The Going

On my way home this evening, I saw a sign in front of a building that read, “If the going gets easy, you might be going downhill.”

I chuckled to myself, since I’d realized — mere seconds before — how tense I was. Something isn’t right these days, and I can’t really place my finger on it.

Perhaps I’m not meant to instantly work through my tension, as maybe it’s meant to linger and be a catalyst for change — change which might be hard, change which will be anything but easy. Perhaps I’m supposed to learn how hard the going really can be, and perhaps I’m meant to learn more about being truly thankful.

We might have it easier than many in the world, but that doesn’t mean that our own challenges don’t present unique mountains to climb. Our own mountains might seem easy to some, but “difficult” is all relative. Given our backgrounds, our experiences and our knowledge, we might not be able to handle someone else’s mountain. Similarly, they wouldn’t be able to handle ours, either.

If the going gets easy, the challenges stop. The learning stops. The understanding and appreciation of trials and tribulations will stop, because there will simply be no more. A cake walk might be perceived as one’s final day — the final day when you exhale and look back across a lifetime and see your peaks and valleys clearly illuminated.

Easy? Nothing is ever easy. If not one’s final day, a cake walk might also be perceived as a life where everything is done for you. And, truthfully, there’s death in that, too.

Tonight I am thankful for the going and its occasionally tough-natured temperament. I’m thankful for all the lessons it bestows, and for those days when the going isn’t necessarily easy — but just a little less bumpy. The sign was a nice reminder to not seek the easy, but to never lose sight of the learnings.

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