Pull Up Your Socks – A Lesson on Perseverance and Facing Fear

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives the &qu...

Prime Minister Winston Churchill gives the “Victory” sign to crowds in London on Victory in Europe Day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  “Never, never, never give up!”

Winston Churchill

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

Maya Angelou

Sometimes, it feels like life is a series of head long runs into a brick wall. On top of that, I am home today, sick, my third day at battling a nasty…something.  (It is so much easier when you feel sick to also feel down and depressed.) I have many critical things that need doing and here I am coughing, with a head so congested I can’t concentrate, and feeling dizzy when I try to get up to do the simplest thing.  Of course, since stress suppresses the immune system, this bug has hit at the exact time when I can least afford it. I don’t have simple things to do but complex ones, things I really don’t want to do at work and in my personal life.

Yet, if you have followed me in this blog, you know I think sometimes we have to put issues on a shelf and take care of ourselves.  Perhaps my body was just obliging me – allowing me to go to bed, pull the covers up to my chin, and do nothing. What a thought! Sooner or later, certainly by next week, I will have to stop wallowing (or resting), climb out of bed, and face what needs facing. But for now, I guess, my body has decided I need a break.

An example of an ankle sock

An example of an ankle sock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother loved aphorisms. I have shared a few with you previously.  Today, I am remembering an all purpose maxim she used a lot when I was a kid: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”  If that didn’t motivate me to “stop crying over spilt milk” and get to work on whatever was bothering me,  she would add, “just get up, pull up your socks, and get moving.”

English: School socks.

English: School socks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My mom was a great believer in the idea that you “keep on, keeping on” and you don’t stop. Perhaps having lived through the Second World War as a young woman, that attitude grew from the time in which she lived .  She was a great admirer of  Roosevelt, and while she did not quote, “We have nothing to fear but fear, itself,” she never let fear stop her.  She faced down ethnic prejudice and glass ceilings, succeeding in life against all odds. I actually believe you could find her name listed under the definition for “spunk.”

Whatever the reason, quitting was not an option to my mother. Part of her legacy to me was learning that being defeated is only a reason to try harder the next time. Fear you’ll fail if you try?  No need to. Failure is just one step on the road to success – if you keep trying.

Maya Angelou said it this way, “In fact, it may be necessary to encounter defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Colourful socks

Colourful socks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, I will get well and I will face my problems. I will overcome them – and so will you.  It doesn’t matter what they are. They can be argyle or anklets, you may feel knee deep in your knee socks, but don’t give in to fear of them and don’t give up on you.

Whatever shape your problems take, or if you need to rest before you face them, take a moment, breathe deep and yank them as high as you can, or get a friend to help give them a tug.  Then, as my mom would say, “just put one foot in front of another” and march.  No brick wall can stop you forever.

I believe we can rise…together.

About joanneeddy

Writer living in North Carolina. Originally from upstate New York. I love my family, my community, and my friends, and embrace 'living deliberately' in the world, trying to make a difference. I have written an as yet unpublished book, The Call, an epic fantasy with historical fiction and folklore elements. My blog is for other writers, for those who love a good read, and for all who, like me, are looking to find and live their call.
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