We do hard things on purpose
What is the point of doing hard things? Why not just relish in the things that are good and easy and forget the hard stuff - wouldn’t that make life so much simpler?
The older (and wiser….) I get, the more I realize how much of my life has been lived in comfort. I’m finding that being naturally good at things does not build the character required to push through the hard. Innate ability is a blessing, but unchecked, it is also a curse.
We all start out doing hard things. We learn to crawl and walk and talk. Then write our names and add 1+1. We learn to read and spell. Hit a baseball, kick a soccer ball and swim a lap. But somewhere along the way, as life gets busy and we get better at doing, we (I) stopped doing the hard stuff.
Maybe that’s not actually true at all. Maybe I didn’t stop doing hard things. Maybe instead, my hard changed?
In my 36 years, I have lived through my parent’s divorce and the death of my 16 year old cousin. So hard. I worked crazy jobs trying to get into veterinary school. I went to veterinary school. I worked close to 80 hours a week, pregnant, during my internship. I’ve had three miscarriages. I’ve birthed five babies. I’m doing my darnedest to raise these babies to be kind humans. I’m building a life for my family alongside my best friend (that’s Nick, people) and trying to love him through this process.
All of this is hard. I get it. But see how it has evolved? From walking and talking to college and vet school to pregnancy and babies to life. As we age and live, our hard goes from tangible to abstract, which is so damn hard.
Today, it isn’t “get ‘er done.” It is not pushing through a 14 hour shift pregnant. It’s not finishing an internship or getting a job promotion. There is no shiny metal. There is no outward symbol. There is no title, no banner and no real acknowledgement. Today, hard is much less flashy. It is also a delayed gratification. We don’t reap what we sow or see what we will reap, until so much later.
You see, in place of accomplishments is honest conversation. In place of proving is vulnerability. In place of hustle is humility. Self-reflection has become my wicked best friend this season and I’ll tell you what: draw a circle around yourself. It is a heck of a lot harder to take a good look at what’s going on inside that circle than to point a finger out.
Grace and love and empathy and motherhood and marriage are hard. They are also beautiful, but the beauty only comes from the refining of time spent in hard places.
What I used to hold in such high regard: my doing, my accomplishing, my rank, my status, my title, are slowly becoming less and less a piece of our story. It is beautiful, but it is so hard. Sometimes, in moments of defeated exhaustion, I lament the days of old where all I had to do was get an A or work one more day. Where I secretly blamed others for my shortcomings and kept busy so I didn’t have time to reflect. But, as with all important things in life - they come with a choice. Nothing comes easy, everything has a price. The beauty is in our choice.