A Price for Greatness.

There's an old saying that has been around, well, since I can remember. There are about a hundred variations of it, but the one I like best goes, "nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort." Or, you know, something like that.
And it's had me thinking for the past few days about effort. How much do we expect to put into something? How much is too much? And most relevant to today's blog entry: do we honestly, really, expect to put in real work when we want something? I think not. At least for me. I am learning something about myself lately and that is that most days I have a tendency to wake up in the morning and expect my day to be easy. I will wake up on time, get to work, have a low-key kinda day, not hit any traffic on the way home, come home to a spotless house and make a delicious meal that I will absolutely not ruin even though I've never made it before, and curl up in a little ball with some hot tea and read a book with my cat at my feet and the dog patiently spooned to my belly. I literally expect that, every single day.
Here is, however, what really happens more often than not: I wake up to my cat essentially sitting on my face. I had no idea I have slight allergies to her until I am literally inhaling her belly hair and my eyes are welling up and watering *Ah-Choo!* I hit the snooze button on the phone alarm that I desperately need to update since the song now just makes me wake up angry for being played out (however I haven't changed it in 6 months anyway), but Newps has vetoed my decision and decided that I ought to have fed her already. I get up and meander over to the closet where her food is kept, feed the beast, and open my blinds in an effort to tell my brain to get with the program. Bathroom- straighten only the front part of my hair and put the rest up because I am too lazy/uninteresting/running late to actually make myself look presentable today. Stare in the mirror and wonder when my hair is going to look healthy again after the brutal beating I put it through last year. I brush and floss my teeth, spray myself in the face with a Vitamin C spray that I'm hoping will help me look less tired, and wander into my room to pick out something to wear. Look at the clock and wonder how it just took me ten minutes to get my ass out of bed. Get dressed, debating whether to wear Ugg boots again or step it up a notch with heels. Decide on heels to make up for my Ragtop hairdo. Messy=Undone in the fashion world, thankyouverymuch, Pinterest. Make lunch and Chai Tea, drive to work. Work. Eat lunch at my computer. Get a call from a customer who clearly doesn't understand the concept that men and women are equals. Count the minutes until 415 and leave as the clock turns to it. Drive home, singing along with my radio and dodging glances from people who catch me in the act. Pride myself on the fact that I know all the words to Bust a Move, then realize that I am the whitest person I know. Get home and have an attack of OCD which causes the very first thing I do when I arrive to be tidying up stuff that isn't even a big deal. Take a short shower and make dinner. Try a new recipe, completely biffing it and having to scoop carrots out because I added them at the wrong time. Eat. Dog proceeds to jump on me throughout the entirety of my arrival and meal. Try to snuggle with her on the couch but every time the cat goes through the dog door she jumps off the couch to investigate. Roommate comes home, we chat, I go to bed while watching a documentary that gives me nightmares about the dangers of eating Tyson Chicken. Welcome to my life.
All self-mocking aside, I wonder what life would be like if I started expecting it to be as it is. What if we woke up every morning with the expectation that today will not be easy? Today, dear self, is going to be an uphill battle. And rather than be frustrated that things are, you know, what they are- we prepare ourselves for that imperfection and steady our ground. I don't mean to say that we should be pessimists, only that we be realists and be aware that a day will almost certainly bring challenges along with its gifts. And, as I have mentioned several times, challenges are a good thing. They make us stronger. Rather than ignore their existence, I think it's wise to look out for them on the horizon with a tucked chin and a smile. "Oh hello, I thought I might find you here. Bring it on!"
Don't expect it to be easy. Because your life should be great, and I hear nothing ever really great came without working for it.


Average Joe said...

It's important to have something to look forward to every single day. Even if it's as simple as the lunch you made, the book you have waiting for you at home, or the new recipe you're dying to try out. Expectations are what you make of them. If you want to have a good day, then alter your perception to a positive one, and your day will be great (better than good).

I'd still smoke you at "bust a move."

Megan McCrindle said...

I didn't mean to say be a pessimist. I meant to look forward to the challenges of the day instead of dodge them. It's actually an optimistic viewpoint, if you see it the way I do.

But yes, it's important to have positive things to look forward to as well.