I met Jena through my writing coach. She suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) like me and is nearly blind. .She is helping me to grow and is a source of constant encouragement. It’s my great pleasure to share her philosophy and words of wisdom.
“Don’t Give Up”
Life throws us many curve balls causing us to throw our hands up. In fact, as a teenager, I had a poster on my bedroom wall showing two cartoon kids dangling on the end of a rope. Below them, it stated,
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot, and hang on.”
Have you ever felt that way?
When, not if, you do, don’t give up.
Shortly after starting college, I received the diagnosis of a hereditary, progressive eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. While my reaction was positive, “Why not me?” instead of “Why me?” I strongly considered giving up my original career choice. Instead, I tied my knot and hung on. Nothing had really changed other than my diagnosis so it wasn’t necessary to give up. Trudging forward, I pursued my dream of becoming a special education teacher. Adaptations would be needed, but I knew I could cross that bridge when I got to it.
Too many times in life, we give up before reaching a bridge our road might not even lead us to. As time passed, my eyes worsened. Each time I felt the loss over again. Each time I had to tell myself not to give up. I tied my knot and hung on by focusing on what I could do rather than on what I couldn’t see any longer. Yes, I focused on what I could still do. Down the road, some of that would be lost too and the process repeated itself. To this day, I’ve always been able to find something I can do.
Through the years I managed to marry, have children, run my household and several businesses, home school my youngest, become a pastor’s wife, and founded a ministry to the poor and brokenhearted with my husband.
Many opportunities arise urging me to quit, but I don’t give up. I survive by refocusing on what I can do.
Some things utilize different methods, as in cooking. Some things require help, but no matter what it is, I’m determined after brushing the dirt off of my knees not to give up and focus on what I CAN DO!
The recent loss of my father reminded me of this very principle. After 55 years of marriage and being dad’s care-taker for over seven, my mom is learning to do new things. She misses dad, but she’s choosing to do the things she was unable to do when married. When life creates frustration, loss, hardship, or the like, I wish everyone wouldn’t give up, but focus ON WHAT THEY CAN DO INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY CAN’T.
This becomes more important as we get older and our bodies or minds fail us too. It applies in so many situations.
Now, it’s time to quit complaining, feeling sorry for yourself, or playing the “I wish…” game. Focus on what you can do, and do it…large or small.
I was struck by Jena’s reverse question, “Why not me?” It changes the way we look at and respond to our situation. When I become frustrated, I ‘m going to remember that and also how to think creatively to solve my challenges.
In our most recent phone call, Jena explained the painstaking method she used to edit her writing. Because her screenreader doesn’t read comments to the side, she has to be both practical and creative. She has the person critiquing her writing write the comment directly after the word or section. Then she goes through the piece and listens to it, identifies the comment, sometimes character by character until she isolates it to understand. Then she goes back and corrects it. That’s dedication!
Do you have an area in your life that you have to devise creative solutions in order to accomplish a goal?
You have just read, “Friday Friends: Spotlight on Jena Fellers” with her guest post of “Don’t Give Up.” Copyright Jena Fellers June 26, 2015. Don’t forget to leave her a comment!