23 March 2023

____________ is hard...

Were I the kind of guy who took risks on having huge amounts of tat manufactured and then tried to sell the tat at profit I would totally have hundreds of miniature whiteboards made with "________ is hard" written on them. It's a genius parody of all those secret vision boards that shallow airheads pin pictures of lambos and mansions onto. We could just single out the thing that we're struggling with and write it in the space provided.

Your amateur "is hard"-er could start easy with "life". Almost always true from a subjective point of view, everyone's life literally is hard, from where they're sitting. The feeling that "Everything is fine" is only ever a transient moment, as the words in the ring remind us "This too shall pass". The feeling that our life is a vista of dark, forbidding woods, unsettled waters, and threatening, all-consuming tundra would appear to be our natural state of being, scanning for threats, mentally rehearsing worst-case scenarios.

However, to someone accustomed to our natural anxiety spelling out that "life is hard" is, therefore a tautology, unhelpful and banal. So, we might re-consider, attempt to trap one of our difficulties on our miniature whiteboard. Name the demon and thus entrap it within our cutesie-poo dry-wipe summoning board.

"Parenting" is something else we could say is hard. In fact, I often think that people often look with pity upon their fellows in the midst of a small human rearing exercise. There's been a current cultural movement to actively excuse people from being entirely on-point with regards housework etc. when they are attempting to usher the next generation into civilised society (which civilised society they have in mind is a tricky one to answer at this stage in history).

The thing is "sailing around the world alone on a yacht" is equitably hard, as parents and lone sailors evince a similar level of habitual bedragglement and mental wear and tear. The way we treat our intrepid maritime adventurers however is entirely different to the parents. Who cares if there's a small pile of clothes forgotten in the corner of a maritime adventurer's berth? These people are heroes! They have achieved! They must be celebrated!

The reasons for this are easily hidden in fallacies of common experience and perceived social good. Make no mistake if an experience makes you look and feel like someone who's just sailed their own course round Cape Horn then you probably are worthy of the same amount of kudos. So, yeah, don't let those others belittle your efforts "Parenting is hard" and you shouldn't let that get you down, you're doing a bang up job.

Of course, one of the reasons that parenting gets on the board is that being a parent inevitably means thinking of something other than what's best just for you right now. In fact, that's one of the challenges of being any kind of caregiver. So, just once in a while you might want to get hyper-specific and put "Updating my blog" on the whiteboard. Not because you don't have anything to say but just because you have been so busy and finding time to spew verbiage into the journal is a challenge that escapes your grasp.

So there you have it. A profound moment of homespun philosophy reduced to a snivelling, self-pitying shaggy dog story of an excuse. "Apologising for not updating the blog no one reads" would have to go on the whiteboard in really small letters which would probably indicate that you've skewed the specificity far to far into the particular zone. So, probably best to stop there.