Everyone has days sometimes when they are just plain worn out. Ready to give up. Time to wave the white flag and cry "UNCLE".
Today just happens to be that day for me.
I'm sure tomorrow is going to be one heck of a lot better, and here's why. When I told my mother this morning how I was feeling about all of the financial stress and new health stuff we've been dealing with as a family and uttered those same words to her ~ "I feel like I'm ready to give up," ~ she hit me bigtime in the gut with a lightning bolt of truth.
"Giving up is the chicken way out."
God Bless that woman, she snapped me out of my funk in one sentence.
I love you, Mom.
If there is one thing I'm not, it's a coward. I may be more petite physically but I've got one hell of a fighting heart - big enough to take on insurance companies, big enough to take on corporations, big enough to take on medical mysteries, big enough to take on any kind of challenge or unforeseen danger.
Twelve years ago someone I loved said a lot of unkind things to me which each held a kernel of truth. "You're scared of life," he said. "You're too scared to fly in an airplane. You're too scared to live on your own. You're too scared to be happy *out* of a relationship." There was a lot more, but those were probably the biggest insults.
My response was to get in an airplane and fly to visit a friend (I flew all of the time that year, just to prove to myself that I could) -- to live alone for five years -- to commit to myself to remaining out of a serious relationship until I had gotten to know ME for who I was and not who I was in a relationship.
In short, I am not one to shrink from a challenge.
When I went through the cancer scare in my early twenties, I stopped smoking and drinking, radically altered my diet and began my lifelong quest for a spiritual center. I cut as much negativity out of my life and perspective as possible at that time, and did NOT acquiesce to ill health... and Life blessed me with a full and rapid recovery.
There has never been a mountain that I've needed to climb that I haven't geared up for, never a wild card I needed to ride for which I didn't saddle up.
So as hard as things seem to be for us right now, with unexpected steep medical expenses and plenty of tough choices to make regarding health, going back to work, being a better mother to my children and a better wife to my husband... with every bit of pressure that I feel pushing down on my shoulders, it's good that my mother reminded me -
I am a woman with a backbone of steel.
I'm not going to give up. Here's what I'm going to do instead: Create a plan for the immediate and long-term future. Go through all of the steps required to give excellent care to my kids. Get a good night's sleep. Eat a square meal and take my vitamins and antibiotics.
Then, when I have rested up and am ready to dive back into the fray - I'm going to GO HARD, FIGHT, WIN. I will do whatever it takes to get us back on track.
One foot in front of the other, I will stand and face whatever daunting challenges next come our way. There is a path forward and a way through all of this. I know it! In some way, God (or whatever you'd call the Divine force that many of us sense and believe in) wouldn't reveal these unique challenges to me if I wasn't strong enough to overcome them ~ if I wasn't meant to learn from and appreciate their unexpected blessings.
I write these 365 daily posts for my three young children. Someday, they will be old enough to read and understand what I've been talking about - in fact, they may have an even sharper understanding of my true message, having lived through most of the same family situations that my husband and I encounter as a couple.
To my grown children someday, then, I say - just as my mother said to me today... Giving up is the chicken way out. Don't give up on yourself, and don't give up on life... even when the going gets tough. Hang on, and hang in there. You never know when things are going to start turning around for you, and you'll never know just how powerful you can be (nor how beautiful miracles can feel) if you give up when the going gets tough.
Put one foot in front of the other and keep your chin up. You'll make it! Just keep on moving forward. Someday when you DO make it - you'll look back and remember that when you were very young and we faced a few tough times, your mommy and daddy persevered and our family made it too.