Perseverance

 

One of the most intriguing attributes of an interesting person, to me anyway, is perseverance. As a species if we had not had this background of grit we would still be in the dark ages. Tenacity, determination, steadfastness. These are all attributes of the people that move this world forward. It’s not about education, it’s not about finances or status, it’s about an unwillingness to make do with mediocrity.

I knew a man with a grade eight education who started his own business and became wildly successful. He had a beautiful family and a beautiful life all because he did not believe it when someone told him ”no”. I have also known people who have been given every opportunity in the world and still never made anything of themselves. When life is too easy there is no incentive to try harder. When life is hard it can be too easy to give in.

When I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I was feeling rather sorry for myself. At the time I was using two canes to walk and it was extremely difficult. I spent most my day sitting in a chair looking at a black-and-white TV. (It wasn’t that long ago! It was just a cheap TV.) My mother, never one to mince words, came into my room and crossed her arms. She made a point of saying that I had two choices: I could sit back and be a victim of this horrible disease and wallow in my self-pity or I could get off my back side and make a life for myself through the limitations that I may encounter. Then she looked at her watched, tapped the glass and said you’ve got “15 minutes, go!” Well, I started to laugh and then I actually understood what she was saying:  we all have choices to make.

Life is not easy. We all face challenges, some severe and some minor. Sometimes we need to not be brave. Sometimes we need to wallow in self-pity and in misery. We need to cry and rant and get it out of our system. Just don’t stay in that wallow. I get depressed. I get miserable. But I don’t stay there. I put on a movie that I know is going to make me sob uncontrollably and then I clean myself up and move on. I’ve made the choice to have a life. I worked for 30 years at a great police department. I travelled; I took a cruise. I worked my life around my MS and I have no regrets.

 

 

 

41 thoughts on “Perseverance

  1. Murphy's Law

    Hats off to your mom. She certainly had perseverance to come into your room that day to give you something to think about! And you, my dear friend, had the perseverance to do that thinking and then follow through. You persevere to this day as do so many. Quietly and with dignity. Role models of the highest order.

    I’ve said it before Pam, and I’ll say it again, you are my hero. And
    because you are steadfast and tenacious in your goals, we, your readers, get to enjoy your creativity and talent every day!

    Your photographs. Your artwork. But mostly your wonderful words. Poems, hysterically funny or dead serious. Short stories with your trademark twist at the end. Rants that have us cheering. Your sensible and well thought out opinions about life in general or something in particular. And never done with malice in your heart.

    You remind me of my dad…..you always see at least three sides to everything. Please don’t ever change.

    The photo of the cat is perfect. If that isn’t a face that embraces perseverance, I don’t know what is. That cat is clearly pissed off about something, but (s)he will definitely persevere!!!!
    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. quiall Post author

      Quinn often adopted this look and I never figured out why. His sister could do the same thing. Ginger your words humble me with their praise and I will admit openly that I write for myself but I also write for you. You inspire me, you encourage me and you are my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. delphini510

    Thanks for sharing this important moment in your life. At the crossroads your mother was there to point at the two options. The positive and the negative. Both hard but with so different result.
    We all know which one you embraced. Bless you 🤗.

    Miriam

    Liked by 2 people

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  3. Melanie B Cee

    Very inspiring Pam! You have done amazing things! Many folks (and I’m probably among them) do find life too hard to challenge. It’s a matter of perspective as well as perseverance. You need some grit to get rolling too IMHO. Good for you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      Thank you Melanie. We all know our own strengths or maybe we don’t. But we all know what works best for us and that is what is important.

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  4. Dale

    Cheers to you (and you mom 😉 )
    It is so weird. A friend of mine – he was my best friend in high school and we are still in touch. He was a policeman when he discovered he had MS – he was training for a marathon when his foot decided it wasn’t following. Never expected to get the diagnosis he got. He was married and had two kids. He’s been in his wheelchair for, jeez… I’m not sure 25 years? He became a 9-1-1 operator and just retired last year. He swims 3-5 per week and is a very happy man. His girlfriend has been by his side for a good 13 years now (He told his wife she could leave because he was heading into a life they never planned on. And she did (!) Shocked the hell out of me but he’s good with it. He gave her a choice. And he respect that choice.
    Some humans are just so damn amazing. You are amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Emilie

    Hooray for your mother! She’s right, he can sit back and accept things and be miserable or you can push yourself forward. But you were also right: You needed time to feel sorry for yourself. I’m glad you pushed.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. rangewriter

    I, too, know a guy who, with an 8th grade education, became the first millionaire in Idaho and died well into his nineties while he was included in the Fortune 500. He left progeny along the way. Few of them are particularly successful and even fewer are honorable.

    Thank heavens for your mom who had the courage to give you a royal kick in the butt. I’m sure that wasn’t easy for her. But it propelled you into a successful and content life. (Actually, I suspect you’d have rallied yourself even without that kick in the rear, but she saved you some important time in getting on with it. 😃)

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Widdershins

    Your story about your mum made me laugh. I have days where my list of ‘ailments’ gets me down, (and very occasionally blog about them) but I give myself permission to have what I call ‘down days’, where I’m happy to have made it out of bed, the rest of the time I (swear and groan, a lot) I just get on with it. 😀 … life’s too short otherwise. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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  8. dweezer19

    Your perseverance and tenacity are admirable Pam, even without the MS factor. I can wallow only for short periods. I am a doer and a fixer. The only thing that truly depresses me is stagnancy or feeling mired without the power to change things. Then I just get out and ‘do something, even if it’s wrong’. My husband’s favorite saying. Soon I feel more control and can think clearly again. Keep on keeping on sister. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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