though I wanted much more. And this week will be the same, tie off for a few then get back on course.

Here’s to pushing through the tough and facing the head winds that lead to a fulfilling destination. Don’t stop, don’t quit, keep with me. We can be courageous together.

▪️DON'T QUIT

Label it what you please, coincidence or divine intervention

You know that ‘thing’ that happens. When you get pregnant and suddenly you can see every pregnant woman in your line of sight; as if all other humans have faded into the background of errand running and to do lists. Or when you’re car shopping and you slowly find yourself teetering between the vision of yourself driving that prize every time one passes you; while wondering why it now appears that you see that same set of wheels at every other stop light. You know that ‘thing.’ When what you’re paying attention to seems to pop up around every corner.

Well, I collided with that ‘thing’ when I shattered my wrist. That is, when it came to advice. Believe it or not, in the several weeks following my surgery I met at least a dozen other women who had suffered a similar injury.

Label it what you please, coincidence or divine intervention, but these messengers where all packing the same advice. “Don’t quit the rehab.”

Rehab has a lifecycle of its own. Mine began with a first session that was so painful, after having completed my exercises, I had to promptly alert the therapist that I needed something cold and to sit, as I was on the verge of fainting. This was much to her surprise as I had steadily endured all of her cues without so much as a flinch. After tending to me she gave me a firm rebuke and chastised my ability to mentally block out the pain my body was experiencing. I know, I need counseling. A day did come, before I was released, where I had healed enough and had pressed through the pain with feeling. This was the day when my natural inclination would have been to throw in the towel early on PT, sign my own discharge paperwork, and rush back into my old life; had it not been for all those messengers repeating; “Don’t quit the rehab.”

It takes courage to see it through to the end.

I don’t think any of us starts something and declares “I will do this right up to the point that I’m almost successful and then I will quit.” I don’t think any of those women who earnestly advised me planned on quitting rehab before they were given a clean bill of health. Yet, ALL of them did, they ALL quit.

It was as if they had returned from the vast abyss of regret to warn me, “don’t quit.” They were ALL left short of complete healing. Limited mobility, chronic pain, and physical disfigurement reminded them daily. I’m thankful that against all odds, measured by my previous behavior, I chose to heed their advice. Today I have full mobility, no pain, and no disfigurement other that the scar that reminds me of what could have been. All because I didn’t quit.

Friend, I can’t guarantee if you finish that the outcome will be 100% successful, I can however guarantee that if you quit it there is 100% chance that it won’t. Whatever your “it” is right now, see it through to the end. Don’t quit.

Be strong and courageous,