There was a time that I started believing success was linear. I had a great husband, a beautiful little girl and a second baby on the way. My career was linear. I added new responsibilities and a new title at work every year. Social life was good, and we had a new beautiful home.
Little did I know about the little dirty secret that the way to success is not linear. We work hard, hard, hard, and we might not see results right away. Despite all hard work, we don't see progress. That is the time it is so easy to give up. And then suddenly you make a big happy leap!
I am today comfortable with success not being linear. I might not always like it, but I know that is how life works for most of us. Being stubborn and persistent do help. I refuse to quit or give up. That stubbornness can be annoying to people around me, but I think it is what sometimes gets me through the tough times in life.
As I have started my bike training for Courage Classic for my third year, I have had to run "success is not linear" as a mantra. I had a bad fall going up Flagstaff. I still feel as a beginner when it comes to having my feet strapped to the pedals. Falling off your bike going up a very steep hill is not a great idea...especially not when you have to get back in the saddle again. It wasn't any longer about riding a bike, it was all about mental strength and that stubbornness to still make it to the top.
Yesterday, I don't know why I attempted another ride up Flagstaff. I knew it was going to rain all day, but I had a few hours of time to spare. I was the only one - only one - on the road up Flagstaff. That should have been a little sign to turn around. At one point when I was climbing up, I saw this beautiful deer sitting in the grass, completely still. As I got to the top, a fox got out of the woods. He looked surprised to see me in the rain. The climb up Flagstaff is always hard. It just doesn't get easier. The scary part when you have rain involved is if the tires will stick to the road. I got lucky this time. After climbing for over an hour, it was time to go downhill. I was cold, I was wet from sweat and rain. The road was slick from the rain, and the fog made me only see a few meters ahead of me at a time. I used my breaks to stay in control, and then it was that one turn when my breaks didn't take any longer. It was a split second decision to stay on the road despite no working breaks or head off the road into the woods. As I finally made it down, I couldn't feel my fingers or feet any longer. I had to crank up the heat in the car including using the seat warmer to make it home. And I made a promise to never ever go up that very steep hill in cold rainy weather again. I don't know if it was my stubbornness or persistence, but it wasn't a smart decision. Success is not linear.
Our boy is another example of success not being linear. With our boy I have to go day by day, moment by moment. Something has been off with Jacob all week, and as always there are so many possible reasons why. We have been running labs, we have been monitoring him closely, and I am still not really sure what's going on with our boy. At the same time, I am so happy he's home and enjoying his last days of school. A girl in his class gave him a Minion hat the other day, perfect in the cold spring weather. Jacob is losing both his nurses once again. It hits both Jacob and our family hard. Not knowing who will enter our lives once again, and taking care of our most precious boy. Success is not linear.
Maybe it's age. Maybe it's maturity. But tonight I am ok with knowing that success is not linear. I guess that the secret to success after all.