The definition of perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
I was thinking of what I might write that would be helpful to others here on the occasion of my 4 year anniversary. The word that kept coming to mind was “perseverance.”
In the four years and a half years since I retired, I quit smoking, had two vascular surgeries, surgery to repair a broken hip, surgery to repair a broken shoulder which required an upside down metal shoulder, and a surgical repair of a bowel blockage resulting from scar tissue (including a two week ICU stay and over a month in a nightmare rehab facility).
I have been a lap swimmer for years and love it more than most anything. There is something extremely therapeutic about the repetition of the strokes and the feeling of going through the water. During all of the surgeries and rehab stays and rehab work, I kept my eye on the prize. I wanted to swim again, plain and simple. I worked and worked and worked at getting myself back in shape to swim. I kept at it, even when I was really sick of working so hard. They told me I would probably never be able to swim freestyle with the metal shoulder. I rehabbed that thing until I almost couldn't stand to do one more minute on the arm bike – but I persevered. And I can now swim ALL the strokes with no difficulty.
The same goes for quitting smoking. I worked at it and kept my eye on the prize: freedom from addiction. I worked at it a day at a time, sometimes even a minute or an hour at a time in the early days. I couldn't walk or swim, so I blogged, and talked to friends, played Angry Birds and ate Hershey Kisses. Was it easy? NOPE! Was it worth it? YES! When I was able, I started to walk, not very far at first, but I persevered with that, too. And, here I am with FOUR years of a smoke free life and I can walk for 30 minutes. I plan to be back to an hour by the Fall.
Persevere – even if it is just a minute or an hour at a time. Just persevere, even when it gets tough. You, too, can celebrate a four year smoke free anniversary.
I swam 25 minutes of laps yesterday and I fully expect to be back to 45 by summer's end. I quit smoking four years ago. Just persevere!