My husband Steve and I went on our first date on November 14, 1980. If you prefer not to do math, those calculations add up to 35 years together! My traveling companion for well over half my life, no other single person has formed and molded the person I am today more than Steve. Because we were children when we met, we have grown up together. We aren’t done yet, but I think we’ve done a reasonably good job of raising each other so far.
My Friday Five friends decided to explore “5 Ways to Persevere” this week. Here are some synonyms for the word persevere: persist, continue, carry on, keep going, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see something through, keep at it, press on, not take no for an answer, be tenacious, stand one’s ground, stand firm, hold on, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned; hang on, plug away, stick to one’s guns, stick it out, hang in there.
When I read these words and pondered what I know about perseverance, I immediately thought of Steve. Perseverance is a perfect word to describe the strength of character I so admire in my husband.
After 35 years together, here are 5 things I have learned about how to persevere from my love:
Show up- Steve repeatedly says the secret of his career success is simply this: he kept showing up. Day after day, year after year, he showed up and worked hard. When asked, he maintains the most interesting part of his story is how completely unremarkable it is. He was an average student from modest means who worked hard, took advantage of a couple of lucky breaks and kept showing up. Today, he is the CEO of a major corporation and has the privilege of continuing to “show up” every day for the benefit of his 36,000 associates.
Believe in yourself- From the time I met him at 16, I have always been drawn to his quiet confidence. He believes in himself and his ability to learn new skills, solve problems, influence others and make a difference. He trusts his instincts and, once he makes a decision, doesn’t harbor regrets even in the face of occasional failure. If something doesn’t go as he hoped, he simply recalibrates and tries again, trusting his ability to recover and succeed having learned from the experience.
Ask for help– Steve has a good grasp of where his strengths lie and where he needs support. Certain aspects of his business and his personal life come easily to him and some less so. I’ve always respected his ability to encourage and empower others who have expertise in areas where he doesn’t and his willingness to reach out and learn from others. Like all of us, he has learned we are each stronger in community.
Resist giving too much power to comparison and critics– As a recovering people pleaser and a bit of an extroverted exhibitionist, I am jealous of Steve’s ability to seemingly not worry one iota what other people think of him. He doesn’t compare himself to others, and has no need for applause. He stands behind his decisions and trusts his gut. If he makes a mistake, he apologizes, fixes it and moves on. Not engaging in worry about other people’s opinions saves a great deal of energy that can be utilized elsewhere.
Choose wisely your moral center– Honesty, generosity, kindness, and humility are not always valued in the business world. However, as a person of faith, my husband knows his business decisions are made in the larger context of the Kingdom. For this reason, his faith has given him a moral compass which gives him perspective when the going gets tough. As a father, as a husband, as a son and as a business leader, I have so much respect for the ways in which Steve quietly lives out the tenants of his faith and inspires those whom he is called to lead and nurture. His people trust him because they know he loves them and will fight dragons for them. This trust and respect has been a strong foundation in times of difficulty both at work and at home.
I am grateful to God for knowing who we needed most when He brought us together all those many years ago. I am thankful Mr. Hyatt put us in alphabetical order in Algebra 2 our junior year. I am grateful we have chosen to perservere in this relationship even when staying and doing the hard, holy work of marriage was difficult. Most of all, I am grateful we have gotten to rub off on one another over all these years.
In case I have painted too rosy a picture of my super hero, I am tempted to disclose the myriad of ways he is less than perfect. However, since it wouldn’t be kind to list his faults on the internet, I will resist 🙂 Suffice it to say, I am crazy about him and I am so proud of the grownup he has become. We are having fun on this adventure and, whatever the future holds, I’m glad we will be traveling this journey together.
Perseverance? My guy knows all about that stuff!
Interested in reading more wise words on the topic of perseverance? Drop by Mrs. Disciple and meet my Friday Five friends.