There’s a Fred and Ginger song from Swing Time playing in my head. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.
It’s a jaunty little old-fashioned air, which perfectly reflects my feelings as I look back at what I have tried to do this year, fallen down at, tried again, kept going and am here- grounded if not tap dancing.
They say persistence is the key to success. If so, this year, I feel successful.
Here are three things I have persisted at, shared in the hope they may help you see where you have done likewise.
1. Dance with disease
Many of you know this part of my story and the very blessed and happy outcome of my time with cervical cancer. In essence 2015 was all treatment and self-care, 2016 was an adjustment and getting back from constant fatigue, becoming single and moving house. And 2017 has been about starting all over again. I have been redesigning my life, my work, my way of being and that has been a delight and a daily discipline of a most light and airy nature. This sounds like I did it alone, but not so. I was cocooned within a loving community of family and friends.
2. Life-long learning
I enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Ontological Coaching in 2012. It was an 18-month course of intense, profound and affirming learning.
And I finished it last month. Yes, that’s way more than one and a half years - I know! Somehow completing the outstanding assignments was always pushed to the back burner, and it has taken constant effort to make them a priority and get it done. And that’s odd because I loved the study, the conversations, the mesh of practical and theoretical that made it rich and meaningful.
Why is it that things we love can become a burden? Ah well. I decided not to delve into these whys too much but instead:
• ask for help - a coaching trio who kept me to a time
• be accountable to my fellow goal-setting buddy Beth
• bribe myself. I confess. Bright shiny things work for me.
It worked. I am qualified! Although that is just a happy by-product of a course I would have done anyway as it answered so many of my deepest desires to know and grow. There were many times when it looked too hard, but now that I can proudly point to finishing, those dark cloudy months where I wavered in even knowing who I was, look like a distant thunderstorm over a range of far-off mountains. Ahhh hindsight!
3. Making a podcast
Looked easy. It wasn’t. First of all my colleague Jeanette and I were thousands of miles apart and the technology failed on more than one occasion.
We would record a brilliant conversation (well I can safely say that since you will never hear it) and the recording mechanism didn’t work.
Then the internet made one person’s voice smooth and the other all lumpy.
Then we didn’t like how we sounded. That was Feb- May.
Then came the personal stuff that made recording and sounding like we had it all together, impossible.
Finally, through sheer persistence and frequent flyer points, we managed to get into the same room and talk into one microphone.
We also had to let go of wanting to be perfect. It certainly isn't. But I think we will get better as we go along. Feels like we have hit the tape in a marathon run. Or dance contest.
So it’s no wonder I am humming stuff about dusting off and dancing on. Of course, I can make an even longer list of things I have not seen right through to their conclusion. But I prefer to focus on what has worked and do more of that. You might note that what worked in every case was not trying to go it alone.
How about you?