Life Is Hard

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I’ve vowed to be positive, so don’t get me wrong: life is hard. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. See, we’ve been working hard on the farm. Since the snow started melting, my seven-daya week job just kept getting longer and longer. It’s a hustle in the spring to get seeds started and the garden planted, fences mended from winter’s harsh weather. Summer is a time of endless days and seven-day-work-weeks for weeks on end. Even our kids have been working hard—they don’t spend summer days lounging around the pool or the beach. They are very involved in the quantity and quality of the work we do on the farm from cleaning horse stalls to putting up hay bales. Summer is followed by fall, an equally busy season with harvesting chores and preparing for winter. But this isn’t a terrible thing. I bet Michael Phelps would say life is hard too. Bill Gates and Oprah are notorious work-a-holics as well. But I don’t think any of them believe working hard is a bad thing.

I chuckle to myself when the kids taking horseback riding lessons tell me, “but _______ (fill in the blank with whatever we’re working on) is hard”. Note they don’t usually say “too hard”, just “hard.” To which I reply: “Yes! It is hard! So let’s get practicing!”

Sometimes I have to give the pep talk to myself. When it’s 7 p.m. and I’ve been working since 7 a.m., and there are a couple more things to do and I’m dirty and tired, I try to think about all the good things about farming. Hey—I’m not sitting inside, at a desk; I am my own boss. I get to do lots of different tasks in one day; I get to bring my kids to my workplace. Just that change of focus takes me from “I’m tired and dirty” to “how great to have such a fulfilling, accommodating job.”

Maybe the connotation of the phrase “Life is Hard” can be reinvented with just a change of attitude. Let’s substitute “Life is Hard (hurrah!)” for “Life is Hard (bummer!)” What can you do to make your life a little harder?