It took my mom ten years to graduate from college. In that time she had three kids, worked multiple jobs including babysitting six other kids and doing shifts as a CNA at the hospital. For most of my childhood, she took one night class a semester at the local community college, working on her pre-recs for nursing school. I was sixteen when she graduated with her nursing degree.
She always had people asking her how she could just keep going with her school even though it was taking so long. Ten years is a really long time to be chasing after a dream--especially with life just getting busier and busier as the years went on. I love what how my mom would respond to people who said this. She would say, "The time is going to pass anyway. In ten years I can have my nursing degree or I can still be taking any job I can find to make ends meet. It doesn't matter how long it takes as long as I get there."
I think about this all the time. I was just thinking about it this morning, actually, because I still have that extra five-ish pounds left from having my baby this summer--and I just can't find the motivation to a)stop eating my kids Halloween candy and b) work out consistently. I got my rear end off the couch this morning to go for a walk, knowing that the one mile I had time for wasn't going to make that much of a difference in my weight. But maybe one mile every day for a year might--and I found myself saying, "A year is going to pass anyway. Am I going to make a tiny sacrifice and be five pounds thinner at the end of it?"
And I say it all the time with my writing. Some days I am really busy. Crazy busy. And time flies by and I wonder where it's all gone (we're already in November, folks. This is nuts.) And sometimes I only have a few minutes here or there to add another scene to my manuscript or another page or even just another paragraph--and I have to remind myself: The time is going to pass anyway. In two, or three, or more years, I can have a well-written book that I love, or I can still be dreaming of one day being a writer and not be doing anything about it. It doesn't matter how long it takes, as long as I am doing something to make sure I get there.