Is Life Hard?

My friend Jeff Nischwitz posted the following on LinkedIn today:

“When I hear somebody sigh that “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?” Sydney J. Harris.  I’ll also add this question: Who said it’s hard or that it has to be hard? Perhaps we make it hard by buying into this story. Certainly life has challenging moments and situations, but is it really designed to be hard? I don’t think so.

His post got me to thinking about whether life is really hard?  God had Adam and Eve running around the Garden of Eden butt-naked, so I am unable to believe He designed life to be hard.

Challenging Moments?

Have I experienced challenging moments the past 4 years starting with Joe’s passing?  The answer is an emphatic NO!

With the exception of Step-Father’s move to heaven at a ripe old age, the following have been beyond  hard or challenging.  In fact the best word I found is oppressive (M-W.com’s # 1 definition -“Unreasonably burdensome or severe”):

  • Joe’s move to heaven.
  • Step-Father’s move to heaven.
  • Joe’s former boss and dear, dear friend moved to heaven.
  • Step-Mother moved with Dad following 6 months and 1 day after her.
  • Other people from Joe’s family who have since moved to heaven.

So there has been a lot for me to try and comprehend.  There are moments when all makes sense and then there are moments where I say “I do not get it.”

Job Loss

Oppressive also describes feeling about my job loss.  However, in this case I will use Merriam-Webster’s 3rd definition:

“Overwhelming or depressing to the spirit or senses.”

Cutting through all the muck and mire of the job search has been depressing to my spirit and senses because of the overwhelming work involved. There’s the resume, networking, LinkedIn, networking, cover letters, networking, Twitter, networking, business cards and did I mention networking yet?  Then there is all the research on companies and interviewers needing done before meeting with them.

They Are Only Events

While these events have been oppressive, they are only events.  Life is made up of more than hard, challenging or oppressive events.

Some Of The Good

During the last 4 years, I started 2 blogs, made new friends, worked through grief, became a facilitator of a grief support group, got back into photography, went back to reading books more and watching TV less, joined a prayer ministry group, participate in online career chat forums, and helped cut down 3 pine trees in my backyard. (They are easy to take down, it is making bundles no more than 6ft long and 4 ft high that are a hassle.)

These are just some of the good events and along with other ones they are enough to make me say:

It’s been a fascinating 4 years in which I have experience a lot (both good and bad) and grown by leaps and bounds as a person.  

Career/Life Advice

Do not let a death, job loss, or other negative event define your whole life, they are oppressive events but they will pass. While you are trudging through the muck and mire of a bad life event, remember to look for the joy in your life.  Even in the midst of times of trouble it is there.

Life will only be hard if you focus on oppressive events and let them dominate your life.