I’m curious about what ‘easy’ means to me. You know the expression, ‘easy street’, the place we are all hoping to get to? But I’m very aware that right now I’m doing things that are hard and challenging. Uncomfortable. A stretch.
They are also important. They are the sorts of things that matter to me.
In my mind, hard is something to be endured. And you only endure it so that you can get to the otherside. So that easy can come back.
I confess to approaching child birth that way. “ I can do anything for 24 hours (or so), I can endure that and hey, I get a baby at the end!” Just get through it and the reward is waiting for you. Easy returns.
Right now I’m biking to work every day. In Victoria that might make me look like a green advocate, but it really is just an aging me deciding it is better to take care of my body now rather than have medical intervention later. There are a few hills to get there, and there is a big long one to get home. Biking up that hill is so painful. It is so hard. It makes my legs burn and my lungs ache I’m sweating and panting and I keep wanting to just quit and walk the bike or take the car next time. But I don’t walk the bike. And each day I decide again not to take the car. I’m not quitting. It is hard. It is painful. But I choose to do it daily.
Doing the hard thing, on purpose has made me think about a few things. The first is-if it matters to me, I will do anything. So if taking good care of my aging container of a body matters, I’m willing to struggle on that hill daily.
The second thing I discovered? Hard doesn’t have to be so hard. My bike, which I hardly ever rode before this, has lots of gears. I can down shift on that hill to a 1 or 2 and it is relatively easy to pedal. I’m not covering ground rapidly, but I get to the top of the hill every time. Of course, just after I crest the hill inevitably at least 1 other biker speeds by me like I’m standing still, but I’m so proud every time I make it. I’m so thrilled with low gears that make it possible for an out of shape me to do the hill.
I’m noticing that this might be a good metaphor for other places in my life.
What else haven’t I been pursuing because I thought it was hard?
And the second thing I wonder is: Where in my life could I be giving myself the wise gift of a lower gear? There’s no race, and I don’t need to be the fastest. I just want to get to the top of my hill.