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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Setbacks

We all have setbacks.  I know this, and yet I feel like I get so discouraged.  As if the path should always move forward, always progress and always be straightforward.  Did you hear the false thinking?  "Should" and "Always" are trigger phrases that help me identify my own false thinking.

The gray winter months can blind me to my "Why."
The purchase of a new water heater has been a significant financial setback to begin the year.  It seems impossible to get ahead of the necessities and enjoy some margin and extras in the financial department.  My husband works hard and we enjoy a generous income.  I work hard, too, and add to our families financial income.  It's just so frustrating then that some of my dreams get side-stepped by the necessities.  I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this reality.

I have a constant struggle in health department.  One time during a physical, the doctor said to me, "Good health doesn't happen by accident."  Prior to that statement, I kind of thought it did!  I assumed people were either born thin or with a penchant to gain weight, that they either had the luck of good health or the curse of health struggles.  Hearing that doctor put the control into my hands let me become responsible and I determined to be healthy on purpose.  As much I wish otherwise, weight is included in that and knowing I'm the only one who influences the number on the scale is more responsibility than I sometimes want.

One day, the scale displayed a number five pounds heavier ... in one day!  Yes, we had chocolate cake in the house, but I never dreamed what could happen so quickly by losing focus.  It felt like a huge setback, even though i'm certain the gain was temporary.

Last year I had a very bad sprain in one ankle and developed plantar fasciitis.  The sprain slowly healed, but I have had pain in my foot every single day since February of last year.  It's been a big setback.  I cannot run as fast, I'm less motivated to move and it's just frustrating indeed.

Recently, a character issue I've been praying and working on with one of my children seemed to be improving.  I was hopeful and happy to move beyond the challenge.  But we seem to have a setback and the same issue is emerging again as the stress and demands of life push issues of control to the surface.  What I thought was mostly settled is now back into a daily task of necessary, consistent discipline.  It's no fun for either of us.

I'm writing this for myself as a reminder that setbacks are part of life.  The true test of character is the daily moving forward in the face of setbacks, obstacles, disappointments and failures.  I need to admit when I have a setback, learn from the circumstances then refocus my drive on the end-goal.  Hopefully, the "end" is far into the future and I have plenty of time to correct my habits.

What about you?  Have you had any setbacks recently?  Did you set New Year goals and are you already falling short?  What can you do to remember the why so that you can be motivated to get back on course?