It’s Too Hard

StairsIt’s too hard…

Have you ever said that? Have you ever thought that? Did it stop you from doing whatever you had set out to do?

Someone I know said that about a project they had attempted recently and it did stop them. The project has never been completed and they still say it’s too hard to make another attempt.

At the time the weight of what they said, the consequences didn’t really sink in because they had said it before about other projects. It’s just something some people say but in the end these ‘too hard’ things always manage to get done. So I assumed they would just have to work up to completing something they thought was initially too hard or impossible to do.

It wasn’t for me to tell them they needed to quit bitching and moaning and just do it. Just start. Easiness is overrated.

It wasn’t until I came to my own ‘too hard’ moment a couple of weeks later that I realized how attractive giving up is. How alluring. How destructive.

I was redoing the flooring on the landing and stairs leading to the basement. The landing was covered with vinyl tile from the 1960s and pretty much cemented in place. The same stuff was in our kitchen and it was a bitch to get up. But we finally removed it so I knew this 3′ x 3′ section would come up too. I was just having trouble getting started because none of the tile was loose or cracked.

That’s when I heaved a sigh, threw down my screw driver, and thought, “This is too hard. I’ll never get these tile up.”

I sat there a moment in disbelief. I know things can be hard to do, some harder than others, but almost nothing is impossible if you’re able to think you’re way around what stands in your way. And really, given enough time and effort I don’t think anything is impossible, home improvement wise anyway.

And yet it would have still been so easy to give up and walk away. Leave the basement stairs unfinished. It would have been easier to live with the guilt and shame of not completing a project than actually finding a way to remove the tile.

Let me tell you that scared the hell out of me. If I could cave, compromise after all the years I’ve fought against such behavior then it could happen to anyone. It could still happen to me. All it would take would be two or three times of believing something was too hard. I wasn’t up to the task. I’m not strong enough and then stopping.

But, see, I think of all the times I wanted to do that and I didn’t because I knew I would be so miserable. I would be even less happy than I was doing the ‘too hard’ thing. I would become a person I could never respect or even like.

It’s okay to think and maybe even say something is too hard, but don’t – do not – let it stop you from completing the project, reaching your goal, or living through some shitty circumstance out of your control. Because what is too hard today will become easier as long as you keep working at it and don’t give up.

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