The Little Engine That Tried

4574134_sOne of my favorite children’s books is The Little Engine That Could. Now there’s a struggle that speaks to me. Sparkling blue, the little engine just wanted to surmount that hill embracing the power of positive thinking. While the story teaches the value of optimism and hard work, to me it’s all about the power of trying. The engine wouldn’t have made it anywhere if he didn’t determine to tackle that daunting hill.

You see, The Little Engine That Could started out as The Little Engine That Tried. “I think I can” goes to the heart of the trier. Although we don’t always beat the odds, we persevere in the face of them. Triers may not ascend the victory stand but always earn the “E” for effort. We never disdain second place or honorable mention, instead focusing on whom to thank for getting us there. Indeed, triers remember to enjoy the scenery along the way in case we miss our intended destination. Triers needn’t worry about leaving a trail of regrets lying in the dust.

Though Dystonia follows me more closely than my shadow, I’m ever the trier with my stumbles and falls. Often, it seems my life is more about trying than achieving, living without remorse my greater goal. Circumstance frequently requires us to take a deep breath and attack those towering hills. The beauty of the good old-fashioned try is how we accumulate strength from persistency of effort and find no failure in lack of success.

When in doubt, just give it a try…

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32 responses to “The Little Engine That Tried

  1. Andrew Kosztyo

    I the dictionary next to the word “trier” is a picture of Pam! Yet another beautiful and thoughtful post!

    • Drew, You’re no small part of the inspiration for this post, as you’re always telling me how I’m all about trying! During times of frustration, your insight into the meaning of my efforts has been tremendously uplifting. Luv Ya, -Pam-

  2. Pamela, would like to see you submit this to the KickStarter project I posted in the Movement Disorders group. Believe your blog speaks to the artist Phil Hansen’s “embrace your limitations.”

  3. Another fantastic post Pam! I am a big of fan of your writing; you write with such honesty, grace and positivity.

    I really agree with your post – trying is such an admirable trait to posess; not to give up on hopes and dreams. And it you don’t succeed first time than try again. Perseverance is something that I have to live with; often due to my condition I am unable to go to a place because of the weakness in my legs or the dizziness – but I have learnt not to give in to my illness, and if not able to go to a specific place that particular day then to try again another day – and I have done just that.

    Thank you for reminding me and others to not let our conditions to stop us from doing what we want – and if not able to do it now; than try again some other time.

    • Rhiann, Always lovely to hear from you and I feel fortunate that our paths have crossed. Though we deal with different conditions, I well know the seemingly never-ending challenges chronic illness can bring. It can be one step forward one day and several steps back the next. Keep on making those efforts, which is often the best we can do. -Pam-

  4. Have I told you lately what a beautiful writer you are? xx

  5. you are an inspirational survivor and my sincere thanks to you ……..never stop trying1 i believe this with all of my heart……..love you!!!

  6. Roxene Sloate

    Another amzing metaphor for youe experience!

    • Roxene, My inspiration came from a phenomenal book that every single human being should read. With all the focus on success, it’s easy to forget the power of trying! Making those efforts is what truly counts. -Pam-

  7. I really liked this post. Really good! You speak in subtle ways about resilience.

    • Divanicio, Don’t we know the importance of resilience living with Dystonia! Our state of mind is as influential as the state of our bodies, perhaps more. -Pamela-

      • I think we all suffer a lot with dystonia. Be a resilient person or be the little engine that want to win a hill and embrace the power of positive thinking is a great challenge.

        • Divanicio, So true. Indeed, life itself can be a never-ending series of challenges. “Trying” in the face of these challenges has been my salvation. Though achievements are few and far between, we can accumulate an abundance of “tries!” -Pamela-

  8. Another fantastic post Pam! I am a big of fan of your writing; you write with such honesty, grace and positivity.

    I really agree with your post – trying is such an admirable trait to posess; not to give up on hopes and dreams. And it you don’t succeed first time than try again. Perseverance is something that I have to live with; often due to my condition I am unable to go to a place because of the weakness in my legs or the dizziness – but I have learnt not to give in to my illness, and if not able to go to a specific place that particular day then to try again another day – and I have done just that!

