Have you ever had one of those days where things just don’t go your way? There are times when we take one step forward and two steps back. I have those days often, but I have grown to accept the adversity, and so can you.
Mother Nature gave me a lesson in adversity while running errands one day. It was incredibly windy, 30-40 mph gusts, and running back and forth to my car was arduous. When walking with the wind, my wild hair would obscure my vision. When walking against it, I felt like I was making as much progress as a street mime. All I needed was an invisible box. I was elated to reach the calm security of my car. Well, at least until I saw myself in the rear-view mirror—long curly hair and wind don’t mix.
After chastising myself for not wearing a ponytail that day, I tried to smooth down my hair and focus on my next stop. I had one last errand before I could go home and snuggle under a blanket with a hot cup of tea. That was if I could make it there. It was challenging to stay in my lane with the winds blowing against the side of my car. Other drivers weren’t faring any better. It was at an intersection that I noticed one traveler taking advantage of the blustery situation.
High above a wooded field, a Red-tailed Hawk soared motionless against the buffeting winds. Pinned in the sky, it scanned the ground for likely prey. To me, the wind was a difficult obstacle. To the hawk, the wind was an advantageous blessing. Observing that hawk reminded me that struggling through something can teach us more than reaching our goals.
Writers go through this all of the time. We write our rough drafts. They usually suck. We revise. We revise some more. Sometimes we rewrite whole sections. It can be frustrating working our prose so that it sounds just right. It needs to be succinct. It needs to capture the reader. It needs to be unique in a universe full of other writings.
I am far from being a perfect writer. If it weren’t for computers, I would destroy whole forests with my rewrites on a typewriter. The writing process is not simple, but it’s worth it. With all of my editing, I have become a better writer. Through my corrections, I learn efficient techniques, better word choices, and how to get my thoughts organized.
I also find adversity when it’s time to put down the pen and pick up the brush. I would love to be able to paint a masterpiece the moment I put paint on canvas. For me the process requires I start with a simple sketch, and many, many corrections. My erasure is probably my favorite drawing tool. I learn something with every mistake.
This same adversity is what makes great athletes. “No pain, no gain,” is exercise motto used to encourage athletes. It promises greater rewards for the price of hard and even painful work. The muscles in our bodies get stronger from the stresses of workouts. Through repetitive motion with increasing resistance, we can build a stronger body.
Some days can be more difficult than others. We all go through trials and tribulations. When faced with adversity, we should look at how that resistive force makes us better people. Struggle builds character. I want to leave you with one more quote. I hope it will inspire you to push through the tough times.