When I was a teenager, my mother regularly talked about ‘Grit and Determination’. They could get a person anywhere, she said. Perhaps her constant reminders were indicative of my ‘lazy, good-for-nothing’ character at the time, but be that as it may, they certainly made a lasting impression on me.
And my mother would know. Born somewhere in the latter half of nine siblings, she was the only child to win a scholarship at her village’s Primary School, allowing her to attend the English speaking secondary school in her country’s capital. That’s where she started to learn English. And she learned it well enough, studied hard enough, that by her matriculation, she was the only student in her country to win a scholarship to attend University – in New Zealand!
I’m glad she went. That’s where she met my Dad – and the rest, as they say, is history…
albeit, interesting history. After having three children, Mum raised us then went back to full-time work, as a teacher, while we were in primary school. After a few years, she decided to study Japanese, and became a LOTE teacher. At one of her schools, she had a overwhelming number of visually impaired students: so my Mum decided to learn braille. And yes, not just English braille. Japanese braille, to teach to Australian students.
Fast forward another twenty-something years. She’s retired, however her determination to not be confined by past achievements still defines her. Not only has she mastered Japanese, Chinese and Hindi, she’s well on her way to mastering Latin – and receiving an iPad for Christmas last year has inspired her yet further, with the language apps she now has easy access to.
‘Grit and determination’ can get a person anywhere. She’s living proof.
Me? I find her an inspiration. Now that I’ve given up trying to keep up. My determination tends to be time specific. As in, it’s 7.20pm and I’ve been up since just before 4am, but only now am I finding the time to sit in front of my computer and write this blogpost. I *had* hoped to have these ‘A to Z challenge’ posts published at 9am each day. Obviously that didn’t happen today – but in spite of yawning profusely for the past hour and a half, I was *determined* to not let my head hit the pillow before I wrote this post. I know, I know. Piddling, in comparison to my Mum. But that’s my story on determination today. What’s yours?
And have a great day, dear reader!