Navigating Change: The Power of Tenacity



Hello, Gorgeous!

Yesterday I buckled down and finished the first draft manuscript for my new book. There may have been a Snoopy dance involved, I'm not saying. Oh who am I kidding, there was a Snoopy dance. There's no shame in my game.

This morning I am buckling down and working on edits and rewrites. As I read over this book about my journey as a woman over 50, there is a recurring theme. It's funny looking back, because you don't realize how much you've done until you write it all down. I have packed a crap ton of living into 53 years. The most interesting thread running through the book is how many times I have failed and managed to get up, dust myself off, and keep marching bravely forward. 
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
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The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/tenacity.html
"The most difficult thing is to decide to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to control and change your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward." Amelia Earhardt

I have lost everything and started over five times as an adult. This is not exaggeration. I have tried all manner of impossible things. I have failed spectacularly, and lived to tell the story. Along the way  I have succeeded at a few of those impossible things. Most people would have given up and gone home long ago. I am not most people, but then again, neither are you, unless you choose to be.

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

If there is one trait that has kept me from falling off of the cliff of loss into a sea of despair, it is tenacity. The discovery of the power of tenacity came early for me. As a child, our little family unit lost everything and started over several times. That is not an exaggeration. I have been 'the new kid' many, many times, even as an adult.

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”  Samuel Beckett

Once you realize that life is a cycle of endings weaving into beginnings weaving into endings you learn flexibility. You learn non-attachment. You learn to move with the ebb and the flow of the tides of reality. You learn to let go of the illusion of who you're supposed to be. You discover the essence of who you are and you realize that who you are is endlessly evolving.

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher

Successful people who move outside of the traditional 9-5 are all tenacious. They are all survivors. They are people who have reinvented themselves countless times and who are capable of doing so whenever necessary. They are people who learned how to turn their challenges and character flaws into their opportunities and strengths. That's tenacity. That's moxie. That's chutzpah.

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach

I am not going to lie, it can be exhausting reinventing yourself. It does not get any easier as you get older. It is even more challenging as a woman over 50 in a world that wants you to disappear. When other people my age are settled into consistency, I am still in the ring. That is a testament to tenacity, it is the stubborn refusal to stay down for the count even when you're beaten, bloody, and bruised. The world may have counted you out, but the world does not get to decide your fate. You do.

"What we call the beginning is often the end, and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." T.S. Eliot

If I have wisdom to impart from the other side of the mid-point of my journey, it is this. Losing everything feels like the end of the world, but it is just the beginning of a new world. If you can let go of what you lost, you can open yourself up to what might be gained. That's a choice, you know. Because there is a certain comfort in mourning what was lost, wrapping yourself up in that loss like a blanket. It allows you to avoid the second half of the experience, the journey back from the darkness into the light. It also prevents you from progressing, and it steals your joy.

"When faced by any loss, there’s no point in trying to recover what has been; it’s best to take advantage of the large space that opens up before us and fill it with something new.” Paolo Cuelho

I find directives like 'Be Happy' to be lovely little affirmations that lack a key element. One can 'Be Happy', but in order to experience it you must take it. To take happiness requires releasing the things that prevent you from opening yourself up to joy. You can't grab it if your hands are filled with sorrow. The truth is that your joy and sorrow really do spring from the same well. That glass is not half empty or half full, it's a vessel. You dip your cup into the well and you choose what to drink.

You choose if losing everything is the end of your story, or the start of a new chapter.

Love,
Madge

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