For those who know me off-line, it comes as no surprise that I characterize myself as persistent and mildly stubborn. It’s not that I don’t like change, it’s that I need time to get used to the idea and adequately prepare myself. I will never be the type of person who heads off on a vacation with nothing more than an airline ticket and a dream. There are times when I really want to be that kind of person, but even the idea of doing that stresses me out to no end. My best friend is moving soon, and will be without a place to call home for two weeks. She has 2 kids, works for herself, and has a husband who commutes and can work long hours. The idea of not having a firm place to call home for just me fills me with anxiety, yet she is unflappable. I know this wasn’t the plan, but it’s just how things worked out with the closing date on their house and the one they’re moving into. She took it all in stride – I envy that quality – I’d be freaking out. I wish I could be so trusting that everything will work out but I’m an obsessive planner.
Which means when things I’ve been planning and counting on fall through, I can be a bit of a mess. This week has been bad for that. I’ve had plans cancelled at the last minute, I’ve had a big freelance job put on hold indefinitely because of circumstances beyond my control, and I’ve had a few things pop up that need to be dealt with “right away”, which forces me to alter other plans to get things done. Yet, as stress filled as I am right now, I persevere. I do it mostly out of stubbornness and because I don’t know what else to do. I continue to work freelance because it gives me a quality of life I enjoy and because I really like having the ability to work from home or the cottage or wherever I have an internet connection. Sometimes it means working until midnight and on weekends to get stuff done, but it means I can do things like spend a couple of days with my best friend’s kids over March Break, so it’s a fair trade in my opinion. This month marks the end of my first official year of doing freelance work, and I’ve had a lot of success but also my share of failures.
I was talking with friends over the weekend about perseverance, and how both perseverance and resilience are skills that need to be taught at a young age in order for kids to internalize them. Kids need to know that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay to not be good at everything, and that sometimes if you really want something you have to work hard for it and try different approaches along the way. I think that we need to force kids out of their comfort zone and teach them that failure IS an option. It WILL happen to everyone at some point in life, and it’s how we act in the moments following failure that shows our true character. I’m not saying that I’m comfortable with failing, in fact I hate it when I fail at something, but I don’t let the failures stop me. I keep going. I persevere. I use the failure as motivation to do better next time. So today’s Word Wednesday word is persevere.
The origins of persevere are late Middle English: from Old French perseverer, from Latin perseverare ‘abide by strictly,’ from perseverus ‘very strict,’ from per- ‘thoroughly’ + severus ‘severe.’
Persevere – per·se·vere verb