    Thank you for reminding us of the importance of perseverance and never giving up on our goals

  9. You play the cards you’re dealt. Doesn’t mean you’re happy about it but unless you throttle the dealer (God or whatever) you try.
    Another amazing discription of what we make of life.

    • Hi Mike, Always wonderful to hear from you. Love the attitude – we share the same feelings about surviving in this crazy world and living with our condition. I’m so happy to have met you here and your comments mean everything to me. Let’s keep on trying! -Pam-

  10. “Often, it seems my life is more about trying than achieving, living without remorse my greater goal” ~ I so could relate to this statement Pam! You have expressed so much great insight here. Each day is its own journey and destination… each minute too. Just like the little red engine – we try and we can… and if we can smile through it all, our best is always good enough!!
    Loved this – and love u! x RL

    • Robyn, We try because we must! As you well know, life is quite the journey, taking us to unexpected places. My walk with Dystonia has been an uneven curve. One day I “tried” blogging and look where I am, where you are as well. I’ve found wonderful new friendships and new facets of myself. Your beautiful poems and photographs are a blessing and I look forward to more treasures from you as we meander our way through this unpredictable world. For anyone wondering about your site, Through The Healing Lens is a “must visit.” xx -Pamela-

      • Thank you so much Pamela — your words bring me great joy. Yes, isn’t it amazing that we “try” and incredible people — and many gifts can unexpectedly present themselves? I am so lucky to have found you here… your journey is true inspiration. I think that is what is so wonderful about the blogsphere…. the energetic forces of love that permeate these airwaves– almost magical and so much encouragement during the challenges we all face. So much Love ~ Robyn

        • Robyn, I share your sentiments about our friendship…and blogging. My entire world has changed since I started my site, truly a transformative experience. The true value of “trying” is that we never know where it will land us. When we open our hearts and share ourselves with others, magical things do indeed occur! The Same Love Back At You, -Pamela-

  11. Angela Harshbarger

    Dystonia is all about continuing to try.

    • Angela, Let me start by saying how much your comments mean to me. The comments are the best part of posting because they give me a chance to “meet” the people who visit my site. Your statement is so true and a beautiful way of looking at our condition. If Dystonia requires us to do anything, it requires us to try! Sending warm wishes your way. -Pamela-

  12. Pam, I agree that with dystonia, “life can be more about trying than achieving.” However, I have a different mindset. Rather than “I think I can,” I believe that someday “I will” beat this disease. With advocates like you leading the way, that someday is sooner than later.
    Ed

    • Hey Ed, Always an utter pleasure to hear from you here. It’s funny, when I wrote that line about trying and achieving I wasn’t even thinking about Dystonia in particular but more my life in general. When I feel disappointed about things I haven’t “achieved” in my life, I find comfort in knowing I’m making my efforts, though not always gaining the intended results. As for curing Dystonia, hopefully in our lifetimes! We must always hope! -Pam-

  13. This comparison brought me to tears. My sweet little 6 year old boy is coming up on a year-mark on the road to diagnosis, but it’s been narrowed down to dystonia–now it’s just figuring out which one.
    As I watch my little guy’s heart break for the things he can’t keep up with, or see his angry tears when I tell him this will never just “go away” or “be fixed”, I see a tiny warrior. He keeps on trying– asking to be signed up for soccer, tennis, gymnastics, swimming…. And of course I sign him up. He gives it his best. He’s tired, he hates falling, his body is failing him, and he hurts… But he thinks he can… He thinks he can…

    …and how appropriate that he’d be my Little Blue Engine.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Jackie, Dystonia can be a battle but we keep pushing forward. Look at me, 40+ years and still trucking along! Sounds like your son packs his share of determination, which serves anyone well in this world. Hopefully, the available treatments can help bring his movements under some degree of control. And remember, even with Dystonia, there’s so much we can do. Take heart and never give up hope. -Pamela-

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