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#MicroblogMondays 39: Too Easy

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I’m currently devouring V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, and I came across a quote that I found applicable to any struggle in life.  Kell is lamenting that the landscape of his magical world changes too quickly, and he finds comfort in a non-magical city where the buildings go up through hard work and remain for centuries.

In Red London, tastes turned as often as seasons, and with them, buildings went up and came down and went up again in different forms.  Magic made things simple.  Sometimes, thought Kell, it made things too simple.

So it’s the drawback of something coming easily: you may not appreciate the magnitude of the accomplishment.  The student who never has to study may not reach graduation with the same emotion as the student who struggles to make Bs and Cs.  Do the wealthy put the same care into their possessions knowing that they’re replaceable?

We often talk about how struggle makes you more appreciative, and certainly in the infertility community, we often attribute a commitment to parenting as stemming from how long it takes to create the family.

Do you think struggles make you more appreciate of things, or do you think it’s possible to be just as appreciative if things come easily?

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Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored posts.

1. Mali (No Kidding in NZ) 11. Mary Francis 21. My Path To Mommyhood (Jess)
2. Jen (Days of Grace) 12. Unpregnant Chicken 22. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled)
3. Rachel 13. Isabelle 23. Kasey
4. Jessica 14. Laurel Regan @ Alphabet Salad 24. Conceptionally Challenged
5. Cathy @ Stil Waters 15. The bespectacled mother 25. deathstar
6. Lori Lavender Luz 16. trendyvulcan 26. Savannah (Because I Can’t Have Babies)
7. Solo Mama 17. Daryl 27. Savannah (Countless Tomorrows)
8. illustr8d 18. Just Heather 28. Delenn
9. Persnickety 19. Good Families Do
10. Livelife 20. Cristy

 

21 comments

1 Jen { 05.25.15 at 6:14 am }

I think appreciation and gratitude are always a choice. Maybe it’s easier to choose to appreciate something more if you had to fight for it?

2 Mali { 05.25.15 at 6:24 am }

I do think that if things come easily you are more likely to take them for granted. Saving for something, waiting for it, is more delicious than an impulse buy! But on the other hand, I think those things that come easily to us can often be more closely held, become more part of our psyches, than if we had realised we may not have these things. I think of the pretty women I have known. Being pretty, looking perfect, is much more important to them, and they can’t handle the idea of losing that. I don’t identify that way, so don’t panic at the idea of losing my (cough) looks.

3 Jessica { 05.25.15 at 6:54 am }

I appreciate what I have after tasting struggles. However, there were times I wondered if a certain type of struggle was worth the effort. Struggles can make a person create their own response, which may be less than satisfactory management of the crisis.

4 Lindsay | Solo Mama { 05.25.15 at 8:33 am }

You know that feeling you get after your health finally returns after being sick for a while? And how grateful you are for your health? I think that’s evidence that trials & tribulations help us appreciate the good parts of our life more than we would if we didn’t experience adversity.

5 illustr8d { 05.25.15 at 8:33 am }

I had enough to say that it’s become my Monday post.

6 Persnickety { 05.25.15 at 8:40 am }

I do think having to work harder for something can help you appreciate it more, sometimes. But sometimes, if it is too hard it is easier not to pursue it at all and that goal is devalued.
I think sometimes the value placed on such goals can vary according to how hard you have worked for it, and that is not always good. I don’t think that going through fertility treatments will make someone a better parent simply through the virtue of struggling more for it. I do suspect it will make those people more conscious of the fragility of it, but that can be both good and bad.

7 Kaeleigh { 05.25.15 at 9:33 am }

I think working harder can build appreciation. I always had to work hard for my grades and that built up my tenacity and my work ethic. I certainly hope that having tried so hard for this pregnancy will make me a more attentive and exemplary parent. Hard to say. I do know that struggling does not mean that the painful parts still dont suck though. Like when I had to study really hard for a test while my sister cake walked through it… it still sucked that I HAD to study, but I was a better person for it. I feel like Im pregnant and I am more grateful for it than my more fertile friends but it doesnt make the morning sickness any easier I think i just appreciate it more…

8 Laurel Regan { 05.25.15 at 11:58 am }

I think it may be a little easier to take things for granted when they didn’t involve much (or any) work or struggle, but I believe it all comes down to awareness. I find keeping a gratitude list helps to remind me of all my blessings, worked-for and not.

