Endurance is a Beauty

Things always taste better when they are cooked slowly.

My friend, Charles, from South Carolina

This post idea started in the car with a friend. She told me about someone she knew who was having trouble sleeping—their head spinning at bedtime. They went to the doctor to get meds to help them relax. My friend suggested guided meditation and relaxation apps. But he wanted something right now.

Noooooo! Don’t take the pills! I thought and then I did what I do—I ranted.

I’ve been listening to this woman named Sarah Blondin on an app called Insight Timer. She has this twenty minute story called A Walk in Nature. It starts out with all these kind terms of endearment where she tells me what a good job I’ve done today and how I deserve my rest. Her voice is like molasses and she’s so calm and soothing. I honestly don’t know what happens in the story because I usually fall asleep about five minutes in to the twenty minute telling! It’s the sweetest thing. Bedtime stories are not just for children they are also for big kids like me! Even on days where my head is like a spinning hamster wheel and sleep feels like it may never come Sarah gets me as far as the tall grass at the marsh with her bedtime story and sultry voice.

And you know what, if I went to a doctor and said I can’t sleep and she gave me pills I’d still get the same outcome. I’d end up sleeping but I’d miss out on this audio pleasure and Sarah Blondin’s magical voice. Honestly, I love it.

Work is worth it

This fella wanted a quick fix. He didn’t want to figure it out—why was he having trouble sleeping? He just wanted to sleep. He didn’t want to gear down into sleep. He wanted it right away and easy. No work. Just take the pill.

But harder, or at least working for something, is more beautiful sometimes. I got the gift of Sarah Blondin’s voice from my not so sleepy bedtime. She eased me into slumber. She’s awesome. He doesn’t know what he’s missing. My friend agreed as I ranted.


Why don’t people like working (and I don’t mean a job)? Why do they have to have a thing right now! Why do they feel lazy about experience? Why can’t they find pleasure in the process? I mean, that is what life is about, moving from one task to another.

Ordinary work

I actually enjoy cleaning my home. It’s the one task that shows immediate results. After a few hours of doing I can sit back and proudly see the fruits of my dusted labour. It feels good.

I’ve also enjoyed weeding this summer. I get my hands in the earth and just listen to the buzz of the neighborhood. It’s a nice process. I mean the alternative would be to bitch about it and that’s not cool. I don’t want my bitchy energy all over the new clover. I also don’t want to spray chemicals so I consciously enjoy.

Does a tomato grown by me taste better than one in the grocery store that was grown elsewhere and hauled across the country? Yes! Of course it does! I put that little plant in the ground and weeded it, watered it, took care of it. It was work and it was worth it. It was not immediate but it was such a pleasure of participating in being human, using my body (thank you body) and my brain (insert more gratitude here). It’s the process.

The same goes for nature

There are two ways to get to Angel Falls, Venezuela. You can take the three day jungle adventure or the 30 minute helicopter ride. I picked the three day adventure, sleeping in the jungle in hammocks. I would not change that for the helicopter ride, ever.

It’s work, seeing our world, and it takes time to get to the summit or the end of the trail but all the gorgeous things our eyes see, our nose smells, our ears hear–to be dropped off at the end without the work, just to see the view seems like a sad bypass to something we should really fully experience as humans on this planet.

A long hike

I went on an incredibly long hike. Into the woods. Alone—maybe not the best idea. I did it a few years back (19.5 km one way). I chose to hike it all in one day. I was exhausted and the next day my body ached. Like really ached. The young woman who served me my well deserved breakfast of avocado, eggs, hash browns, toast and bacon said she loved using her body and that when she felt the ache of a long hike it reminded her she was alive and grateful for it. What a necessary thing for me to hear that morning, that the agony my body was feeling was part of the process I endured of every step I took on that journey.

What’s the rush?

I like preparing food and cooking. I have friends who just want to throw things in the oven and go. What’s the rush? Why not enjoy that pleasure too? Is there somewhere they have to get to? And if so, is that something so incredibly necessary that it’s taking away from another potentially beautiful process?

I’d toss a cliche in here saying that life is more about the journey than the destination but I’d hate for any of you to gag!

But it’s true. It’s 100% true.

I’m sure there are examples or moments where immediate gratification beats the steady roll of a process but that may also be the story we tell ourselves because we haven’t paused long enough to seek the pleasure in that process.

I think about all the times in my life where I had a long and arduous journey and somehow at the end of it there was a greater satisfaction than when things just fell in my lap. And let’s be real here. Even the things that seem to have fallen in this “said lap” were often proceeded by a long haul before that so called magical moment.

And the long haul, that road of work is almost always more beautiful.

So, take the scenic route. Simmer the sauce. Smell the flowers. Breathe in the air. Open your eyes. Turn up the volume. Listen. It’s worth it.

The best view comes after the hardest climb.


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