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Why Does Everything Have to Be So Hard?

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It came out of my mouth so fast that I probably should not take credit for it. You know, saying the right thing at just the right moment? Sometimes it actually does happen. Or at least it seemed like I said the right thing at the right time the other night. You be the judge.

Let me set the stage.

I know everyone has had to deal with all kinds of uncertainty, and disruption this last 12 months. I know it has not been an even distribution of misery either. I have heard it said, by my friend Fro, and I think rightly so, “We are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.” Some folks have been through and continue to go through some pretty rough waters without a very stable craft.

Here is how our boat looked this last year. Our business stayed open. My kid came home from college early in March of 2020, not to return until a couple of weeks ago. While home, she got a job and did online school. We stayed healthy. Nothing too dramatic. Not ideal of course, but not bad. We rearranged our lives and kept going.

Until Monday.

Abbey, my college sophomore kid, went back to dorm and college life in San Diego. They were keeping a hybrid class schedule and trying to obey all the random California mandates while living on-campus. Well, she had been around a kid, who had been around another kid, who tested positive for the corona virus. (COVID is the disease process that can potentially follow infection; these two terms are NOT interchangeable.) She was quarantined in her room for an indeterminate amount of time. The list of rules to follow would make the children of Israel blush! Did I mention random? Abbey is wired like her dad, we need to move and play outside daily, and a lot. So, these restrictions were more than inconvenient. This was really a mental health crisis waiting to happen and just as she was transitioning back to college life!

So, in exasperation at hearing all of this, Mrs. Swaim, who has been playing mental health counselor quite a bit these last 12 months, pounded her temples with her open palms and exclaimed, “Why does everything have to be so hard?!!!”

Good question I thought. But I had a better question.

“Why does everything have to be so easy?”, says I.

Well, this kind of ended that conversation and began a new one.

Why do we think the easy road is better? Why do we want something for nothing? Why is taking our lumps in life no longer a virtue?

Particularly when we both know, Mrs. Swaim and I, that difficulties in life are what make us stronger, and more resilient, and better able to handle future adversity. The things we all want for our kids, the truly valuable no short cut things, the kinds of things you send them to college to cultivate. We were balking. She had an opportunity to acquire some real-world skills. Like Maturity.

Why does everything have to be so easy?

I think we are far too easy on ourselves. And yes, I include myself in this assessment. More often than not, hard work, perseverance and constraints produce amazing results. We all know it. But given the chance, we want the easy way out.

To be truly healthy and to truly flourish requires that we take the tricky road. The more difficult road. The more rewarding road. The valuable way.

I know of very few easy roads that produce anything of value.

So next time you find yourself wondering why everything has to be so hard, maybe take the next step and ask yourself why everything has to be so easy.

Make the tough choice.

I promise, I will do the same.



PS- Abbey actually chose to thrive during this time, all I can say is, she didn’t learn it from me!

Cheers again.

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Carla J Gardiner says
    Mar 26, 2021 at 4:03 PM

    I love everything about this post. All I can say is welcome to real life. I've graduated and am teaching life from The School of Hard Knocks. Entry is free and so is the know what that means, lol

    • says
      Mar 26, 2021 at 10:57 AM

      Carla, We always love it when you chime in. Very insightful and there is no doubt that you are probably the best teacher in the school. Free? We'll listen!! Cheers!

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