The Elegance Files, No. 16: 3 Reasons To Keep Going

Friday, April 21, 2017

Just a little series on being elegant, from tips my mother taught me and beyond. Click here to read more from the archives...

There's something about being very near the end of a season of life that is motivational: and maybe it's just me, but the excitement of finishing something is often times the reason I actually get it done! It puts a proverbial fire under my backside to end strong, just like I began.

It's the middle that's the hard part. The point when you're halfway through a project, or a day at work, or season of waiting, when the beginning feels like ages ago, and you still have so much to go. I'm currently right about the middle of my gap year, and I'm gonna be honest: I'm so ready to be done. It's been a great decision to take this gap year, and I definitely don't regret that by any means. But I'm reaching the point in the year when, in every previous year, I would be finishing up - and watching everyone around you doing that, meanwhile knowing your life-pace is still the exact same steady, beating drum, and will be for another 4's hard. And I know that's adult life - but considering I'm working jobs that I would not work as my adult career, it's a little bit different. I'm aching for deeper intellectual stimulation: I'm ready to be swept up in the change that Spring always seems to bring, instead of remaining behind.

But that's not my story just yet, and a part of my pursuit of becoming a more elegant woman means, (as much as I regret having to say it) learning patience. Like, really large-scale patience. Not the person in front of me on the interstate is going about 35 mph patience, because that has a brief time span, but real, four-more-months patience.

I'll be the first to tell you I suck at this. Here are 3 reasons that are keeping me going.

There are harder things to do. Unless you're suffering through a terminal disease, or going into battle (in which cases, I have to wonder why you're reading this blog), you could have it much, much worse. Don't let yourself become melancholy about how "hard" your life is, because a self-pitying woman doesn't go anywhere (not to mention is incredibly uncomfortable to be around).

I've known people who, even going through incredibly difficult seasons, have continued to be incredibly gracious people - they have even, perhaps, grown kinder in their suffering: and if they can do it, so can you. Don't blame the world for your problems. Stand up and face them like the elegant, Child of God you are. I truly have nothing about which to complain. 

People throw around the phrase "your pain does not define you", and though often times I wonder if they truly connect with the meaning of what they are saying, it is true. Your work is not who you are, what you wear is not who you are, your place in life at the moment is not "who you are" as a person. Who you are as a person is determined by who, and what, you love. Betroth yourself to Truth, and you become an elegant woman - even if you're still wearing dirty old sneakers and leave work smelling like food every day. Remember who you are apart from this work: remember the type of person you are called to be. People can see the difference, too (and that's another reason to keep going).

What kills me most is when it feels like there is no foreseeable end to the work, because then that means that the dullness has become "what my life is." By refocusing on my end goal, by being reminded that this is truly temporary (however long it feels), and by working at small things on the side that get me closer to that "light at the end of the tunnel" are my motivation. Right now, that looks like researching the best winter coats for Northern winters, finalizing my incoming student forms, reading as much and as deeply as I can in my spare time, to continue my self-education. When you're focused on your personal goals, beyond work, it refreshes your sense of purpose. Remember why you started. Remember that you're only passing through, that this is not the final destination.

What keeps you going when you feel like you're getting bogged in the day-to-day? 


  1. I always love reading your posts: they put a bright spot of encouragement in my day, along with the occasional "get up and go!" push that I need so badly this time of year. XP You're so very close. And I can't wait until next year when all of this is but a distant memory and we're getting coffee in AJ's together. Keep pushing. You've come so far. <3

    1. Your comment made my day, did you know that? <3

  2. Now THAT is elegance! This whole senior year I feel I've been waiting for something, and the end of each day is just one day closer. Instead, I should be patient - totally, wholly patient - with where I am and who I am becoming. (And yes, finishing something is just the best feeling in the world!)

    1. Amen, Madeline! Your maturity regarding patience is exemplary, though. You got this. :)

  3. Carmel, you are exactly right. Funny you should post this now, because it's something that's been on my own mind lately. I'll tell you, even if you had chosen the normal college route, you might still be feeling like this. I'm just finishing my freshman year, and I too feel like this experience is only an in-between, a stepping stone to what will really matter in the future. But the thing is, I'm learning that God has a purpose for every stage of our lives. Even when it feels like we're headed for something greater and that what we're doing now isn't the be-all end-all, He's always preparing our hearts for the next phase. In a way, we're always going to be in some kind of waiting place. The important thing is to remember that what we do in the moment is always the most important thing in our lives. Wevaren't measured by what we can be in the future. You're measured by what we are, by how far we've come, and by our daily obedience to Him and to His word.

    Keep at it, girl. God's got this thing. ;)

  4. *grumbles* I didn't *want* to remember all this and be encouraged, but I suppose I have to now... :P


Design by Bethany. All images and text displayed here (C) Carmel Elizabeth 2010-16, unless otherwise stated. Please do not steal.