If you read my first post (here) about this, then you know that I believe that if I put my mind to it, work hard, and never give up that I can achieve almost anything. My biggest obstacle is and always has been the fact that I give up before I ever get to the finish line. Achievement of any kind is hard work. While I’m not afraid of hard work, I believe in working smarter not harder. If the works not necessary, why do it at all? I typically begin doing any work with an end result in mind, but sometimes I decide the end result isn’t worth it so I stop or I decide the work is too hard for said end result so I stop or I just get lazy so I stop. Is this such a bad thing? Yes. No. Maybe. It depends on the situation.
At one point in my life, I wanted to be Martha Stewart (you can read about that here). I gave up on that long before I ever achieved it; I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to be Martha except Martha. This is one of those things that is perfectly acceptable to let go of before I achieved it (in my opinion anyway). When I gave up on being Martha, I still had all the remnants of my trying to be her. It was a lot of clutter. I had become a low-key hoarder. I tried to clean out a lot of the clutter (you can read about that here), but there are still some areas that need a little help. I still have all those projects around my house that need to be completed (and all the things to complete them with), but I haven’t completed them. It can get overwhelming. Where do I start? It’s a lot. Owning a home is an investment. An investment of money, time, blood, energy, sweat, and unicorn tears. Every day I wake up, and something else needs to be done. And every day I am so completely overwhelmed that I do not know where to begin. So I am here, surrounded by so many incomplete projects. And every time I see them my heart breaks a little because I know how much better things will be once they are complete. So no, I should not give up on this.
I also referenced my fitness journey. I never wanted to start a fitness journey, to begin with (read more about that here), so that was already working against me. I set a goal; I began, I made some progress, I made a lot of progress. I am proud of the progress I made. I worked extremely hard and even shocked myself with how far I made it. But, I gave up right before I got all the way to my goal. I told myself that it was just too hard. The sacrifice was just too great. In reality, I was soothing myself after giving up before reaching my goal. It wasn’t any harder than what I was already doing. What else did I have to sacrifice? A Netflix show and some chocolate cake for my health doesn’t seem like that much if I think about it. Or am I being too hard on myself? Did I do enough? Working out isn’t as easy after my accident (you can read about that here), and I will never be the size I was when I was 16 years old. I have to make peace with that. So maybe it’s OK that I gave up before I achieved this goal. It was a goal I set for myself. My physical fitness is not a business, and I have no interest in fitness competitions. My health, aside from certain mobility issues that are completely out of my control, is excellent. So maybe, just maybe, it’s OK if I let this one slip away from me.
I also stated that beginning something new was like the beginning of a new relationship. Oh new relationships, aren’t they the best thing ever. Until they’re not. My last husband was the love of my life. I believed that he was my forever person. I took my vows, and I believed in my heart that no matter what I would stand by his side, for better or worse. Well, a lot of worse hit us (you can read about it here). We went through all of the trauma together. Some couples can go through trauma, and it will bring them closer together, they know they have each other, they stand strong together and fight. And we did this in some ways, but in other ways, the trauma broke us as individuals. I was broken mentally and physically, and he was sick. I can’t speak for how he felt or what he thought. In some ways, I think I blamed myself for his sickness. I thought that if I could have been stronger, I could have saved him from himself. After 11 years I finally gave up on my dream of forever. After everything we had been through we had both become different people and I knew it was for the best. Wrosch and Miller write that holding onto unattainable goals can be depressing. Holding onto my idea of forever with my last husband certainly was. This is a situation where yes, it was was fine to give up.
As you can see every situation is different, every decision I made was different. Was it the correct decision? Yes. No. Maybe. I’m the only one who can know that. At the end of the day, it’s my life, and I’m the only one who can live it. If I want something, I have to do the work. I have to make an effort. And as you can also see, sometimes, even when I made an effort, I still failed. Failure is a part of life. I don’t like it, but it is what it is. This failure is not my first, and I’m certain it won’t be my last. What I am certain of is that I will never stop. I will continue to set new goals for myself no matter how big or how small. I may or may not complete them; only I can decide what works best for my life. I will continually reevaluate where I am and course correct as I go. Have there been times when you stopped before you got to the finish line? Do you feel like it was the right thing to do for your life?