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Tenacity

August 30, 2016

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Whether you see it as a good thing or a troublesome thing or a downright bad trait depends on what end of the struggle you are in. Synonyms for tenacity are: Obstinacy, Resolve , Firmness , Persistence and Stubbornness. Even they reflect positive and negative connotations.
There are time when one must be stubborn and have that “stick-to-a-tiveness” in order to get what you desire. One summer we decided to go out to Yosemite National Forest over the 4th of July time. Everyone put out 1 thing a day that they wanted to see as we planned our route. There were 2 things that were troublesome. We were traveling straight through and needed a place for the night in a national forest. If you didn’t arrive at some places before 6pm, there would not be a spot for you. In order to get where we were going, we would have to arrive after 10pm.
This was the summer the national forest/parks changes reservations. You had to call 1 800 number and could only reserve 1 thing at a time. We wanted to go out to Alcatraz on July 4th. Most people would tell you I am tenacious if not stubborn in carrying out a task that I know I need to do. It took me the better part of 2 – 3 weeks to get the Alcatraz and forest reservations. I make others more quickly during the time I sat on “hold” and put the phone on speaker.
The trip was going well and sure enough we arrived after 10 and found our “reserved” spot. The next morning there was a man at our picnic table when we woke up. He said “I have camped in many national forests/parks and have never met anyone who could get a reserved spot. I wanted to meet you and see how you actually pulled it off.”
When we got back from vacation, my husband was talking to a co-worker who had come back from California in August. She said that they couldn’t get a ticket to see Alcatraz. My husband said “We just walked up to the window on July 4th and got our tickets.” When he told me about that conversation, my first response was “Didn’t you see it said “Will call”? I spent almost 3 weeks on hold on the phone trying to get those tickets because I knew it would be hard!”.
This summer we were at Montauk State Park in Missouri. As I was looking around I saw the grass blowing in the breeze in the middle of a rock wall. I thought of those grass as being tenacious and thinking of all the times I have “hung in there”. Sometimes letting go would have been a better thing to do. Sometimes, like our vacation, everything went smoothly because I had spent time “hanging” in there.
We don’t always know ahead of time when it is good to be tenacious and when it is better to let go. Looking back, hind sight tells us, but thinking about it as it unfolded I don’t know if I would have ever done anything differently as I was going through it. For those of you who need to hang in there and are just about ready to let go – think – “Will it make a difference that is positive and needed?” If so keep hanging in there and find support. If not then let go and learn from what you have done. Good luck either way.

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