How to Keep Going
My family and I spent two weeks last Summer visiting our extended families in the midwest. On our long drive back home to Colorado, somewhere in rural Iowa, in the early pre-dawn hours we drove through an extended patch of mist and fog.
We weren't able to see very far in front of us, and there were multiple road signs warning us to watch for deer unexpectedly crossing the highway.
My husband Randy sat quietly gripping the wheel.
He tried the windshield wipers a few times. Visibility was still almost nill.
The seconds ticked by. Every so often he slid our car in behind a large semi-truck, keeping us at a safe distance from the tsunami of blinding spray that shot out from its massive wheels.
Silently, and exhausted, I sat next to him with my eyes wide open. I held my breath, scared that we might be surprised by some wildlife.
I felt helpless. The sun wasn't going to move any faster on my account. And my husband prefers silence to chit-chat, even if it comes from good intentions to help him stay awake. But Randy didn't need or want help, his own adrenaline had already kicked in.
I thought about trying to sleep. I glanced behind us at our two boys lost in slumber in the back seat. I noticed that they were sweetly leaning their heads against one another and that they were completely oblivious to the dangerous situation we were in.
So for me, there wasn't a chance sleep was going to happen. I was too wired with no way to release the building tension inside of me except to pour Randy a glass of coffee from the thermos anytime he asked.
Then out of nowhere, it hit me that I was living through a timeless and universal life lesson.
This is what it was:
Keep going and soon you'll see the light again.
In other words, lean into the discomfort and if you keep going, you'll get to the other side.
Had Randy pulled over and stopped we wouldn't have made any progress. We would have been dangerously sitting on the side of the road stuck in analysis paralysis, feeling the strain increase between us as we asked ourselves if we should continue or not.
In any journey, there are going to be potential obstacles, like the deer we thankfully didn't see that day. But if you stay awake and keep moving forward, soon you'll get to safer territory and the land of where you want to be.
With this realization, I was able to calm myself down and decide to trust that we would be okay.
Within another 90 minutes, the early morning sun broke through the mist and we were finally able to easily see the road ahead. I could feel Randy relax his grip on the wheel and he turned on some upbeat music. The boys woke up shortly thereafter and all of a sudden things felt light again.
So how does this universal and timeless life lesson relate to you?
I want you to know that whatever challenge you're facing, on whatever journey you're currently on, if you want something different than your current status quo, keep going.
If you keep going, you’ll get from where you are to where you want to be. And if you don't, you won't.
So how do you keep going?
Keep taking one small step in front of the other. Don't make it more complicated than that. Are all the steps you're going to take easy? No, but as long as you are willing to stay curious and lean into the discomfort that comes with change, you’ll keep making progress.
Thinking that you wish you had some help?
Generally, I'm not a fan of driving close to semi-trucks, but on that early morning in Iowa, they helped us navigate our way forward through the invisible. I'm grateful that they were on the road that day and that we were able to safely benefit from them being there.
What else am I grateful for? That my husband doesn't mind driving!
So take a moment now and ask yourself, are you yearning for something different? Are you feeling stuck when it comes to the life you want to live? If so, know that if you create a plan and keep going, intentionally, you'll soon create a life full of the things that matter most to you.
You get to decide...will you choose to live by design or default?