The Pleasure of Perseverance

It has always seemed to me that, although options are not evenly spread throughout society, there is one that you can exercise. That  is to keep going. In my case, with what my wife calls “my amazing perseverance” and I call “Just getting on with it”. Interestingly, she never considers her own similar characteristic. It may not always be easy; in fact, it’s usually far from it. However, it always beats the alternative. It can also reap rewards that you never thought possible and that certainly wouldn’t have been available if you hadn’t kept going.

So, when I my contract was terminated just before Xmas, Gaynor asked how we would manage. I assured her that we would. Not that I had any idea of how my new self employed status would pan out. That was 16 years ago. With little idea of when the next pay cheque would come in, the same logic was applied to the extension we planned to build to provide an office, conservatory and bedroom. That summer we celebrated with a take away and a bottle of wine. Well, more than one, if I’m honest. When, about 12 years ago Gaynor decided that she wanted to become a teacher but had to get a degree first, she worked part time while she studied. How would we manage? Well, we did. When, some years later, she opted for supply work so that she could study for an RHS Diploma in Horticulture, the same question brought the same answer. When I finally got down to writing that book that I threatened to do for 25 years, I never thought that there would be that one and two others published (so far). When our daughter, Ellie, decided to stay on at university and study for her Masters, she applied the same logic. You see, Ellie exhibits that characteristic too. Demonstrated by the fact that she applied for 80 jobs to help pay her way. There were 79 “no thank you’s” before she was successful.  She is now at the end of her first term and working in a Smoothie Bar in her spare time.

Lastly, I have been trying to drum up some work, as a speaker and coach, on a special project that I’ve drawn up for schools. With that in mind, I wrote to over 200 secondary schools in London. The response, shall we say, was somewhat underwhelming. So, on the advice and with the guidance of a fellow speaker, I decided to ring them instead. One teacher explained that she gets over 200 e mails a day which helps to explain why mine had slipped between the cracks. When I explained what I was trying to do, her response was, “That’s perfect. Just what we’re looking for. Can you please get back to me directly after the Xmas holidays when we can talk about it?”

That gave me great pleasure. In fact, it gave me the pleasure of perseverance.

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