I thought a lot about persistence today. What makes us stick it out and what makes us walk away? What makes one thing more important over another? Enough that we’ll come back to it again and again or keep trying despite multiple set backs and frustrations. This seems like such an important trait to possess, how else do we get through life?
I was trying to hang a light in the front hall of my apartment. Now this may be complicated to explain, but I’ll try. Basically because of some wiring issues (aka the house I rent in is old and the wiring was dodgy) the hard wired lighting had to be removed from our front hall, leaving us with a plug-in as our only option. No way was I going to be bending down and unplugging every time I wanted to turn the light on and off, so I bought a cord with an inline switch. To run the cord from the outlet to where the bulb hangs I stapled it along the trim. However, the wall literally started crumbling after I put the first few staples in. I was hoping that I’d put in one staple every few inches, very clean and simple, but no. I needed minimum two just to get them to stay in the wall. Grrrrrr.
After running around getting the right length of staples so they would fit around the cord and the shortest extension cord I could (because the length of cord from the switch to plug was really short for some weird reason), I felt so deflated. I had spent time, energy and money on painting the hall, choosing a bright cord because there was no way to hide it, so I did the opposite (we even had an issue with the switch and had to have a replacement sent, the company was amazing – fast and friendly). As well as getting daubers and deciding on a pattern, polka dots, and then painting them all on the wall. It felt so frustrating to see the cracks and crumbles in the finished product. But hey, nothings perfect and that’s the work! So now I have to let go of my expectation and be okay with what the result is. I worked hard on this project, persisted with all the little set backs, figured out solutions to the problems and saw it through to the end. So I’m telling myself, instead of being hung up on some cracks, I’m going to feel proud I worked hard and produced a new look for our hallway. I’ll post some pics once I get the art up!I’d like to add that although this experience was frustrating, I feel infinitely grateful that I have the skills to handle it. I know for a variety of reasons this situation could have been much more challenging and instead of a little bit of huffing and puffing I could have struggled more. I think that cancer has really given me perspective on my perfectionism demons. In the past, those cracks would be overwhelmed me, maybe even frustrated me to tears. Now I huffed a little, grrrrred a little and then got back to it. So thank you, thank you for the extra patience and the ability to let go. And also thank you for the awareness that some day it will hit me harder because it happens on that day, a day I’m not ready for it, and that’s okay too.
Are there little things that overwhelm you? When do you feel stuck? What feels hard to overcome?
I leave you with a little reminder:
We are different every day and things feel different on different days.
This beautiful print is by Abby Hyslop, check her out!