Endurance vs. Endure – Staying positive when life is challenging

person standing on top of rock

Do you get random thoughts that pop into your head at the most bizarre time? I think most of us do at some point or another, but lately it seems to be happening more than ever, and at the strangest times.

Wednesday was one of those occasions. I had an evening appointment to get a breast MRI done and had to drive some distance from where I live to have it performed. Now getting an MRI is not the most comfortable procedure. For mine, they had me lying face-down with my arms up and it is incredibly claustrophobic.

As the machine is creating these important images, it also generates a series of very different, but very loud noises. There were moments during the procedure when I found myself waiting for a drum machine to chime in, and a heavily auto-tuned voice to start up, as if was all part of some EDM mix in a club.

It is strange though to have such clear thoughts in all that noise, but I think I am so used to being in a chaotic environment at times, that it did not faze me.

On my drive back home, I began thinking about a comment someone said to me the other day, that they really respected how I managed to stay positive with everything I had to “endure” on a regular basis.

Endure is such a strange word, and not one I would choose to use when I think about my life. Yes, some days can be very challenging raising a special needs child and providing support to a parent with rapidly advancing dementia, but it is not something to be tolerated or suffered, it is more about endurance.

Endurance, or shall we say resilience, which I think is really a better way to describe it, is something that some people seem to just have in abundance, whereas many of us have had to develop it over time.

The ability to face lots of challenges, keep pushing forward no matter what comes your way and remaining positive, can be hard work at times but it is worthwhile.

I can slip into a negative cycle effortlessly; the harder part is getting myself back out of one, so I do everything I can to not go that route in the first place.

Walking to burn off stress, meditation and practicing gratitude on a regular basis have made a tremendous difference in my life.

Taking the time to write in a journal about all the many gifts I am grateful for, really helps to keep things in perspective and makes me appreciate what matters most in my life.

I also look in the mirror from time to time and say, “Hey you, you’re awesome!” I felt completely ridiculous at first saying it out loud, but after a while it got easier to accept praise from myself.

It’s so important to understand that you do not always have to wait for someone else to tell you that you are a fantastic person, knowing your own self-worth is key to a happier and more positive outlook.

Be kind to yourself and accept that you are not perfect, but you are doing your best, each and every day. Then just crank up the tunes, and dance your ass off! 

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