About having a hard time

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 8:00 PM | comments: 0

In the last two weeks, I've started and deleted three different blog posts about various things that I'm having a difficult time with. They're some combination of being sick, struggling to be a parent and work wearing on me a bit relative to the rest of life. The delete button came as soon as I started to proofread a paragraph or two. I said to myself, "Dude, this is not suffering. There are 800k people not getting a paycheck right now. What right do I have to complain about anything?"

There are really two things at play here. The first is that we filter ourselves online. I try not to do this, because I'm so not interested in using the Internet as a platform to establish a persona. I write in part to create a record of life, the good and the bad. But I realize to an extent that there's an analog precedent for this as well. In broader social circles, you don't typically complain about life or express discontent because no one wants to be around that. That's not to say that you don't confide with close friends, but you don't sit down for lunch and explain the depths of your challenges with six people.

The second thing we do is invalidate our feelings because of the idea that we can't feel something because, relative to some standard or other people, it's "not that bad." For me I conflate the standards with the things I have. I have the unreasonable feeling that since I have an amazing wife and a lovely house, I can't feel stress or or pressure. But the presence of positives does not cancel out the hard things. Life is still hard even if it's harder for others or there are things that might mitigate the pain.

So I've had a tough couple of weeks. It's not my problem if you think I'm not entitled to that. (Smile emoji or whatever.)


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