Five Minute Friday: Try

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

I had hoped this post would be funny, or at least snarky, because that’s the kind of mood I’m in, but it took an introspective turn. Such is the nature of writing I suppose. The words express something beyond the surface.

Kate asks us to: try.

Go.

If at first you don’t succeed, throw something.

That’s always been my motto.

When I was five and my parents were trying to teach me how to tie my shoes, they had this little wood block threaded through with laces. Over and over again they would show me how to knot and loop and twist. Over and over again, I would fail. It wasn’t until my mom told me that I’d always have to live close her to so that she could come over and tie my shoes every morning and I flew into a rage that I accomplished the awful task. (Funnily enough, I live just around the corner from my parents).

A lot of things come easy to me. The stuff that doesn’t makes me angry. If I can’t catch on to a concept quickly, I usually abandon it. (Hence my family referring to me as “barely domesticated”).

I’m not much of a try-er.

Gliding ever-more deeply into the third decade of life, I wonder: What have I missed?

Pride and fear lock arms and keep me hemmed into a comfortable space. Oh, it’s wide. The view is nice. But there’s a lot out there, beyond the fence, that I’ve never experienced. Like ice skating. Who gets to be in her 30s without having ice skated? Yeah, yeah, those pesky health problems play a part, too. But still. There’s a lot I keep myself back from. So many…pieces, longings, kept shut tight.

Maybe it’s time to try.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)

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36 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Try

  1. Oh, sweet friend! I totally ‘get’ you! I, too abandon things all too easily–but in my almost 50 years, I’ve learned that trying isn’t as scary as I thought it was. I try to live life with more freedom now days (I quit wearing makeup several years ago, I let my hair do its thing with the grey and it feels so good to not worry about things like that). I climb mountains (it’s worth the effort, I assure you) I swim in the ocean (scary, but those fish are. just. so. beautiful) and I talk to strangers (NOT an easy thing for me!). After my husband’s bout with cancer, his new motto became “I’ll try anything once”–I’ve adopted his motto and it works for me!

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  2. Marie,
    I am also in my 30s. And, I’ve been trying things. Things I hated. Brussels Sprouts. Artichokes. Asparagus. Endurance Races.
    You know? It feels good to try and succeed. I also hate failures. But I think God is trying (see?) to get my attention. The less I am successful, the more I call to Him for help. And I’m starting to “get” it. Slowly.
    Linked up at #4 tonight. (And dashing off to a 7:30 event now)
    Love, love, love you!!
    -Tammy
    (tammysincerity)

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    1. I know that trying is worth it in the end. Obviously I’ve had to try things to know what I enjoy. 🙂 It’s the hurdle of fear in getting to the actual try that jams me up, if that makes sense. Sigh. I hate fear.

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  3. I know what you mean about wanting to give up. I had the hardest time learning to swim, but I was so proud of myself when I finally did! What hard thing are you doing this season? For me, it’s definitely getting #ComfortFood out into the world. Oy vey. Definitely learning to lean hard into God’s power, not my own, but I’m excited to see what will come of it.

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  4. It is time to try my friend! God is bigger than our fears and stronger than our strongholds. Praying that one baby step of faith will move you into more steps of trying new things. Love you girl!

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  5. Marie, loved this post. I have a son who’s so good at so many things, he won’t try (at least not more than once) new things because of a fear of failure. I guess we all have a bit of that nature in us. I don’t always want to try things because I don’t want to end up looking foolish. Yeah, pride plays a part in there too. Sigh.

    The good thing is we can always try those things we’ve avoided. And, we get to choose to trust God with our fears and see how He helps us in our attempts. I so appreciate your honesty in this post!

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  6. I think people would understand if you don’t attempt ice skating at the moment 😉

    In all seriousness, I liked it 🙂 Oftentimes, I’ve found that the things worth having are sometimes the things you have to work very hard for (like marriage, or simply cleaning when you are ill). Math never came easily for me (moving a lot didn’t help matters). But now? I’m better at math than hubby is. Even though he’s worked in retail for 11 years, I can still do money math in my head far faster than he can. I can do various forms of math in my head when he can’t even do it without a calculator. I’m no mathematician, but I’m the “family accountant” because I’m the one in my marriage who is both stronger in math and in money management. I NEVER saw that coming. I think back to the days where I would get frustrated, then I’d get mad, then I’d start crying and even in high school, throw a bit of a hissy fit because I couldn’t solve one math problem on my homework. Now? I look back on the 7 HUGE addition problems on my first grade homework and wonder, “Why did I complain? Had I known that college level homework would have ninety advanced algebra/trig problems a night I’d be GLAD for seven addition problems!” But if I hadn’t slogged through and persevered through the math problems and the tears and frustration and throwing math books and papers across the room, I’d have never been equipped to be the family accountant. In the end, it was worth it (and I’m SO eating my words from my hissy fits!).

