Doing things the easy way

 

I well remember as a young girl, frequently getting a gentle ticking off for taking short cuts, doing things the easy way. If I did, I wasn’t aware of any conscious decision to be lazy. I was probably just either tired or trying to keep up with other people.

On the other hand, I have the distinct impression that for many years, I made my life impossible: by doing subjects at University for which I had little natural aptitude, by trying – and failing – to do the things that others would do, and then giving up on all of life as simply too much like hard work… By refusing to do things I enjoyed, and tolerating mediocrity and poverty of expectation in a host of ways.

And lately, in the course of much of the last decade of life, by attempting to write, to edit and get published a whole body of work, big and small. That none of this has been easy, and I am still here and more hopeful than ever, I find immensely encouraging. It seems that the more I attempt difficult or different things, the more confident I become that attempting them is always worthwhile and that failure… Well, failure isn’t really the point.

The point is to learn, and in that process to hone down our preferences into those things we enjoy doing, and those we would much rather not. Even this is not so simple, though, is it? Because there is a whole host of tasks that are neither easy nor difficult that we have to do, but which we would probably rather not, as well as jobs that, if we attempt them, we may learn to love….

Thanks for reading.

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