keeping on (soLs)

What makes people keep going even when it gets really tough? 

I look at this little writing challenge of ours, and even though I don’t want to write tonight, I’m making my fingers move across the keyboard. The thoughts are plodding along behind me, almost as though there are cement blocks tied to my fingers, weighting them down, suffocating the words. I keep going, even when it’s hard. I trust the process.

I think about being an agent of change at work, and even though I don’t want to always push for change, I make myself continue to question and reflect and envision possibilities. I put on a smile, and tell myself I’m thankful, incredibly grateful, for this job of mine. I keep going, keep questioning and reflecting, even when I feel like it’s failing. I trust the process.

I take a deep breath and fight the battle over showers with Stephanie one more time. I stay calm. I pretend I’m a duck and imagine the harsh words and fit and screams rolling off my back like water off a duck. I tell myself that the 6 minute fit is progress. Improvement. After her shower she stands next to me. I’m rolling cookie dough. She asks, “What are you making?”

“Cookies for the little girl who just said awful things.”

Tears well up in her eyes. I hate that I wonder if they’re real. “I’m sorry, Mom. I don’t know why I did it. I know you were helping. I know showers are part of life.  I know I have to go first sometimes.”

“Here, have some cookie dough,” I say nudging the piece I just cut off toward her.

Some days are just hard.

But I trust the process. 

Because life is made up of smooth and bumpy, laughing and longing, accepting and giving, with mistakes and successes scattered along the way. This is real life. It’s a gamut of emotions. Instead of quitting on the hard days, I keep on, because it’s ultimately good.

And I trust the process of living.

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16 Comments »

  1. Ruth,
    Great image/feeling evoked from this line: “The thoughts are plodding along behind me, almost as though there are cement blocks tied to my fingers, weighting them down, suffocating the words.” And I reread this line several times, “This is real life. It's a gamut of emotions. Instead of quitting on the hard days, I keep on, because it's ultimately good.” So true… beautiful writing that came out of you not wanting to write and making your fingers move. I also connected when you wrote about being a duck. I just posted about that phrase the other day. It's one that gives me strength.

  2. Glad you are plodding along and trusting the process. Several of us have sliced tonight about not wanting (for one reason or another) to put words down.
    Glad you did anyway.
    Glad you see the stuff that's worth it alongside the stuff that's challenging.
    Glad you gave the little girl cookie dough, even not knowing if the tears were real.
    It'll be worth it.

  3. “Trust the process,” wow! Those words take on new meaning. I need to remember them when I am frustrated. I agree with Dana, so glad she got here first and said it so eloquently.

  4. Your words choked me a bit. There are so many days I wonder if I can continue, but I trust the process. God has proven His faithfulness to me many times in the past, and I believe He will continue to carry me through the process. Great reflections. I'm glad you didn't allow the words to be suffocated.

  5. Trust the process. I will have to try to exercise these words. Is it like “Don't give up?” Just when you think you can't do it anymore, you do.

  6. I like those words about process too. Life is a process – we make dough and taste it – because we trust the process and because its good to take little bites along the way.

  7. Wow… ok! I'll keep plodding. I love the line, “Cookies for the little girl who just said awful things.” What a perfect picture of grace. Also, “Because life is made up of smooth and bumpy, laughing and longing, accepting and giving, with mistakes and successes scattered along the way.” So true… Thanks, once again…

  8. I love this part, “The thoughts are plodding along behind me”. First step, get the fingers moving. Next step, hope the thoughts come too. So true some days.

  9. When you write about your girls and the joys and struggles of learning to be their mom, of learning to be a family, I feel like I am sitting at your kitchen table over coffee. There is such an honesty to this…you are my hero

  10. I love how you wove in different aspects of life all encompassed under your title. I was thinking that it would all refer to writing, and that element of surprise only added to the power of the post.

  11. Amen! Life just like writing and teaching is hard at times but there are rewards in it all! Just like you said, you keep on because of the “process”. Living is worth it because we are worth it and God says that we are worth it because He made us worth it! I'm so glad you were there today! You made it bearable! I did take your advice and wrote about the convertible! Thanks for being you! I so appreciate you! Thank you for sharing! Happy Slicing! 🙂

  12. Ruth, you opened up your heart and wrote. You wrote about the hard stuff, stuff that we can't relate to yet it evokes a challenge in the stuff we can relate to. Your repeating line whispers the truth – it's the process. Thank goodness is doesn't end in just the “awful words” but it can continue anew the next moment, the next day.
    Thank you for the nudge to look beyond the moment to the process.

  13. This post is fortifying. I am sure it was for you when you wrote it. And I know it was for me when I read and re-read it.

    If it is possible, I think your words are growing stronger and more honest and more real than ever. If it is possible, I think you are leading the rest of us to craft stronger, more honest, more real slices than ever before.

    You are a true model of a thoughtful, reflective, and effective: writer, educator, and mother. I am glad I know you.

  14. Wow! That was beautiful, Ruth. Somehow you always manage to weave a story into an important message. Much to think about here.

    Cathy

  15. As Christy said, this post is fortifying. Ditto to all that Christy said. This is exactly what writing is like for me most days, “I making my fingers move across the keyboard.” Thanks for leading the way on this journey.
    Val