Don’t Give Up

When I was in high school, someone gave me a Dollar Store picture frame with this saccharine bit of cliched poetry it it. Other than the Serenity Prayer, I don’t think there was anything she could have given me that was more obvious or hackneyed.

Still. That she cared enough to make the statement has remained in my memory all these years, as has the poem. Not all have the gift of words, some only have the gift of gestures.

I frequently feel like giving up. I am doing something unorthodox, darlings, and I’m fighting against the reality that people don’t want the orthodox; not generally. It is easier to just immerse yourself in someone else’s life as they share it plainly with a simple anecdote.

That’s not for me, darlings, but more on that soon. I am preparing to share more of myself with you than I ever have before, and today that feels like a desperate, last-ditch effort, if you’ll forgive me my insecure pessimism.

If you, like me, feel like giving up on a regular basis, then hold fast to even the smallest of encouragements — sometimes it’s the little things that make it all worthwhile.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit-

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a fellow turns about

When he might have won had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than

It seems to a faint and faltering man;

Often the struggler has given up

Whe he might have captured the victor’s cup;

And he learned too late when the night came down,

How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –

The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It might be near when it seems afar;

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.



21 responses to “Don’t Give Up

  1. One more round by boxer James Corbett

    fight one more round when your feet are so tired that you have to shuffle back to the centre of the ring
    fight one more round when your arms are so tired that you can hardly lift your hands to come to guard
    fight one more round when your nose is bleeding and your eyes are black and that you wish your opponent would crack you one on the jaw and put you out
    fight one more round remembering that the man who always fights one more round is never whipped.

    I found this sustaining in the darkest hours.

  2. Actually, that’s a very touching poem. It reminds me of my grandma. Thanks for the thoughts. Just this week I was totally frustrated, ready to pull my hair out, and said to my husband, “Why am I doing this?” I had to stop back, stop, and re-figure out why I AM doing this. But once I did, it all worked out, and it’s okay. So, yeah. Not quitting, but just taking a step back : big thumbs up to that.

  3. Brush yourself off and wash your face once you’ve had a good cry. You can do this–and you have an audience cheering for you that is wider than you know.

    By the way–if I have somehow fallen down on participation concerning postcards and such, please accept my apologies. We are still trying to sort out what actually happened to the mail that was supposed to be coming here over the past two months. We are receiving some here at our place now and have a hold to get the rest. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that mail from you (along with a few bills, insurance cards and such) have slipped into a black hole in the U.S. Postal Service from which we may have difficulty retrieving them. All that to say, I love you. My postman, on the other hand, doesn’t know what love is.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

  4. The gesture and thought behind were quite lovely, Helena. Here’s my thought to bolster your confidence in your mission. When I read your lead, my head screamed to me, “Our Helena was not in high school! She skipped straight on to university and then the school of hard knocks because she was so ahead of the curve.” Really.

  5. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #85 | Considerings·

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