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Life is like an old-time rail journey . . .

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are often more dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time rail journey...Delays, side tracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas, and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride." (Jones, September 25, 1973)

I recently came across this on a friend's personal blog. Such a simple, yet powerful message. Of course when one stops to think about it, they know it's true, but most days I think we're just human beings who don't always remember that nothing about life is easy.

Without a doubt, we're going to crash into a few rocks, ride some wild waves, and head toward the beautiful finish we all want.

But nothing worth having comes, or should come, easy.

As an author, I could certainly apply this to writing because there's nothing easy about that. But when you hold that published book in your hands, you realize that every rock and wave was worth hitting. When you welcome a new life into your family, you're in awe of the miracle, despite the challenges ahead. When you ride the euphoria into wedded bliss and come out on the other side, you realize that no matter how tough some days are, what you have and what you've built is worth a few stormy skies.

I recently had a truly lovely conversation with a fellow author who has published her first book with a small traditional publisher, and I might add, with great success. I teared up a time or two when she spoke about how her dream had finally come true, but how with it came a little heartache at criticism. We didn't go into detail about it, nor did I ask, but it comes with the territory. When one works so hard to fulfill a dream, to have it beaten down, if only by a single person, can be a bit heart-wrenching. The trick is to remember that success will always be met with controversy. This author inspired me, motivated me, and I believe I found a kindred spirit in her.

Life is a ride and an upward journey with the occasional meadow when we need a rest.

I love my life, but I don't kid myself into thinking it's perfect. Perfection would send me into a tail-spin wishing for a new challenge. I know I'm not alone in having to stop and remind myself that no matter how weary I get trying to keep up with life, every single step is worth taking.


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