Sometimes I just don’t know when to quit. Maybe I read “The Little Engine That Could” too many times as a child, or maybe it’s that I can be a teeny bit obsessive when it comes to completing what I’ve started, or maybe I’m just too darned stubborn for my own good. But for whatever reason, every once in a while I find myself plugging away at a particular goal long after it has become obvious that my chances of success are less than zero, and the only sensible thing to do is give up. That little train engine may have chanted, “I think I can! I think I can!” but sometimes it’s much more honest to say, “I thought I could, but I was wrong. I thought I could, but I was wrong.”
Recently, fellow blogger Kate (who writes a wonderful blog called Aroused) invited me to do an interview for another blog she writes called “Meet the Bloggers Blog.” I was flattered to be invited to do that, and quickly agreed. She emailed me the questions, with the request that I send my answers back to her, including links to two of my blog posts. It sounded easy enough, and I had no trouble answering the questions. So far, so good. But then I tried to include the links and that’s when everything came to a grinding halt.
My computer uses Word, so I wrote my answers in that, including what I thought were the working links she requested, and emailed it to her. Now a smart person would have checked those links before she sent the email, but I didn’t. Draw your own conclusions about that. Once I realized my mistake, I emailed her again and let her know the links didn’t work, but I would try to fix it. Two hours later, I had chatted on-line with a Word Press Help assistant, looked up several sites on how to attach a link to a Word document, filled Kate’s inbox with several more increasingly apologetic emails notifying her of each failure, and still haven’t figured out anything about how to add a link except that maybe my word-processing system and Word Press don’t play well together.
My tendency to keep trying in the face of obvious failure isn’t just limited to technology, either. I love homegrown tomatoes, and for the past several years have been trying to grow my own. One year I even succeeded and harvested a few dozen. But that’s just one year. Mostly, I grew tomato plants that were massive in size, but were also infested with white flies that kept the tomatoes from ripening properly. The looked bad and tasted worse. This year, I have a beautiful, white-fly free, normal-sized tomato plant in my back yard that has at least twenty tomatoes on it. All of them green, as they have been since early July, and will probably remain that way until the first frost kills them.
Sometimes the only thing to to is throw in the towel and admit defeat. At best, we can try to salvage something from our efforts that we can put to practical use in another area. The one good thing that came from my efforts to add a link to my favorite blog post was that I realized the post I liked best was written just a few months after I started this blog, meaning that very few people, other than my mother and my husband, have actually read it. I’m thinking it could be a good idea to re-post it on my blog, as soon as I figure out how to do that. Which most likely means that you can expect to see it on this blog sometime in 2020, if I’m not smart enough to give up before then.