Thursday, November 10, 2011

I can do hard things

When I was 14 years old I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis and had to have surgery right away. After being implanted with two metal rods running the entire length of my realigned back, I learned how to swallow handfuls of pills in one shot and was bedridden to a hospital bed for three months in my home, unable to walk, sit up, shower, use the bathroom, etc. without assistance. From that experience, I learned I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

When I was 16 years old, having fully recovered from my surgery, I got this crazy notion that I wanted to run a marathon. I trained for months with a very strict (and boring/lonely) regimen, including one dreadful 18-miler on a treadmill because it was pouring outside (not recommended :). I went on to finish the Honolulu Marathon in 1993 the day before I turned 17 and learned that I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

Due to spinal complications from my back surgery, I am unable to get an epidural when giving birth (believe me, I tried...a 23 hour labor will make you try anything). With diabetic complications, three of my four children were induced. Despite the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth of four very hard deliveries, I learned I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

I have had several surgeries in my life (including removal of a breast tumor), completed triathlons, earned a BA in Physics, learned what it means to live off of the local food bank, survived a tornado, moved 11 times in the same amount of years, homeschool four amazing children and have even written 2 books. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.

When I read my post last week about how wonderful and amazing nanowrimo was going for me, I nearly peed my pants. I once thought, hey, I've written 2 books, nano will be a breeze. A walk in the park. A piece of cake. But today, I would like to mirror the words of one of my critique partners:


No, you are not the only one. And yes people--this is really hard. I'm plowing through, but I think I'm shaving years off my life in the process. My type A personality is having a hard time not editing as I go (I just don't have time for it right now). I hear chanting in my head all day, "Your writing sucks, your writing sucks." I know the story will be great, but right now it is not so great. It will definitely be a rewrite as opposed to a revise.

BUT, if there is anything I can take away from this post, it is that I CAN DO HARD THINGS. And guess what, I am and will continue to do it! Boo-yah!


Kelley Lynn said...

Wow. What an inspiration you are! I don't think I could ever complain about anything...ever.

I just switched the novel I'm working on for NaNoWriMo. Still planning on trying to win. Yes, I'm crazy :)

Emily said...

Oh my gosh Ilima. I LOVED this post. You are an AMAZING woman and a darling fourteen-year-old.

You can do hard things.

You CAN do this. We will do it together. I officially give you permission to write CRAP.

Love ya.

ilima said...

Kelley...yes you are crazy, but I think all us writers are. Because of that I think you will still win nano. Go, Kelley, go!

Emily...thanks for the crap-fest go ahead. It's on! And I love you too.

DM Todd said...

Everyone, that is my incredible wife! To say I married up is an understatement. What an inspiration and way to "count your many blessing". In those hard things you accomplished, you had help from above as you do now.

Think of the finish line every time you want to quit or get discouraged and how proud you make us all in the journey.

Robin said...

This post blew me away. Holy Crap-You CAN Do Hard Things. Very inspiring for me dealing with my own NaNo Crap-fest.

So impressed with all you've done and know that you will conquer NaNo as well.

ilima said...

Dan-Awww. <3

Robin-You are blowing us all away in nano even after having a baby a few days before...girl, YOU are my inspiration!

Kathryn Purdie said...

Ilima, you are my role model for life. And so coincidental that you named your post "I can do hard things." That has been my mantra for two years now. I so easily get sucked into pitying myself, but I'm learning to fight against that, get some girl power and say, "I can do this. Look what I've done and survived." Thank you for reminding me!

Unknown said...

I know who you are. You're one of those superhero's who live among us in secret. Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. :)