Never give up

blogIMG_8359Several years ago, I ran across this quote somewhere – “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” I don’t really remember where I read it, but that Japanese proverb became one of the inspirational sayings that is written in my handy-dandy, old notebook chock full of handwritten quotes I’ve found and liked.

I remember it seemed most appropriate for a youngster who played soccer with my children on various teams. That young boy seemed to be having a hard time growing into his long legs and he often fell down while racing for the soccer ball or trying to defend the goal box against the opposing team.

But no matter how many times he fell, and he did so often in every game, he popped right back up like one of those old, inflatable clown punching bags. That boy had determination! Fall down seven times, get back up eight.

That quote and the memory associated with it re-emerged in my mind when Papa and I relaxed in a quiet spot just taking in the scenery and warm, summer day on one of our excursion-to-Maryland days.  We noticed a lone wind surfer attempting to glide across the surface of the water. 

Each time that person seemed to catch a good wind with the board’s sail and looked like a successful ride was at hand, boom! Down he went. Climb back up onto the board. Try again. Sail for a bit. Boom. Down again. Climb back up.

I didn’t count how many times he actually fell down but I did notice that he did not give up. He was not going to allow either the windsurf board, the wind, or the waves to defeat him.  

I admire that kind of determination in a person.  It takes courage and resolve to keep going when the going gets hard. It requires fortitude and perseverance not to surrender when it’s just easier to do so. And it also takes hope for a better outcome if you just keep hanging in there.

That’s why I haven’t given up hope about my fellow mankind, even when life on this earth seems dark and dismal, full of violence and hatred.  I hold on to hope for a better world tomorrow for my grandchildren to live in.  

But I don’t just hope. I pray that eventually the tide will turn.

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe


Running away

blogvacation2“We run away all the time to avoid coming face to face with ourselves.” ~Author Unknown

For a good portion of this middle-aged empty nest Mama’s life, I couldn’t wait to get back home.

And now that I am home, I occasionally think about running away.  Get outta town!  Really??

We often use the phrase ‘get outta town’ when we don’t believe a whopper of a story someone tells us.  You just saw a Martian walking down Main Street?  Get outta town!  Bigfoot’s camping out in your back yard? Get outta town! You just won $10 million in the lottery?  Get outta town!

You feel like selling your house and moving? Get outta town! Most people who know me well would be shocked to hear me admit that sometimes I think about that very thing.  They know I waited so long to finally move back to my home state and stay put in one spot for a change.

See, for many years, Mama’s family was on the move due to hubby’s job changes and re-locations.  We managed through four moves in the first seven years of our marriage and three moves in the next eight years.  After six years, we made the biggest move of all – from one coast of our country to another.

And we’ve succeeded in planting ourselves firmly back here in the homeland for almost 13 years.  So why this sudden urge to run away from home?  I have no idea where this goofy idea is coming from.

The other night, too bushed to blog, I mindlessly surfed the net when an internet article caught my attention in a big way.  The site listed real estate offerings in other states, and I started perusing them.

“Oh, look hubby, want to move to South Carolina?  We could buy this house for [insert listing price here].  Or here’s a foreclosure on a new house in [such and such place] Georgia.”   He answered, “Sure,” probably just to jolt me back to reality.

Just for fun I started inserting various cities in the search engine and scrutinized listings hither and yon, which for some reason fueled a burst of enthusiasm and excitement in me.  That’s why I’m examining my motives today.  Part of me just wants to run away somewhere new like in the Carrie Underwood song, “Get Out of This Town.”

Is my urge to flee stemming from boredom?  Could it be I’m weary of the weather?  Or the colorless scene outside my window?  Or am I just looking for an escape from the trials of life?

My mother was a very wise woman.  She often said that you could never run away from your problems because no matter where you ran to, your problems would always follow you there.  That was one piece of her advice that I always chose to listen to.

I think that’s why I possess a strong determination to “just deal” with life’s problems as they come. Stick it out, persevere, work your way through it.  That’s me.  I like to imagine I’ve inherited this from my father as well whose family ancestry’s motto is “Never Despair” but perhaps the reality of it is that I’m just too stubborn to surrender.

So I guess I won’t be running away from home after all on this third page of Chapter 3 in Opportunity.  Although I certainly could use a little trip away from the bland and bleak scenery outside my window….somewhere warm, but not too hot….somewhere green where the sun spreads radiance and balminess…somewhere.

“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.” ~James Thurber