I opened my email and two words stared at me. “Press on.”
It had been a rough day and my reservoir of encouragement had been spent long before it was over. I found rest for my night, but the reservoir did not refill as it has been prone to do in the past.
The darkness of the morning reflected my own thoughts. It took two tries for me to get up at all. I had plenty of excuses to stay in the bed and burrow under the covers. I got up despite what I felt. I started working despite the outcome of the day before. I set the thoughts aside and did what needed to be done.
Like, opening emails.
Long before Dori told me to keep swimming, I had learned to press on (although her tune is quite catching).
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
– Calvin Coolidge
For most of my school years, that quote hung in my room above my desk. I ingested the words daily. I believed them. I pursued them.
Life happened. And the more life that happened the more difficult it became to keep pushing. My energy went towards putting out fires or treading water. Caught up in the middle of life, who has the wherewithal to press on?
I stared back at those two words and allowed them to settle down into my heart. They were more than just a comment in an email. Those two words were a challenge for me in that moment to not only hold on but to move forward.
I had been prepared to face the day hanging on the edge with only a nail grip keeping me from falling. I expected to survive, no I NEEDED to survive. I have known for a while that if I could just get to the next month then things would be easier – if not repaired.
Now the words are growing in me and igniting my heart. I can wait for next month. I can wait for the next person to help me. I can wait and barely hold on. OR . . . I can press on.
Persistence and determination will see me through if I let them. Investing in the diligent and bold actions that I know I need to be doing will break me through.
I am not called to survive. I am called to thrive.