Throughout my blogging years I haven't felt super compelled to share a lot on business (although it is so much of my life and has been for almost a decade). But since According To D is a Lifestyle blog and currently in my life I feel lead to share this with you all, that is exactly what I'll do.
My husband and I have been together for 13+ years. In those years we have been told many things. Starting in our high school years we were told that "kids your age don't know what true love is", "people in high school never stay together". Then years later we were told things like "you guys are so lucky" "I wish I could find a relationship like yours" (as if we just found it). Nick and I are happy, we love each other more and more each year, we have fun together, we still flirt and show PDA, still gush over each other, I still cry when I drop him off at the airport because I know I'll miss him like crazy. We have people guess that we are newlyweds and when they find out we have actually been together for over 13 years they are shocked. We are madly in love.
So does that mean it is always easy, has always been easy and will always be easy? NO. See, people want to "wish" they had our relationship. But the truth is they only want the easy days, they only want the gushy moments and the fairy tail aspects of a relationship. The reality is that you do not get to those points in life without the hard parts too. Anything that is great in life does not come easily. Anything worth having does not come without hardship. There have been so many times in our relationship that were hurtful, devastating, painful, exhausting... you name it, we've felt it... Countless times where both Nick and I have felt depleted, deceived and completely discouraged in our relationship. We are blessed, but we are not "lucky". We are blessed because we have each other, we love each other and we are both the kind of people who do not quit. We don't give up at the first sign of struggle. We don't throw in the towel when things look hopeless and there seems to be no light in sight. We keep pushing through and trusting in the Lord to bring us through each storm with each other. Especially now that we are married - we have made a covenant with God that our life commitment is to weather any storm that comes our way. But see, Nick and I already had that in us before marriage. We have been through so much, and the reason we are the couple we are today is because we pushed through each adversity and came out a stronger, more powerful couple on the other side, who in fact love each other more than we did before the struggle. Looking back at our 13+ years together we can reminisce about each battle we have had to fight as a couple and once you are on the other side of the battle you can see the light that it brought to your relationship. Not quitting and being a person who can endure great pain can actually lead you to a life of joy. With every new journey that we take together, even the toughest of journeys, we grow closer and closer and it makes our bond that much stronger. It truly is a beautiful thing when you know you won't quit on your spouse and your spouse won't quit on you.
Well, the amazing thing that I'm learning about life is that so many principles in marriage are applicable to other things in life too. In a lot of ways "how you do anything is how you do everything". Which brings me to the topic of business. Just like a relationship, being in business or being an entrepreneur will sometimes leave you depleted, deceived and discouraged. And just like a relationship, those who stick it out and persevere through the toughest of times will be the ones who experience the most joy. Each new struggle develops who you are as a person, your character, who you are as a leader, a wife, a husband, etc. Are you a person who is consistent in the fact that you don't quit on people? Or are you consistent in the fact that you quit at everything you do? I've felt so much pain in our relationship and in our business, and at times have wanted to quit both. Pain that leaves you feeling like quitting is not only the easiest option, but sometimes feeling like it's the only option. But there is always that lesson that I've already learned from my years with Nick, and that message never seems to leave my mind when quitting crosses it. I remember -if you quit- you will be missing out on the deeper level of life that will come at the other end of this hardship. You will then be the person calling others "lucky" when actually you could have had that life for yourself too. Quitting just is not worth it. Sometimes in life things must and do come to an end, but coming to an end simply because it was the easy way out is just robbing yourself of a more fulfilled life.
The common principle is being a person who does not quit when things are hard, when the storm seems too rough and the water seems too high. My husband truly is the man who can get knocked down 10,000 times and get back up again and again. He will do it in our marriage, and he will do it in business. He inspires me every day to be the kind of woman who gets back up when life hits you in the gut. We are still learning, growing, strengthening our "not a quitter" bone every day. At the end of the day we simply know we are committed to the process of sticking with what we start in life, so that we can keep reaching that new level, whether it be in our marriage or in our business. Your greatest joy in life, like ours, will come from pushing through the toughest times in life and embracing each new struggle as a character building, relationship building, leadership building or even a business building opportunity. Let us all remember this lesson and stop starting over at everything that we do in our lives, because the real juice comes from sticking things out.
And since I am no where near perfect, at my weak moments I will re read my own blog post to remind myself of why it serves me to keep going in life. Time to keep on keepin' on!