Sometimes it comes after a short period of time. Sometimes, it takes a while for the realization to make its way to the surface. And sometimes, it can literally take years and hours of effort only to realize that a thing - the THING - is simply not going to happen.
The fact is, this moment always comes. The real question is what one does right after that moment.
My reaction - my ordinary reaction - is to simply give up. Sigh, settle my shoulders down, and somehow simply accept the fact.
Which is probably a very human reaction. Also, probably not a very useful one. Which means I am trying to work on how to have a better secondary action.
I have never taken defeat well. Why, I am not sure. It certainly is something I have had plenty of experience with it. Maybe at one point I took it differently - fought back harder, tried to be more nimble and agile - but a lifetime of "Well, not this time either" can wear down at the soul.
Which is fine, of course - but frankly, I am on a clock now (We all are really; most of us never truly appreciate it until we are faced directly with our mortality) and cannot afford myself the luxury of just shrugging my shoulders and "settling" for next time. Frankly, I may not have the time to generate a "next time", nor the energy to put a whole new structure in place.
So instead, I am trying to face those moments head on. And adjust in flight to continue on to reach the thing.
It is hard - much harder than I imagined. It is also not very emotionally satisfying, as most of this is an internal battle and argument with one's self: "You can completely do this" - "Really, we have been down this path before and it did not work out well last time" - "Yes, but we are not giving up this time".
These discussion can rage, especially as I walk with Poppy The Brave around our urban neighborhood, undoubtedly getting looks in the early morning as I outright talk back and forth with myself.
There is no promise that I will do any better this time than any of the last ones. What I can hold onto is this: as long as I am still trying, I have not failed. I have just found 1,000 ways not to do a thing. And that, perhaps, is a target of sorts.