Don’t retire, ReFire: The value of perserverance

By Gail Supplee Tatum, Columnist, The Times

In this last year, we all have had to dig deep and plug along an unknown, winding road with no apparent end in sight. Now that the end is in sight, we are still dealing with the slow process of getting to the finish line, almost feeling like we’re walking in quicksand, as we attempt to set up an appoint to be vaccinated!

We’re tired. The problem with that is, when we’re tired, we may let our guard down and expose ourselves to dangerous situations that could put our health at risk.

Also, in our weariness, and because we want so desperately to get back to normal, we may ignore the continued pleas to stay vigilant and continue to avoid large crowds, keep the social distance, wear our masks and wash our hands. Instead, we may be under the false security that we ARE back to normal since many restrictions are starting to lift. I can only say, listen to your inner voice and take heed to the warning signals.

I, for one, do not want to get ninety percent to the finish line and end up sick because I got tired of waiting.

We must stay the course and we must keep our sanity while doing it. These two directives seem somewhat opposite of each other, but they don’t have to be.

How do we keep our sanity? In one word, perseverance!

Perseverance is even the name of the rover on Mars! Its nickname is Perse! It’s not only inspiring, but it’s just the coolest thing and an incredibly positive diversion from the serious business at hand.

The definition of perseverance is a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. It’s the action or condition or an instance of steadfastness.

That couldn’t be more spot on with how life has been over the last year. The words in the definition that stand out as positive action is “continued effort” and “steadfastness.”

Another powerful word to add to perseverance is tenacity. It means determination, grip, resolve and a mindset of patience, which should be the number one description on the meaning of tenacity.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the words of Abigail Adams – Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.

A few tips on how to maneuver this last leg that we’re on.

1. Continue to control the chaos around you. The best way to do this is to not listen to too much news. Sometimes the media goal is to create confusion, make us feel anxious and basically get us in a whirl.

2. Unclog your mind of negativity and worry. Nourish your mind by finding time each day to do the things that calm you and bring you joy.

3. Stay hopeful, always. Remember, this too shall pass.

The bottom line is that we each have to make a decision about how to process all of this.
In a week and a half we will spring forward, with longer days and warmer weather just around the corner!

Be safe. Stay healthy.

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