There are times in life when we 'hit the wall' - as the marathon saying goes.
We dream big dreams, set huge goals, get carried away with this fantastic idea - which may take a great deal of effort, time and energy to complete.
When the energy runs out before the goal is achieved, what do we do?
A younger friend asked how I had managed to write my book. She was trying to complete her thesis and had hit the wall. Her energy was about used up, her enthusiasm for the topic had drained away, all her doubts had reared up and her inner voice was questioning why she was still grappling with it - it would be far easier to just give up.
Or at least, I assume that was happening. Having set myself enormous goals throughout my life, I can only imagine that she had reached that critical stage when it all seemed too difficult, too overwhelming to continue.
Since she is an athletic person, I figured the sports metaphor would resonate with her, so I used it.
I looked her in the eye and told her that when she hits the wall, she needs to just keep going to the end.
As I get older (and less healthy) my energy runs out sooner than ever. I find myself still thinking that I have as much energy and fitness level as I did in my 30's. But I don't. I hit the wall sooner and find it more and more difficult to complete the goals I set for myself.
My level of weariness comes faster and my energy resources take longer and longer to refill.
It is oh, so tempting, to set smaller goals, dream tinier dreams. To give up, sit on the sofa and eat virtual bon-bons (because I can't actually eat real ones.)
On the other hand, I am still here. I still have a certain level of fitness/health. I still have things I want to accomplish, goals I want to achieve. I can't just stop. My work, my teaching, even my blogging, is meaningful - to me. So long as I find meaning in what I do, I cannot stop.
So when I feel myself hitting the wall, I need to take a step back, take a deep breath, put my head down and take another step. And another. And another. Until I reach the finish line.
Currently reading View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman