• Martha Clark Scala

Don't Give Up

Updated: Oct 4, 2019


August, 2018


It Pays to Persist

As I write this month’s Limb, the words and images in my forthcoming book are in the hands of experts. With any luck, the memoir I’ve written about my creative dad, Assembling a Life: Claiming the Artist in my Father (and Myself), will be in print before 2018 rolls to a close.

It’s about time; I have been working on this project since 2009. Why so long? My response to that question could be another full-length book!


The shorter answer is two-pronged:

1) Everything took longer than I thought it would.

2) Life (and death) interfered and placed other things on the front burner.

It wasn’t in my plans to watch malignant melanoma end my sister’s life too soon. In fact, I was counting on her to help me remember stuff about our father and family life.

I didn’t plan for another loved one to face a potentially life-threatening illness. Thankfully, that battle was won.

And it wasn’t in my grand scheme that our household would lose three pets during this span of time.

It would have been so easy to give up. No one was knocking on my door for this memoir. There were no deliverables or deadlines. But I was compelled. I couldn’t table it. I didn’t feel like I had any choice other than to persist.

Has this ever happened to you? Has it ever felt like all sorts of forces are sending you a message of “give up,” and you just can’t? What kept you going?

What has kept me going is two-pronged, too:

1) Despite numerous frustrations and delays, there have also been unexpected joys. Just this week, I was pulling my hair out trying to find three photos that need to be re-scanned. I never found them but in the process, I found a few other pictures that brought extreme delight.

2) My mountain hiking days may be over but I’ve never forgotten how great it feels to reach a summit and get that amazing view. Climbing is a cinch but lately, it’s the descent that makes my knees bark.

I will keep on climbing. I believe in the joyful payoff of persistence. I hope the descent after reaching the summit of Assembling a Life’s publication will be different. I’m envisioning a smooth sweet ride like those on my sled or my neighbors’ toboggan when I was a kid. Wheeee!

I’d love to hear your tales of persistence.


Feel free to leave a message in the comments at the bottom of this page.

Prompts For Joy

Click here to see a leap of determination that will inspire you.

Click here to be reminded that conflict sometimes has a sweet ending.

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.

Pictured Above

Sledding siblings. This is one of many photos taken by Geoffrey Clark, and it will appear in Chapter Two of Assembling a Life.