It’s funny, or maybe just a sign of the times that a number of people—including myself—have asked this very question. You work hard, you try to play by the rules, and you try to treat others fairly, but it just doesn’t seem to get any easier. Why?
What would easier be like, anyway? I suppose my job could be easier—like the guys working on an assembly line fifty years ago; there’d be no need to think, just repeat the same motions over and over. Boooring!
Maybe easier means that I’d make more money and could afford to buy the boat I’ve always wanted. But is there ever enough money? I read about the billionaires do all kinds of outrageous things to make even more or to pay less taxes. Even when you have billions, it still isn’t enough.
Maybe easier means that I’d have more free time in the evening and on weekends so I could—what? I’m not the type to sit still and watch a lot of television. Maybe I would putter around with my various projects, like when my dad retired. He puttered around the house, eventually got everything just the way he wanted, then he and mom would sell the house and move so he could start over. I don’t like to putter that much.
The problem is that easier doesn’t really exist. Things change but we never see it as easier. When we were young we couldn’t wait to be adults, because we knew life would be better. It wasn’t, in fact, we’re paralleling the much of what we experienced back then.
THEN: The school project that is coming due that I haven’t done or really even gotten started.
NOW: Income tax time
THEN: Agonizing over acne and waiting for that growth spurt that will make me tall and thin.
NOW: Agonizing over wrinkles and grey hair, and hoping I don’t gain any more weight or lose any more height.
THEN: Being overly concerned about how the other kids treat me.
NOW: Being overly concerned about how my own kids treat me.
Easy? No. Different? Yes. Better or worse? Whichever I choose.
Steve, in your wonderful humor one can find great profundity. Your theme that life, living, being and doing is not easy and does not get easier is as true today for us as it was 2000 years ago when Jesus spoke to us about it saying something like life is not easy but it can be made simple.
Therein lies the answer and solution to what is known as “the good life.”
Simplify and simplicity. And, WE make our lives unnecessarily complex and complicated.
A longtime friend and I get together for a few shots of To-Kill-Ya and we almost always end up talking about his anxieties insofar as new bids for his classic car collection insurance policies, what’s going on with his rental properties and renters, and/or tax strategies for the upcoming year. He even has a bit of angst about winning our upcoming doubles tennis match. His wife, Karen, claims the only time he gets a bit of peace and solace is when I go over with a bottle of tequila and a couple of beers–and we talk about our good old days when we washed lab bottles for $3.65 an hour.
Here’s the kicker. One would think that my friend is bucks up with all these
so-called assets. Yet, the only way he can have a classic car collection is to have rental properties. But it’s the rental issues that is causing him so much
anxiety. I told him to simplify: Get rid of everything that is complicating is life.
Then, he could enjoy what he really loves…tennis…whether we win or not.
Steve, is it not an individual’s perception of easier going to come from the expectations of easier from well founded or not. I suspect simpler is better. Personally. Ground Hog Day may be easier for some to comprehend. The only constant is change and many do not want to acknowledge that fact. I’ll bet even you will miss running to the soccer tournaments when the kids are out of the house. I enjoy reading your blog. 73 OM