If at first you don’t succeed….

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” –Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle, by J.W. Whistler

When my father became frustrated, he would show it. He’d yell at no one in particular if he couldn’t find something he misplaced or at me if he was unable to explain a geometry equation. He’d break out into a sweat if he couldn’t fix something he was determined to fix.

Frustrated or not, he didn’t give up.Apparently, I inherited the persistence gene…as well as the mild hysteria gene. I’ve  spent hours looking through piles of paper on my desk for a phone number, fiddling with a gadget that’s malfunctioning and trying to get in touch with someone who has seemingly “disappeared.” And I can be a real pro at working myself up into a mini-frenzy.

I think my behavior always had something to do with the need to feel in control, but thank goodness, I’ve learned to stop driving myself crazy if every single thing isn’t working out.

One of the beauties of being FOF is learning to let go. There’s always tomorrow. And if there’s not, it won’t make much difference anyway, will it?

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2 Responses to “If at first you don’t succeed….”

  1. M says:

    Actually, the artist is James Abbott McNeill Whistler who also painted numerous pieces of beautiful artwork including one of my favorites, Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl. It hangs in the National Gallery of Art.

    I agree Geri, one of the best things about being over 50 is that through our life experiences, hopefully we’ve gained a sense of perspective about what’s important and what’s not.

  2. Toby Wollin says:

    If at first you don’t succeed – go do something else or go to bed. Invariably, that helps. (and isn’t it odd that Whistler used basically the same pose here that he used with the painting that is commonly called “Whistler’s Mother”? It’s almost as if he’s saying, “See, I can only draw in profile…”)


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