…but then if you are in flow and it is ‘meant to be’ it should be effortless. Goes the messages in the ‘universe’ today.
Both of these are true I reckon. But I also think there are different kinds of hard, and there is an easy-hard and a hard-hard. Probably a hard-easy and an easy-easy too, but I’ve not got that far with my train of thought.
Hard-hard would be when you have to do a thing that you just don’t want to do and there is no redeeming quality to the task and the motivation for attempting the task is a soul-sucker. For example (I bet that’s a relief, maybe you’ll have an idea what I’m on about if I give an example, huh?!) the work that I used to do to just about pay my bills, sucked my soul. I fell into administrative work when I left school, tried various alternatives including retail and hospitality, and ended up back in admin because it was slightly more lucrative than the others which meant I didn’t have to do so much of it. The extent of my job as a medical secretary was a little bit of fact-finding and detective work for patient notes and the like, but 95% of my time was typing letters from a dictation which may or may not have been clear and understandable. I did this for a good three years. It was monotonous, painful, on a temporary basis so not stable and as a temp I rarely felt part of the team, and I hated it. It made me miserable. Proper, despondent, deep misery. Other times I would dissociate from it and get to a level of acceptance which made tolerating it easier. I had no choice but to do this to pay my bills but it took everything out of me at times.
Easy-hard on the other hand, was studying for my psychotherapy degree at the same time as doing my soul-sucking typing work. It was three years (well two probably when you factor in my dissociative defence in the first year meaning I was mostly not wholly psychologically present)of deep self-learning, learning about others in the group, learning about psychotherapeutic theory (many of them) putting it into practice, seeing clients, attending class, writing assignments and juggling. Lots of juggling. When it got to writing my 10,000 word dissertation I knew I couldn’t ‘wing it’ as I have many written assignments in my life, and I planned and I started six months before the deadline and in the final months I went all in, the final week, I averaged three hours’ sleep a night but I wasn’t exhausted; I was running on adrenaline knowing I needed to get this done, I wanted to get this done, and it was a challenge, and I got bored, and I read the same sentences over and over and over, but I did it. And in good time. And I am so proud of myself. The motivation that got me through that was partly to do with the misery of my job, knowing that this was a huge stepping stone in my chances of getting away from the hospitals and restoring my soul. I also enjoyed the learning process, and the discipline of it — and now I remember that, it surprises me a little, but it would seem structure and discipline and just keeping on towards a task felt good- and the expectation of how it would feel when I am finished.
This story is again a stream of consciousness as I practice my ability to sit and write a thing that’s in my head and be courageous in putting it ‘out there’and I suppose throw caution to editing and maybe a bit of if-I-don’t-try-too-hard-and-it’s-shit-it’s-okay-coz-I-didn’t-try-properly. Hmm, kind of enlightening for me.
Discipline. I recently learned this is not what we think it is i.e. it’s not about punishment, a la, disciplining a naughty child, it’s more along the lines of learning and knowledge, and the pursuit of. I don’t know why that made such a difference to me, I suppose that’s the power of memes (!) but it did. And I set a mid-summer intention to grow my discipline. Sometimes I do okay with it, oftentimes I don’t. Here is another intention to improve some more. More writing anyway.
So, easy-easy, when you are skilled and practiced and a thing you do is comfortable and you can just get on with it and it flows. This doesn’t happen much I don’t think, because to keep motivated I feel like you still need a bit of a challenge, though a period of easy-easy is welcome to recover and re-set from a challenge. For example (again, woohoo!) eating cake. I blimmin’ love cake, it’s delicious, I can even bake a good cake, and I enjoy eating it afterwards, but on the third slice, some of the magic has gone. A lot actually. It’s no longer a delicious treat, it’s a thing I’ve had enough of, and paradoxically (?) it becomes hard to keep eating. If the cake is to be eaten after a period of eating nutritional food with less sweetness and decadence however, Oh what a treat! And it’s so easy to eat!
I feel I am getting lost in my easy’s and hard’s. My final point was hard-easy. And maybe this is the same as easy-hard? I actually got stuck here. My mind has stopped. Therefore I will stop and publish this as a sort of journal entry for me, and to respect the free-writing principles of just going with a stream of consciousness.
*and I cheated a bit and re-read it. The end mirrors the beginning in that I hadn’t completed a thought. I liked that that had happened. I don’t know why, something about consistency and trusting the process and this really being all I have to say on the matter for now.