On Doing the Hard Things
Wednesdays are my longest days. The alarm sounds at 5:30 or 5:45 am, depending on if I need to take our dog (who is usually fighting me for pillow space) outside before leaving for the studio. Ross attempts to wake up at the same time I do...which usually means 30 minutes later, when I'm running out the door with coffee, breakfast, snacks, and lunch in hand. After an hour of the interstate, I quickly try to unpack, maybe do a quick devotion, and get mentally prepared to take Pure Barre Platform, get all the work of the day done, and plan my two evening classes. I'm at work from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm easily, and then the evening commute calls my name. Wednesday isn't the only day I keep this schedule, but it's by far my most consistent. It's a day of no breaks, a slew of meetings, and one very tired Griffin by the time I get home to prepare to do it all over again on Thursday.
There are many moments throughout the week that I think about a way to shorten my Wednesday and unload some of the things that I cram into that day onto another day of the week or weekend. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't, but all the to-dos end up finding their place in my polkadot day planner, one way or another.
Have you ever thought about how much energy we spend trying to escape the things that we deem to be difficult? I hate all kinds of doctors appointments, showering is a necessary evil, and getting dressed for anything besides a night out with my friends is the bane of my existence. And yet, I typically end up causing more pain than pleasure by offloading my responsibilities to a later date. I designed Wednesdays to be what they are because they fit my life and studio schedule the best, so fighting the system doesn't do anyone any good.
However, I think the opportunity cost is bigger than just procrastination. There's a mental fortitude that comes along with building discipline. The pain of a new workout routine builds strong muscles, the ability to resist cravings results in a healthier body, and the decision to do the hard things at the right time creates strong character. If my parents taught me one thing, it was how to wait and work for something you care about. And if your parents didn't teach you this truth, you can be sure that life will find a way.
People who know how to do the hard things are on time. They don't let their friends down because something else came up or because they don't feel like keeping a promise. They always deliver their work assignments on schedule and understand the value of having an uncomfortable confrontation. I don't think this is an ability anyone was born with; it's a skill that we all have to foster.
So, when I feel beaten down or exhausted by day to day responsibilities and stresses, I try to remind myself that this is the time where my being-a-good-human skills are being sharpened so that I can excel in other areas. No one grumbles about doing something they feel like doing, but we all have the tendency to balk when asked to do the hard things that don't sound good to us in the moment. So, what can be our motivation? Personally, I don't want to be the type of person who can't do the hard things with the a positive attitude, a willing spirit, and a clear perspective that this life isn't worthwhile without personal discipline.
This isn't to say that I don't complain about the little things because I do, far more than I'd like to admit. But, when I think about the things in my life that really need to change, this is a big one. My day to day life would be more enjoyable and would have a positive impact on my bigger circumstances if I learned how to do the little things with great love.
Sometimes the biggest shifts in perspective need to happen in the smallest areas.