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The Choice Of Challenge
Mommy Musings
Teresa Hammond mug 3
Teresa Hammond

I’ve always loved a challenge.

It’s a funny reality I came to most recently as I reflected upon my place of “surrender” as noted in last week’s column space. While I am more than capable to surrender on things beyond my control, a challenge is a completely different animal.

That’s what I came to realize over this past weekend, as I recognized I’ve lined myself up for a few physical challenges at a time when my body is far from its prime.

While some think I’m nuts or even a bit crazy to take on such challenges – for why? The answer is just as simple as one might think, it’s because I can. Oh yes, now I understand, there are lots of things I ‘can’ do, so naturally the joy element factors in. Driven by challenge, with a result of joy for seeing a challenge through; now that’s a good way to live.

As long as I can remember I’ve been the “tell me that I can’t and I’ll try twice as hard” person. I realized this last week on two separate occasions. One while listening to guest speaker Tish Haynes Keys, speaking during the United Way’s, Power of the Purse event at the Gallo Center. The past contestant of The Voice shared a story which exemplified overcoming and rising to face a life of challenge. An undying determination to live a life filled with obstacles and heartache to its absolute fullest. Sparing judgement, setbacks and even the loss of both parents early into adulthood. While her challenges were not ones she may have taken on intentionally, her story was one which could inspire anyone to look at their own life challenges and how to rise above.

Chosen challenges are obviously a different animal, yet require determination all the same. Perhaps one of the earliest chosen challenges I recall was seeking employment at the age of 15. Growing up with three male cousins, older than myself and expected to mature a bit faster than myself lent itself to a lot of razzing.

It was upon their insistence one day that I would never work (as they had to), but rather be cared for by a wealthy mate, while eating candy on the couch. Gotta love sibling rivalry.

Determined to prove them wrong, within two week’s time (and a fudge of my birthdate), a friend helped me secure a job at a local Kentucky Fried Chicken. Much to my mother’s shock and inconvenience, I started work at 15 and have been employed to some degree or nature ever since.

Again, there’s something to the knowing I can, I’m capable and possibilities truly are limitless that make the challenge seem enticing.

So where’s this going and what’s the point of all this anyway?

The idea of this also came to me over the weekend as I accepted a 90-day challenge. Yes, believe it or not we are in the final double digit days before 2018 comes to a close. Reviewing the challenge, I thought back on the 200-plus days which had preceded it. A challenge does indeed seem a welcome way to send off another year for the chapter book.

Whether you are a person who embraces challenge or one dealt some you’d rather not face, the wish is simple. During the next handful of double digit days and as life of 2018 winds down here’s to hoping you make time to pause and take in all that it is, has been and will continue to be.

Life after all is fragile and a roller coaster, which at times may take your stomach to your throat or find a butterfly floating through it. Regardless of the ride your coaster is set on, may you find the grit, the gratitude and the persistence to help coast you through the year’s final days.


Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.