Several months back, as I began to write this post (yes it took that long to finish #mylife), I was sitting on a drenched table, next to a swimming pool, at the hotel from were we were eagerly waiting for our new home to be finished, listening to my five year-old asking me to count how many seconds she could stay underwater. I had no one but myself to blame of course. I was the one who thought that taking her to the pool would give me at least a good thirty minutes to focus on my writing. When, oh when, I thought, would I be able to finish my novel? I still ask myself this question at least five times a day.
During the past several months my family has experienced some pretty life-altering changes (and Covid isn’t even in that list). All good, but life-altering nonetheless. Unfortunately, it has also turned my meticulously organized White-Rabbit-schedule into a Mad Hatter tea party from hell.
If you know me, you know I often run my household like a drill sergeant. It is the only way I can get anything done with a certain degree of efficiency. But the last several months have kicked my behind spectacularly, leaving me quite exhausted, and making me realize two things I had previously not considered in depth.
One, whoever said the things that are worth fighting for require effort, really meant to say they require everything you have to give. Your time, your heart, your sanity, your whole being, even your tears and heartbreak. They require EVERYTHING you have. All. Of. It. So much so that you will be left wondering if it was really worth it to begin with, or even possible to achieve.
Second, Vince Lombardi was spot on when he said, “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” Not because working in and of itself gives you more determination or a puffed up sense of accomplishment. But because the harder you work at something, the more of yourself you give to it, and the harder it is to give up. Pouring effort into anything makes it part of you, and giving up would be like giving up on yourself.
So, when a greater effort is required, no matter what it is you are trying to achieve (a finished novel, an edited chapter, a query letter, a short story), remember this, quitting never amounts to anything, and giving up would mean all your previous efforts were for naught. So don’t call it quits. Don’t surrender. Don’t give up. You are stronger than the sum of your trials, and only by moving forward, can you progress (even if you feel like you’re crawling at times).