Nothing is over until you decide it is. You determine when you stop and you determine if you will keep going.
Most of the time when I hear this particular mantra, I flashback to a movie – in part because the quote was the intro to a song on a soundtrack my husband had when we first dated (so I heard it A LOT) and in part because of its fundamental truth.
As I write, I’m looking out on my once show garden. At it’s prime, it had around 150 variety of daylilies and about that many varieties of tall bearded iris. The flowers are still there, but at some point along the journey, I quit. And when I quit, the weeds won.
This year, I determined to keep going. Most days, I invest at least 20 minutes working in the garden. With these little bits of investment, I have completely reclaimed about 30 feet of the 2 acres and managed to tame another 100 feet or so.
There is still so much to do and it would be easier to cut it all down and hope for the best next spring. That’s even been recommended to me by a few well-meaning folks. Instead, I use my 20 minutes to hand clear and reclaim the space that once brought me so much joy.
By hand clearing instead of using machines, I’m able to find surprise plants that were either put in the ground so long ago I forgot I planted them, or they were planted by the birds. I love surprise plants even more than the purposefully planted ones.
It’s hard work, hand clearing the garden. It’s what I did when we first moved out here in some areas. I used a bush hook to cut back the large trivet bushes and other invaders. This time I’m using a pickaxe to “till” the soil because it gives me more control of what I’m doing.
Even when it doesn’t feel like I’m getting much done, I keep going. And each time I keep going I get a little closer to getting it done.
Benefits Earned When I Keep Going
- Build up muscles. If you don’t thing slinging a pickaxe will give you a good work out then you’ve never used a pickaxe. When you keep going in pursuit of what you’re doing you begin to build up the muscles that make it easier to keep going.
- Make the moment better. If cutting fresh flowers or watching butterflies flock to new blooms is not up your alley, then seeing a project progress probably would be. When you keep going the little bits will start to show change.
Be prepared. If you rush around in a panic when someone says they are stopping by then you would appreciate having everything in its place even before they call. When you keep going to get things done then you position yourself for the unexpected visitors or events.
Doing inspires more doing. If you aren’t motivated by progress then you’ve never had to live on a stretch of highway being repaved. My 30 feet of garden I have reclaimed are what I can see from my office window motivating me to clear more garden. When you keep going where you can see and review where you’ve gone then you get fuel to keep going so more.
It pays to keep going even when you have to slow or stop for a moment to catch your breath. The only way you will ever get there is if you keep going. The only way you will get things done is to keep doing them.
You can. Make the choice today to keep going and you will.