Even the simplest journey feels like a thousand miles because I keep having to take the first step over and over again. --Jewel Leann Williams (Not as profound a saying. More of a whine).
Seriously, folks. Every time I set any sort of goal, I go a little ways, and then fall off the wagon, so to speak (no, my goal isn't to stop drinking). I have to keep starting over.
As a kid, I wanted to read the Book of Mormon straight through. I memorized "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents..." pretty quickly with all of my false starts.
It's the same as an adult. It seems like it's the same with every goal. My family needs to eat healthier and exercise more. We need to not watch so much TV and go to bed earlier. So, for a few weeks, we eat healthy food, we go for walks every night, and we make a rule that we only want to watch TV or movies on Friday night. My husband and I both lose weight, we feel great, and we actually feel like we get enough sleep (almost. I do have a seminary kid, after all).
Then, the new series of Doctor Who kicks off (or Bones, or NCIS, or NCIS
I know I'm not the only person who has this happen.
Here's my (possibly temporary) triumph. I have been staying up really early in the morning to get things done. My son gets up at 4 am to get ready for seminary, and it's one of my jobs to make sure he actually GETS UP at 4. I had been going back to sleep, and then either waking up later if it was my day to carpool the kids from seminary to school, or just staying asleep. So, I decided that I needed to just stay up, to steal some moments to do my scripture studying, morning prayers, and..... WRITING!! Oh, the rapture I felt at putting words on paper again was worth the agony of dragging my sore, tired, protesting body out of my bed.
Of course, this was Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.... and then Thursday came along. I couldn't do it. I slept in. I slept in ALOT. I also felt like crap all day after I got up--not any less tired, and like a doofus for not keeping up with a goal, AGAIN.
But you know what, on Friday, I had the battle with myself that eventually I hope I won't have to have every single morning. I told myself that even if I slept more, I would still be tired, but that I needed to have that time to be able to study the Lord's words, to have a conversation with him, and yes, to exercise my mind. I dragged myself out of bed--okay. I'll be honest. I went back to sleep. But Heavenly Father helped me out by sending a preschooler to climb in with me, which kept me awake long enough to decide to get up. So, up I got.
The false starts are okay. I'm not a failure because I keep having to begin again. Actually, I think that's kind of what life is about. Little by little we overcome things--but sometimes it takes so long to root those things out of our lives and replace them with better things, that we feel like we aren't progressing quickly enough. It's okay. That is what the Atonement is for--as long as we keep on starting over, we will overcome, with the Savior's help. Every time we start, we get that much closer.
As a writer, I have to forgive myself as well for all the false starts. My creative soul gets really, really angry with me for not working on the art of expression. But the same thing applies. My muse comes back whenever I ask. Every time I start working on something, I get that much closer to doing it the way I really need and want to.
It's the same for all of us. So I want to encourage you--whether it be in your writing, or just in life in general. Please don't stop starting over. Even if it's the ten millionth time and you know that you'll just fall again, just start. This may be the time that you learn what you need to and you're able to overcome and move onward and upward. Or, maybe it's not. But that means that you're one more false start closer to the time that you DO overcome.
We always say that it's more important that you get up and keep trying, than it is that you fell in the first place. It sounds trite, but it's true. Sometimes, it really is the journey. Sometimes it really is the climb that makes the difference.
Keep going! Step by step, first step by first step, you'll get where you need to go. I know you can do it!