- persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
I was really glad to have heard at the last minute, about the live updates of the Mars landing last Thursday. It was quite exciting to watch all of the crew in Mission Control in NASA for the last hour before landing. As the events unfolded I heard that the rover was called “Perseverance” and I felt how beautiful that the Mars 2020 mission had decided to call it that. So appropriate for the current weather we are experiencing internationally. What got my heart opening, was in those final minutes seeing the elation of the group as Perseverance successfully touched down in one piece. So many people had been involved in collaborating together on this incredibly difficult task for well over a year and suddenly success is granted to them. You were able to feel and see the emotion in the Mission control room. As they explained some of the complexities that are involved in completing this mission you can understand how much more appropriate the rover’s name is.
My new favourite word for 2021 is ‘perseverance’. I know I’m not alone in stating that the world and a lot of people have been through some of our hardest and darkest days over the past 12 months. Especially the last 6 weeks or so really took its toll personally for me. The endless nights, the unrelenting cold bitter weather, rain with grey skies and the lack of hope. I imagine there are few people out there who can relate. Perseverance. Holding on tight and finding a way to motor on. Even though the reserve tanks are feeling already really stretched. Some days are great, others, you prefer to go back and hide under the duvet. Perhaps for a month or 6. Doing my best to reduce my news intake to a sliver. Then you hear some out of place comment by a leader who does nothing to inspire hope. It pushes back against your resolve even more. “When will this madness end?” Perseverance.
The daffodil is an amazing flower. One of our first symbols in the northern hemisphere of springtime. Planted in Autumn, it goes dormant during winter as a bulb buried deep in the cold dark soil. Withstanding freezing temperature up to -26 degrees celsius. As the temperatures begin to rise it begins to grow and pushes out into the cold early spring air. Capturing the short days of light and blossoming into fields of brilliant sunshine yellow whilst everything around it looks barren, and cold with bluish tones. The weather of February and March in Ireland can be bitterly cold with gale-force winds. And still the yellow trumpeted shaped tall flowers on deep green stalks, battle their ground, wavering with their flexibility against the prevailing Irish storms.
One thing I’m grateful that this pandemic has granted me is a new found love for cycling. I believe it was April 1st. Lockdown 1.0. I was teetering on a parapet with my mental wellbeing. I needed to get outside. I needed to move. To open my wings just a little. So, off I shot, learning every street in my 2km radius. Then it was 5km and the world was my oyster. I immediately felt better. As the gyms reopened sometimes I left it for a while. I adore the gym. And miss it. Although, every time I saw my energy lowering, due to inactivity, I was back out on the bike. This winter was a bit tough. Some days it was so cold the canal had frozen over. Others I was wetter than the canal. Nevertheless, I persisted. Always when I got home, I felt elated. High. And as the winter continued and pressed down with all its weight. I began to flounder. The days I will go out, I’d hit 50% of the way through, my brain will say, “What are you doing to yourself? Go home! Who are you proving this to? Take a shortcut today. Jaysus, Sam, the wind is impossible to cycle against. Go home.” And a lot more. I’d trick it and say, sure I’ll just do another few kilometres. Then as I’m nearing the end. “Go on, you’re soaking wet. Just cut off the last corner and take that small short-cut“. Sure I’m nearly done. What difference does it make now I’m already wet. Perseverance.
Sam’s 2021 Perseverance Tips.
- Things are going to get better.
- Focus on the end goal and stick with it.
- Self-care, self-love and its okay to be a bit selfish when it’s needed.
- You are not alone. There are others around you just waiting to bloom.
- Celebrate the little wins. We all need to congratulate ourselves for every day we keep on pushing ourselves onward. You are amazing.
What do you do to persevere when the wind is pushing hard against you?