“We can do hard things.” It’s my favorite quote from Glennon Doyle.
It’s been my affirmation since my breast cancer diagnosis and I put it on my son’s mobile desk as he got ready to begin this very unusual school year.
I’m officially more than halfway through my radiation treatments. Physically it’s been very manageable, a little fatigue and sunburn-like irritation on my chest. Mentally, it’s an entirely different story.
I feel like I’m in a swamp up to my waist slogging through to try to get to the other side.
The daily drive to the hospital, walking into the cancer center, the COVID check-in, lying on the table, the red lights, holding my breath, then going back to life as usual as if nothing just happened, it’s taking its toll.
My husband offered a different perspective. Like a coach he said, it’s not a swamp it’s a marathon. 26 miles is a long haul. You’ve got to pace yourself, replenish, and take breaks when you need it. Most of all tell yourself you can do it because you can. There’s a finish line at the end waiting for you to cross.
It’s a simple metaphor but it worked. I’m right about at heartbreak hill, the toughest part of the Boston marathon. There’s no going back, only pushing through. The finish line is waiting for me.
Your marathon may not be cancer. It might be something completely different like grieving the loss of someone you love, losing your job, caring for a loved one, homeschooling your children, or maybe you’re just mired by the muck of the upcoming election.
No matter what it is know that you can do it. Pace yourself, replenish, and take breaks when you need to. Most importantly, don’t do it alone. Lean into people who love you for support. They’ll give you the perspective, love, and confidence you need to push through.
Together, we can do hard things.