    You don’t have to ice skate if you are unable to. But don’t be afraid to try new things within your physical capabilities that you’re interested in even if they are daunting at first. Eventually, like my math skills, they will work themselves out. I bet you couldn’t have written this blog if you hadn’t taken the time to learn your alphabet as a child 😉

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 🙂

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  7. Hi marie, I appreciated you clarity and honest about not being much of a try-er. I think I am the opposite. I’m a “try-er” addict, willing to give most things a shot because I think I can usually do almost anything or work ridiculously hard to do it. I have had to learn the value of “throwing something”. I remember a couple summers ago, during a particularly dark season in my life, a mom-figure and I went on a walk and she encouraged me to throw boulders of rocks off a bridge into the water and rocks. I thought she was crazy, but I did it. It was amazing! And I learned that 1. there’s something exhilarating about smashing stuff sometimes to let off steam, and 2. trying things that seem crazy only seem that way because I make judgement calls on what’s “appropriate and acceptable” societally, vs. what do I need and how would God want to bring about greater healing and restoration in my heart. Good stuff Marie!

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    1. “I make judgement calls on what’s ‘appropriate and acceptable’ societally, vs. what do I need and how would God want to bring about greater healing and restoration in my heart.”

      Wow. That hits me right where I live.

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  8. If it’s any consolation, my answer to “if at first you don’t succeed” is “call in a fire mission” (translation – get some artillery to saturate whatever’s irritating you, with explosives and nastily jagged shrapnel)

    That goes pretty well with “it’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness, but WAY better to use night optics and suppressed weapons”.

    Snarkily yours, this is Andrew, #16 on today’s FMF.

    (Wait…it’s Thursday…isn’t it?)

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  9. “Pride and fear lock arms and keep me hemmed into a comfortable space.” So much yes.. more fear than pride, but there’s definitely some pride too. I don’t try because my comfort zone is comfortable enough! 😉 Thanks for putting my similar thoughts into much more coherent words. 🙂

    Also: 23 and have never ice skated. 🙂

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  10. I loved this! (Oh, and the same thing usually happens to me when I try to be funny – I get all introspective. Dang.)
    But yes, the expanse is wide. I spent all my years being scared of roller coasters, but in my FOURTIES once all the fam was tall enough, I decided to be a part of the fun! And now I’m 50, still doing it.
    I loved your shoe tying story too. I get that. I don’t like trying when it’s hard. It’s taken me two months to TRY to set up a new blog site. I’m gonna keep at it though, but I’m not gonna TRY, I’m gonna DO. IT. 😉

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  11. Marie, Marie, Marie (it’s my middle name too) YOU must try my sweet friend. Go ice skating. I am twice your age and getting ready to whitewater raft…..Go my friend and TRY!

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  12. So how early do you have to publish in order to get the first position?? 🙂 Marie, this post is perfect – I think you have just the right balance of snark, humor, and let’s-face-it honesty. You got me at “If at first you don’t succeed, throw something.” I know I’ve certainly felt that way a time or two. And I have a list of things I wish I did better – like softball – who in America doesn’t like to play softball? But I, too, was usually good at things I tried, so when I wasn’t, I didn’t really know how to try – I hope that makes sense. There are, of course, at my age especially – believe me, thirty is nothing! – other endeavors that cause me anxiety… only because I never allowed myself the grace to learn them… I’m with you. Fear and pride should not be holding us back. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief! We know He’s there to catch us… I’m not only a distant neighbor at FMF, but happy to be part of your SnailMail group! Go group five, right? I hope you have a blessed, full-of-comfort-and-peace weekend. Janet

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    1. Go Group 5 indeed! I’m not sure how I’ve wound up in the #1 slot the last few weeks. Just happens.

      “…allowed myself the grace to learn them.” That’s interesting. I know that I’m far too hard on myself. It’s probably time to learn to laugh a little, shrug my shoulders and move on.

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  13. I totally relate, Marie. I’m a month from 40 and there are a lot of things I wish I had tried sooner. I try to be more adventurous, but the truth is, it’s just not my nature. It’s not who God made me to be. I’m a safe route, familiar places, comfort zone kind of girl. I have ice-skated though – once if that tells you anything. My advice: wear extra padding! 🙂

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    1. I’m that girl, too. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I just know that there are times when I need to step out and be bold.

      Thanks for the advice. 🙂

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  14. Trying something new that appears to be difficult is not an easy decision for many of us, it seems. I guess, however, after today we’re all going to be more willing. 🙂

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