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When You Think You Can't And Then You Find Out You Can

Updated on June 21, 2017

Challenging ourselves seems out of style these days. And we are lesser people because of it.

It was Father's Day and while my exceptional husband had been out all night and was still out making sure that Dads got their newspapers, (but on his way home!) I tackled a job I have either paid someone else to do in the past or bribed my grandsons to do.

10 bags of mulch in the "secret garden" area of our yard may not seem like a lot but I lifted them into the wheelbarrow and pushed that stubborn wheelbarrow 5 times to the spot in the photographs and dumped and spread 20 lbs of mulch.

I was determined to do something I didn't think I could do and I did it!

Both my husband and I have always been hard workers often taking on more than 2 jobs at a time to keep the home fires burning but also to instill in our 4 kids a strong work ethic and the knowledge that anything worth having is worth working for. It's a lesson which sadly seems to have been lost among many in the group described as millenials and I believe we are worse, as a country, for that.

I didn't think I could do this but even at 66, I found out that I can do whatever I put my mind to doing.

I was tempted more than once, I will be honest, to just stop and give in to my aching back and rally the grandsons. But I persevered and pushed myself to finish the job I had started. I knew in my mind that if I stopped and left the job half done, it would nag at me all day and I would be disappointed in myself. I know myself well and I knew the inner voice that would badger me about being a quitter would make me feel so much worse than my back, my legs and my arms were making me feel at that moment.

So I pushed through. I loaded and dumped and spread until the entire area was covered and then I stood back and admired a well done job.

Yes, I was proud of myself. Yes, I was happy to not have to pay someone else. But more than that, I realized that I had accomplished something I honestly doubted I could do. And standing there, covered in dirt, tired and aching, I felt tears sting my eyes.

The human spirit has survived centuries by whatever drove me to finish laying the mulch. And it might sound silly and even a bit dramatic, but I felt a connection to every man and woman who ever faced a challenge and then rose to it.

I knew that the next day my body might be regretting what I had done. But for that day and that moment, my spirit was soaring.


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