Challenges Are Sometimes Sweeter

I had lunch with a friend who is permanently moving to Ottawa with her husband for a career opportunity, a move closer to family and simply a change because it’s time. As she reflected on her thirteen years in Regina, she admitted there were challenges but even the challenges made the experience of living here better.

Challenges enhance gratitude

I believe that if we work super hard at something and get the desired result, we are more happy with the result. It just tastes damn better.

In university I took a class in theory and criticism with the English department. I was initially counselled not to take it. The admissions counsellor said there was a lot of writing (this is funny to me now) and that it was too difficult for me academically. However, I’m a stubborn mule. I went against his suggestion. He didn’t lie. It was a very difficult course. The professor was intense and so was the class. I was getting 80s and 90s in the visual arts with little effort. I finished this class with a grade just under 70%. However, my final mark felt like the gold medal in the Olympics or a Medal of Valor. Even though it didn’t meet the required average for the faculty I was in I didn’t care. I had worked so hard, learned so much and was pleased that I not only passed but earned a mark that was acceptable to me.

Work to become, not to acquire.

Elbert Hubbard

The above quote by Elbert Hubbard reminds me of my biggest and clearest lesson where hard work and expectations meet head on to create gratitude. I challenged myself to do something I found very difficult, to improve myself and with struggle. That victory was so much sweeter. Albeit others may not have seen it as a success I sure did.

If we want something and it falls into our lap with little effort we are happy at first but I believe that eventually we take the success for granted or perhaps we are disappointed when the next project isn’t received as well. This is all to say I don’t mind working hard during the day at the high school and then coming home and working some more on writing or waking up Saturday morning to write or taking my laptop on a trip to do some work.

It’s worth it.

*previously written in parts in December 27, 2015

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