Someone once said that life is the hardest thing you'll ever live. I remember that statement being met with the response: life is the longest thing you'll ever live. I'm not sure who first said the former, or where the person got it from that repeated it to me, but whoever was first is deserving of the Insight of a Lifetime Award.
Life is hard. Damn hard. I've even shared with my children how hard life can be, because I don't want them to grow up believing that everything will always come to them like it appears to do now. For them, dinner is a given, shoes that fit are given, clothes that aren't busted up are a given, bicycles, skates, Wii consoles, toothpaste, and the list continues. I want them to know that all those provisions took time, effort and money on somebody's part. That there aren't any magicians living in our home and that, in reality, magic ain't real.
This commentary is about to become one of reciting the proverbs of others because, once again, I'm reminded of the words of my son's former martial arts instructor: A person will do more to escape pain than gain pleasure. Damn, that was insightful. So insightful, I never forgot it. It'll actually come in handy as I move into the last months of my current pregnancy. It'll serve as a reminder that instead of running from the pain of childbirth, I should embrace it so that I overcome it.
But back to life and its ability to kick ass and take numbers. Life is hard, I'll say it again. Life doesn't think in terms of what's fair. Life has no time for whining and complaining. Life wants nothing to do with equal opportunity. Life doesn't care if you cry or break down. And every day, like clockwork, it waits for that ass to step out of bed so that it can show you what it's made of and, in the process, show you what you're made of--or not.
If nothing else, it is consistent. But life doesn't have to be as hard as we think. When we start putting in the work from the giddy-up and thinking before we react, we'll see that life is like anything else--when you try to skirt the important things, you end up back at the starting position. Too many times, instead of learning from our first excursion, we set out again and again with no provisions: no food, no water, no shelter and expect that this time around we'll make it before we get hungry, before we thirst, before we need shelter from the elements. In essence, we don't learn because we're still trying to do this hard life the easy way.
In the words of an old drill sergeant of mine: piss poor planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on my part. And that we can take to the bank as it applies not just to the lessons imparted by this drill sergeant, but to this thing called life--which, according to Prince, is a mighty long time.