When was the last time you pushed yourself to do something hard? Do you remember how you wanted to stop, or take a break? But you kept going because it meant something to you to finish, to accomplish what you set out to do. That’s what the little girl in this video demonstrates so beautifully:

We don’t have to be experts at something to persevere. We just have to want to get there. Persistence is doing until done, beyond knowing how, or for how long.

I used to envy people who seemed to “get it” easily, like classmates in grade school and college. I had to work really hard for my B’s and occasional A’s later on. Today, I value the discipline of persistence.

Had I known how hard it was to be a mother, I might not have become one. I’m now grateful I persisted. Innocence invites some of our greatest learning.

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to honor and appreciate the importance of our mothers and their persistence. It’s also a reminder for everyone to persist in mothering ourselves. We all need it, whether we are women or men.

Self-mothering requires awareness and persistence. Like the little girl in the video, I keep trying, and every once in a while, when I make it, I realize it was all worth the effort.

How has persistence served you in your life?
How do you mother yourself?

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8 Responses to Persistence

  1. joaneee says:

    Hi Eileen . . . Perhaps, the word “persistence” would not be the one I would apply, but from childhood, “challenges” have made my life exciting. . and, very quietly, I have taken everything I do one step further. For instance, if “a mountain” of any sort – including a real one – is considered very difficult, it becomes exciting to me. The ordinary is just that — and I want my days filled with the extraordinary. It helped early on to have parents who did not preach — but belief in self made them the people they were.

    And so, by observing, I too did everything I could to instill confidence in my own children from an early age — try and do the best you can — and life became a game that — if you cared enough – you could go to high levels. The best part – if there is one – is the people you meet on your many journeys — people like you that continually open your mind, keep you excited. “Persistence” – if it could be changed to “belief in self” makes the hurdles in life challenges — and thus positive. Well, they are to me — and FUN lifts my spirits as nothing else does.

    You know me. . and all of this has worked for me and for my family in wonderful ways — but I know that my way of thinking is not for everyone.

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      please forgive my tardy reply. I had not had time to download some updates on Safari, and couldn’t reply! Belief in self is the big necessity, isn’t it? I find it takes persistent practice to remind myself, but fun is an essential ingredient every day. Nice to know we share this.

  2. Hi EiIeen, You ressemble your pretty mother– how nice and special for you. Perhaps, you share many of the qualities that she wished you to inherit, too– special and dear. Nothing in my life has so defined the word “persistence”, as my wish and dream to have children. And, finally, my dream came true, more wonderful than words can express… My husband has thanked me for his sons many times and I smile, laugh and look him in the eye, whenever, he repeats his thank you! The challenge to bear children has been monumental for me– an A+ !!!! I did “it”, loved the “it”, remember “it” and had fun–such fun, as a mother. Somehow, I seem to think that there
    was never an inclement day in these last 24 years– no rain= no tears. Of course there were ups and downs raising
    two sons, but the trendline was not too bumpy.

    I am about to mother myself in a pampering sort of way. My sisters gave me a gift to a spa. My mother received gifts to a spa for Mother’s Day, too, years ago. She enjoyed the facials, hair stuff, scrubs and all and so do I !

    Like me, my mother was an English Literature major and whenever, I read a good book, see a good movie, concert, play, etc., I think of my mother and how we would have shared the interests.

    Persistence. Love of Learning. Understanding. Being Blessed. Caring. Your video depicts a young girl who, finally, got on her horse. Hurray ! As adults, we need the “Hurrahs”…

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      I think we probably never stop needing the “hurrahs” Elaine, but my hope is that I will not need as many from others as I learn to give them to myself. This is about as easy for me as it was for that little girl getting on her horse! But I persist! I share your gratitude for having two sons. Even though there are bumpy roads I love them more than I can say.

  3. Phyll says:

    Oh my goodness, Eileen, you’ve really touched my heart with this one! I laughed our loud as I watched this little girl try to mount the pony and saw myself in her as I’ve tried to train Dancer. Having not grown up around horses, I came to them late in life, in mid-life, and that’s a whole other story! For, it’s a bit intimidating to be around a 1000 lb. animal who thinks everyone and everything is out to get him—or just might!

    So, from harnessing and driving to catching, leading, and exercising Dancer, we BOTH had to learn from the ground up—literally! When I first started working with him in the round pen, I was terrified! I didn’t know if he’d cut across (and kill me!) or keep racing around the edge. It took me about 2 years to finally feel comfortable or, at least not feel petrified, to work with him in there. Now, we work in the round pen several times a week, as it not only trims fat and builds muscle on Dancer but builds bonds and trust between us. This is something I persisted at, stuck with, didn’t give up (as some of us are inclined to do!) It meant a lot to me, so I stuck with it despite my fears,
    and, now, I’m proud to say I have a happy, easy-going relationship with my pony—on the ground and in the carriage.

    Mothering is very important, too. And, this adorable photo of you napping with your kitty, again, reminds me of myself—as I have 7 of them–and one or another is usually on my lap, shoulder, chest or legs. Horses and cats, persistence and mothering—all good stuff. What a wonderful blog—one of my favorites!

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      I knew you’d love this one Phyll! She is so undaunted. When I next feel overwhelmed, I’ll think of her. Only now, at my age, I might have to take a nap first!

  4. Cynthia MacKay says:

    I suspect that video was of you-plugging ahead with good humor and imagination until you reached your goal-the best skill a mother can teach a child is perseverance-Happy Mother’s Day

  5. eileenrockefeller says:

    Thank you dear Cynthia. I hadn’t thought of that, but you are right. Teaching perseverance to our children is a good way to help assure their success in life. I hope you had your children with you on Mother’s Day. This year, of all years.

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