It wouldn’t be hard if it was easy

I know it’s not how the saying goes but yesterday I said “It wouldn’t be hard if it was easy” to myself. I’m not sure why I said it or why it came out like that. It doesn’t even make sense.

As I proceeded throughout the day, I started to think about it more. Maybe it does make some sense after all?

It’s easy to sit on the sofa and watch TV. It’s easy to order a pizza. It’s easy to grab take-out for dinner. Most of these things provide short term gratification. I’m all for a good pizza and a movie btw. Sometimes you need to do that for yourself.

But it got me thinking about the things that are supposedly good for us. Are any of them easy? For me they are not. Let’s take exercise for an example. I was never athletic. There was a short stint as a cheerleader but most of my life I could be found on the stage singing. It’s not that I didn’t try. I tried out for track, basketball, and a few other sports but I just didn’t have athletic ability (if that’s a thing). Later in life, I was determined to become someone who loved exercise. Joining gyms became like a hobby. Grabbing my headphones and boarding the treadmill was the adventure. But it was always short lived. A few months into it and that gym membership would become just another monthly bill. Another reminder of my failure as a future Jane Fonda. Although I did rock leg warmers in the 80’s.

Recently, I have downloaded apps, particularly Couch to 5K to prepare for my wedding. Something amazing happened when I used the app. I lost 20lbs. Not shockingly, when I stopped using it and came home from the honeymoon, I gained the weight back plus some.

The thing is I never liked exercise, not once, not ever. I hated going to the gym and found it hard. Getting up in the mornings to run was draining. It didn’t feel good and I was always frustrated. I waited for that runners high and the adrenaline rush everyone talked about … and it never came.

Back to my original point, was I supposed to like it? Was it ever supposed to feel easier? I don’t know. In my life the things that reap the most benefits seem to be things that require the most work. That’s a good thing though. The more work you put into something, the more you appreciate it. I will never appreciate a pizza as much as I appreciate a website that I spent months building. So maybe things that give us long term rewards are in fact supposed to be hard so we know they are worth it? Maybe things are easy to show us short term gratification? Maybe there is a difference so we can separate the long and short rewards?

You know what was hard? This week was hard. It’s been exactly one week since my last cigarette. It was hard but boy do I feel accomplished. Had it been an easy week, I may have snuck a smoke because I knew it would be easy to quit again. That’s how life works. Don’t fear the hard work, embrace the beauty it is presenting to you.

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