In part as a function of last week’s post, I found myself recently muttering, “My super-power is that I’m getting out of bed today.” I wasn’t ill (no more ill than usual), I wasn’t injured, but I was facing a double work load in court because of snow the previous week, hard cases on top of impossible cases, an office ceiling leaking like a tropical grotto, and the effects of chronic insomnia on top of book worries.
A hard day, not a bad day, but as some of last week’s comments proved, we get into stretches of very hard days, hard weeks, months, and years. Sometimes, the people around us try to help, and sometimes, they say the exact wrong thing at the exact worst time.
You cry, you rage, you get beyond crying and raging because that’s time you could spend sleeping, or meeting obligations–maybe even reading a good romance novel. If you’re lucky, you hang onto the hope that your suffering is productive, that it won’t go on forever, that you’re not entirely alone with it.
If you’re really lucky, you come across the stories that nourish your hope. One of my favorite hopeful stories comes from Robyn Carr, whose Virgin River series of small town contemporaries put her at the No. 1 slot on the New York Times bestseller list.
AFTER she’d hovered at mid-list and below for TWENTY-NINE YEARS. When I’ve heard her speak about her success, she has no answers. After the first decade or so in publication, her writing didn’t change much. The editorial input, covers, plots, were all fairly similar or industry-standard all along the way. She thinks maybe 9-11 had something to do with it, making a small town, love-and-honor theme more appealing than vampires and were-demons.
Who knows, but she had two things going for her: tenacity, and a love for what she did. How long was Mandela in prison? How many times do most people fail to lose weight before they succeed? How many toads and toad-ettes do we kiss before we find a keeper? How many years do you tell that difficult kid you love him or her, while you pray like mad and hope for the best?
Tenacity is the good stuff. Tenacity is to me an implied characteristic of faith, hope and love, but it’s the gritty end of those virtues, the old-woman incarnation of them, and the most powerful.
So tell us a story about when you merely trudged on, and the clouds lifted. About when giving time time was your big insight, and it worked. About when the courage to get out of bed was all the courage you needed, but you needed it over and over again. Where did and does your endurance comes from, how to you guard that flame?
The Scottish Gourmet basket was popular. Let’s do that again.