Almost every night, I rollerblade along the beach. The predominant wind is at my back as I head out down the boardwalk, pushing me along. It’s like flying, no effort. But then the sidewalk ends, and it’s time to skate into the wind. The flying is done. Now it’s all work, all effort, and I can only think how nice it would be without that stiff breeze.
There are so many things like that in life, where you’re propelled effortlessly in one direction, then you have to work hard in the other. In high school, English and history were fun. I could have sat in those classes all day. Math was not fun. It was something I had to do, found no joy in doing and wished I could have given up.
I still regret that in my last year, I could have bailed out of math. I had enough credits or whatever was needed to get into my college without another year of whatever type of math class I took and have long since forgotten. OK, imaginary numbers I recall as being kind of cool. But I knew back even then that math wasn’t going to be for me. It was a year of hard hard hard that I wished I didn’t have to do.
There are silly things. I remember once eating a TV dinner in college (I was poor; I didn’t cook), and my girlfriend at the time was appalled that I ate my little chocolate dessert first, before the rest of my “meal.” Because you’ve got to eat the meal first, right? The hard stuff first. I just joked that I didn’t feel I had to follow the rules about eating my dessert last.
Easy to break the rules with a TV dinner, but there are other things you can’t shift. Like the wind. And I know, it’s supposed to be the hard stuff that makes us appreciate the easy stuff. Or lets us appreciate the easy more.
Still, sometimes on the rare occasion, I find that the wind has turned at the end of the boardwalk, and I have it at my back both ways. I savor that. And I sure hate it when the opposite happens, and it’s into the wind both ways.