This week was the first time I traveled anywhere since the start of my 365 challenge, and it proved to be my undoing. My wife and I got ourselves all packed to go stay at my mom’s house for Thanksgiving. We weren’t going very far- she just lives outside of town- but our plan was to stay there with the rest of the family and enjoy a nice holiday together. We arrived in the evening, and by that time my sister and her kids were already there. Delicious food was already being prepared, stories being told, sleeping arrangements being finalized, and then…
It was Friday morning before I realized what had happened. I was stunned. Mortified. For a moment, I thought I had only missed one day. Conspiratorial fantasies began swirling in my fevered brain. “No one would know. It was only one day. I can fix this.” But as I double-checked my sketchbook, I realized to my horror that I had, in fact, missed two days. Without. Even. Noticing.
I struggled pretty hard with myself that day. My first impulse was to simply concede defeat and quit the challenge. But when I looked back at how far I had come, at how much I had learned and grown as an artist, at just how fulfilling this challenge was for me, I realized there was no stopping. There was no way I was going to let two days count more than 224 days of dedication, passion, learning, and growth. And from that day on, I did not miss another day. Not on Christmas, not on my birthday, not when I traveled, not when I was tired, not when I had tight deadlines. Not one other day.
Did I really complete the challenge? Maybe not. But I didn’t give up, and that’s what really matters.