I started 2019 out with some really energized, spectacular intentions to kick ass and take names. Fresh starts are so exciting and after a year of so many loose ends coming to a close, I was super pumped about a new year and a clean slate to create whatever I wanted.
Then “shit began to hit the fan”, so to speak.
The year began coming off a whirlwind of a Christmas that left me disheveled, feeling unsettled in my new home, desperately seeking some stability, and craving a sense of calm. Just when I thought I was getting a grip on new beginnings, surroundings and routines…everyone got sick.
I’m not talking the sniffles either.
I’m talking, full blown bodily breakdown.
Let me put this into perspective….
My children and I are relatively healthy individuals. Apart from the odd head cold, easily medicated by Tylenol and fluids…our immune systems appear to be pretty reliable.
I was so incapacitated by whatever virus I contracted, at one point I was convinced I had Ebola and was on the verge of complete organ shut down. My body ached so bad. I think I became acquainted with every single nerve ending on the surface of my skin. Illness is one of the most debilitating human conditions…the physical limitations are one facet of aggravation but the mental effect is absolutely incredible. Fatigue left me in a state of complete resignation. I was forced to put my training on hold and let my body rest and recover. I had to harness patience with the expectations I held for myself. It was uncomfortable but yielded exactly what I was yearning for in terms of slowing down, regaining some balance and forging ahead a little bit stronger, and with a little more clarity. After a couple weeks, the kids and I regained our health and slipped back into our comfortable routine.
Then, just as the momentum felt like it was picking up speed, I woke up one morning feeling slightly chilled. On the coldest morning of the year (-40 degrees Celsius), my furnace quit working. I called a furnace repair company out to my home, only to discover that it was not a furnace issue but rather a gas issue. I called the gas company who told me they had “placed me in the que”. This basically translates into, “Get in line asshole. And maybe put on some long underwear…it’s going to be a while.”
My home was a balmy 12 degrees Celsius. I thought it might be slightly unreasonable to make my kids sit in their snowsuits all day, so I opted to take them to the day home while I sorted out the problem. The back of my throat burned and tears rolled down my cheeks as I pulled on their boots and coats. I felt sorry for myself for having to deal with one more shit-show alone. I was ashamed that my kids were asking me why I was crying and then in the next breath, “Mommy it’s cold in here.” I felt like I was failing.
As I drove, I told myself to get it together, this was not an unmanageable situation. I would fix this. I dropped the kids off, picked up a couple space heaters and called the gas company in 2-3 hour intervals to plead my case while simultaneously annoying the shit out of the receptionist. And the fun didn’t stop there…
In line at Costco, I imagined receiving an anonymous cheque in the mail for 10 million dollars, moving to Hawaii where heat was never an issue, drinking coconut water whilst frolicking on the beach with my children. And while fantasizing about my beach bum lifestyle, I abandoned my wallet in the cart. The cart which remained in the parking lot of Costco. And heedlessly, I drove away.
I didn’t realize my walletless circumstance until late in the afternoon, standing in front of the liquor store cashier with my bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, a blank expression, and no appropriate currency to pay for it. Thankfully an honest citizen got a hold of me via Facebook to tell me they had found my wallet and would meet me back at Costco to return it. Thank God for social media and the ability to exercise the “Facebook Creep”.
By 6PM, the heat was back on in my home, my wallet had been returned, my children were fed, bathed, and none the wiser. As I lay in bed that night I had a completely renewed gratitude for a warm home. I thought of the individuals in my life who checked in on me, drove me around looking for my wallet, fed me and helped me bath my kids and get them ready for bed. I was grateful for it all.
I also came to a stark realization…we can have dreams and goals and very best of intentions and life will carry on. Problems will without fail, arise requiring attention and remedy. Difficulties will challenge us, halt progress, and possibly momentarily derail the dream. These things happen to EVERYONE. The dilemma is what will you do when these problems come up?
I think of resistance as life asking, “How bad do you really want it?” The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful…is how the individual handles “No”. No can come in so many forms. Rejection. Setbacks. Challenges. Mental, emotional or physical blocks, insecurities or fatigue. The truth is that while we aren’t in control of how the “No” manifests. We are absolutely in control of how we proceed after the “No” has been delivered. Persistence and dedication guarantee inevitable success.
Did I take some time off from the gym while I was sick? Hell yes I did, but as my body recovered I gradually started moving again. Did I workout the day my furnace quit? No. But, I fed my body well, I went to bed early and I worked out the next day. Yes, my effort slowed, and yes, my determination was tested. But I didn’t quit. I didn’t stop moving.
Whatever it is you’re working toward. How bad do you want it? Bad? Then don’t give up. Slow down if you must, take a slight detour, but keeping going.