Today’s Self-care Challenge: Stick with it!
No, I’m not talking about my blogging… o.O; So there is probably something silly that you are or will struggle with. A craft project, or a new language, or a new level of Bejeweled…whatever it is, stick with it just longer than you think you can.
When I was younger, my parents signed me up for a 14-day canoe/hiking Outward Bound trip, but told me it was only canoeing. After the third day of hiking, I broke down. The other young people excluded me and never paid attention to what our instructors were teaching, I was absolutely hands-down the slowest hiker, I had wicked menstrual cramps and terrible chafing, and I fucking wanted to go home. If getting out of there hadn’t meant a helicopter evac, I would have left.
My instructor, aware of the difficulties of getting back to base and reluctant to summon a helicopter (A HELICOPTER) for someone who was not gravely injured, looked at my hysterical crying face, and told me that I had hit my breaking point. I could go on, push my limits, and feel on top of the world because I had finished something I literally thought I could not finish, or I could go home, limits reinforced, even if they weren’t my real limits. Although shaming was definitely a part of her tactics (I don’t recommend this!), she showed me how much of my emotional collapse was me limiting myself by deciding I couldn’t continue. I wanted to know how far I could go, I peptalked myself in my journal, and shamed myself for wanting to give up (not recommended!), and I kept going…and I found that feeling of “holy crap, I just did that?!” which was just on the other side of that last mountain.
So decide whether you, in your struggle, are me deciding my limits without testing them. You might not be, you might be me if I had broken my leg – helicopter evac advised! Sometimes walking away from things is 100% for sure the right answer! If you metaphorically broke your leg, STOP! Go do some other act of self-care! But if you are me deciding that you’re just not good enough, redecide that you don’t know your limits, and give them a good solid push. Realize that your frustration is probably impairing your ability to solve your difficulties, take a deep breath, and try again. Do it slowly, do it well. I believe in you.
I chose this challenge for today because there were 3 of these origami bookmarks that I was sure I would never get, because the picture tutorials sucked and skipped steps, and in the videos the person’s hands were always in the way! I struggled and cursed and nearly gave up on them…and then it clicked in my brain and I figured it out (for folks learning a new language, I just want to say: there will be a click point if you persevere. I’ve learned 6 of ’em, and I always felt like shit until I hit it, and then it was just…not that hard afterwards. Keep at it!). Here are all my finished bookmarks: