“When The Going Gets Tough…

The tough get going.”

My mom said this a lot while I was growing up.  She went to be with the Lord at 48, and though she’s no longer a phone call away, a lot of her words live on.  This particular phrase she often repeated in my childhood has been echoing through my head all day.

Recently, I moved to Montana.  In Nebraska, my husband and I moved into a house that required a lot of work. The same is true for my new place.  I haven’t been able to get a lot done due to the repairs we’re doing.  Today is the first day in a couple of days I’ve been able to sit at the computer.  As you’d expect, stress makes it harder to write.  So I’m cleaning up emails the best I can.

But anyway, back to the whole thing about “The tough get going”.  I think there are two ways we can respond to any situation.  Sure, there’s the period of shock.  Stress, I notice comes more into play by a lack of planning.  I feel much better and relaxed after I’ve been able to plan out and enact a proper strategy to deal with the problem at hand.  In this case, it’s getting someone qualified to take care of the septic system.  The most stressful part is finding that someone, which is surprising since I happen to live in an area that has 60,000 people.  You’d be amazed at how backed up companies are when you really need them.  Or maybe not.  Chances are, you’ve been through something similar or know someone who has and were told, “The soonest we can do anything to address the real problem is in about 1-2 weeks.”

So I guess it’s normal you go through this phase of disbelief.  Seriously, if you had known the problem would come up, you would have called well in advance to reserve your slot on the waiting list.  But alas, like a lot of things in life, this comes without warning and in the middle of a long list of other things that need to be done.

Life is seldom ever boring.

But I guess what we can do is either stay in that place of limbo (aka. inactivity) or do something about it.  Yes, I know with a septic situation, you pretty much have to do something to resolve the issue.  If you don’t, you need an outhouse, and I can’t think of anyone who wants one of those in their backyards.  Nor do I want to go without my washer and dishwasher.  I might write about the old west, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

So after making the plan, I suppose the next step is whether to complain about it or to choose to look at the positives.  I did catch this while it is warm enough to dig into the ground.  That’s definitely a plus.  Nothing is flowing out of the toilet that shouldn’t.  Another positive.  The kids are in good health.  (No one worries more over kids than their moms.)  The list would go on.

When I was in the 8th grade, my teacher gave the class an analogy of how things work.  (I went to  private school, so this had a spiritual application, but I think it can work from any other perspective.)  When you’re starting out, you’ll get a small obstacle.  You manage to overcome it.  In the process, you learn and grow from it.  You become stronger because you stuck it out.  “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Then you are confronted with another obstacle.  This one is harder and challenges you more the previous one.  If you overcome that, then there’s another obstacle.

The cycle repeats over and over in the course of a person’s life.  People can choose to let these things make them bitter or better.  It’s up to everyone to decide what they’ll take away from everything that happens.  Troubles will come.  That is inevitable.  And in the moment, it hurts and it’s okay to have that period where you’re serious bummed out.  You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t cry, get angry, complain,  or react in some way to the obstacle.

Once the obstacle has been passed, though, we can be stronger and better for it.  I know everyone reading this has had their share of troubles.  I guess I just felt it was a good post to write today.  Probably because I needed this reminder the most at this time.

Out of curiosity, I searched the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” and found it to mean when a situation gets hard, the strong will work harder to rise to the challenge.  To do this, I find it helpful to do another saying.  This one wasn’t from my mom but something I heard on the radio a while back.  “Keep your eyes on the prize.” Sometimes focusing on the end result will help you be strong enough to deal with the challenge you’re facing or will face.

As a sidenote, I recently heard that when you dream about going to school again, this often means you’re about to be faced with the opportunity to learn something.  So if you haven’t been to class all semester and are suddenly faced with an exam, maybe you’re about to come across one of these obstacles.

The obstacles are never fun.  I don’t look forward to them than anyone else.  I’m just trying to remind myself to see the silver lining around the dark cloud.  I don’t know if this helps anyone else or not, but it was the only thing I could think of to write today. 🙂

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to https://ruthannnordinsbooks.wordpress.com/.
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8 Responses to “When The Going Gets Tough…

  1. Great post, Ruth! You can apply this to so many different areas of your life. The way we handle and react to things makes a big difference in our stress levels. And I totally agree that planning ahead the best we can will make things a lot less stressful.

    • That’s what I was thinking. It can cover just about any area of our lives. 🙂

      I was feeling really bummed out today, but after I wrote this post, I felt a lot better. That helped me focus better on what I could do to make things better while waiting for the septic people to come out in two days to see what they can do about things. Sometimes it’s good to get this stuff off our chest, I guess.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Funny thing about others words in our heads. I so can relate to your experience. My. Mother used to say. Pull your self together and just fix it. I never thought that I would be as strong as she was, but, I did learn to pull myself together and fix things. I wonder if my adult children will remember my opinions the same way. It’s nice to get to meet the real person behind the books. Hope all works out for you.

    • I think your children will remember your opinions, just as we remember our mothers’. 🙂 It’s funny how the older we get, the more we appreciate our mothers and everything they said and did. Maybe it’s because we go through similar experiences, so we can relate better to them.

      I admire your mom’s attitude. That’s how I want to be. Get stronger and better about taking care of things yourself. 🙂

      It’s nice for us authors to connect with the people who read our work. The encouragement and support helps in so many ways. 🙂

  3. Ugh! Sorry to hear about the septic. we had the “we’re all busy” trouble last year – heck we couldn’t even get house insurance because there had been a storm that tore up a bunch of property and the agencies were “too busy” to deal with us – we ended up going with a non-local place finally. And don;t get me started on the electric… All this grown up crap gets in the way of the good stuff, LOL! but I love your attitude! 100% right – when the going gets tough, it’s time t get tough too and look for the bright side 🙂 Here’s hoping they can get it resolved quickly!

    • Thanks, Joleene! 🙂

      I feel your pain. It seems there’s always one thing after another when we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know our attitude plays a big role in how we deal with the stress, but it sure is hard to get to a place where these things are easier to cope with.

      I’m sorry you had to go through all that hassle. You are so right. Being grown up definitely gets in the way of the good stuff when we didn’t have any worries. It was nice to focus on playing instead. I wish I was smart enough to appreciate it. LOL

  4. Melanie says:

    OMG! Have you been keeping up with my posts?! Perfect timing. And the part about dreaming about going to school…btdt–always realizing too late that I was supposed to be attending some college class and missed a whole semester. The dreams quit for an odd reason. But I have had my own challenge lately that I’ve had to overcome. I’ve struggled and done research, because I wanted to give up but something kept me strong, mostly knowing my kids need me. I now have an autoimmune disease that the doctors wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t insisted on testing. And I am keeping my eyes on the prize–remission, which means being able to feel good, clear-minded, and creative. Now, I don’t stress about not writing, because I take every day as a blessing in itself and know that there are many other things that I should be paying attention to and just push through the bad days. Great post, Ruth. And good luck with the new house.

    • I haven’t done much of anything online lately except the minimum to keep the social media thing going. The septic tank is down the list of other things I’ve had to contend with since we decided to make the move back in May. I’ll check it out, though, to find out what’s going on in your end. Yep. I usually miss the entire semester, too! Mine also quit for some unexpected reason to pick up without any real prompting. It’s the strangest thing.

      Do you know what kind of autoimmune disease you have? I just did a quick look online to see what it is, and they say there are about 100 of them. Good heavens. How is someone supposed to narrow down what the root cause is?

      I’m glad you’re giving yourself mercy in the writing area. I know it’s hard not to be hard on oneself about not writing. I have to keep reminding myself I don’t need to write every single day. It does no good to write when all stressed out. It’s best to take a breather, do what needs to be done to get ourselves back on track, then write when we have the energy for it. Man, does it take discipline to learn that lesson. LOL

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