9 trendyvulcan { 05.25.15 at 1:41 pm }

I think that for most people, you appreciate things more if they come with a struggle. I’m not sure that greater appreciation validates the struggle 🙂 but I do think it is the natural result of a more expensive experience. That being said, I don’t think it’s a hard and fast rule. Some people are naturally appreciative, for example.
Thanks, Mel 🙂 I’ve been thinking about this lately because sometimes I get upset with people who clearly don’t appreciate their kids.

10 JustHeather { 05.25.15 at 2:09 pm }

I think it is possible to be appreciative of things without the struggle (maybe you’ve seen someone else struggle…), but I think many things you need to struggle with yourself for it to be fully appreciated.

11 Shail { 05.25.15 at 2:45 pm }

It IS possible to be appreciative even if things have come easily. That’s my thinking 🙂

12 Tara { 05.25.15 at 2:48 pm }

I would RATHER get things without the struggle so I want to say that, sure, you can appreciate things without struggling for them but there is absolutely no denying that working hard and struggling to get something definitely makes me appreciate it ever so much more.

13 Cristy { 05.25.15 at 4:21 pm }

Absolutely. This is true not only with appreciation, but also with truly learning. We find that students who experience failure actually excel more than students who have constant success.

Yes, it’s much more comforting to get things without struggle. But the things and experiences that have changed and shaped me are those that involved struggle.

14 Jess { 05.25.15 at 5:40 pm }

Oh, yes. I think of when I teach the questioning strategy with reading, and how important it is to be curious and to question what you read (both for pleasure and informational/news, ESPECIALLY news). And I have noticed a change in “wondering” — now that you can easily have your question answered with google, and you have a lot of information (if not the best information) at your fingertips, there isn’t a lot of wondering happening. Because it’s too easy to find an answer quickly. I kind of have to teach my 8th graders to wonder and question even though some answers could be looked up with immediacy. Another example is EasyBib, which is great and would have saved me oodles of time in college, but allows students to create a perfectly formatted Works Cited by just inputting URLs and ISBNs. That’s it. And STILL we get Works Cited that aren’t complete or aren’t quite right. I have to say though, I don’t think I am a better person because I struggled through figuring out how to cite things using my MLA or APA manual.

I do think that struggling through something makes you appreciate it more. If you can do something effortlessly, you take it for granted. But working really hard at something, putting sweat and tears into it, that makes getting to your goal so much sweeter. (Unfortunately it’s not always true that struggling towards a goal means that you will reach that goal, but that’s another story.)

15 Jamie { 05.25.15 at 7:36 pm }

I think it depends on the person and the situation. Some people are really good at expressing regular, genuine gratitude. I admire those who can do that. Other people are very empathetic advisement of those around them and can appreciate what they have if they know of others who have not had what they have or who struggled to get it. In some ways, I think it is about awareness. And some of us learn by doing.

16 The bespectacled mother { 05.25.15 at 8:46 pm }

I think one has to have a keen eye and awareness to appreciate things coming easily but what really happens that such things are deemed to be taken for granted. So yes we tend to be more appreciative about things for which we had to struggle. I feel it is the God’s way of making us understand the importance of certain things by putting obstructions in our way and making us struggle to find them. I can’t say about others but may be yes I feel more committed to parenting with awareness because I know my child would not have been a reality if the second cycle of the fertility treatment would have also failed.

17 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.25.15 at 9:23 pm }

This is a good parenting question as well as an introspection question. What is the optimal amount of struggle (if any) to grow a kid into his/her best self?

I think there is value to struggle. Not just the appreciation but also the confidence in accomplishment.

18 Queenie { 05.25.15 at 10:22 pm }

You definitely appreciate it more when you work hard for it. People here are very poor–they value material possessions so much more than the average American, because it is so hard to come by. I do think that most stuff is pretty replaceable to most Americans, and therefore valued/appreciated accordingly. It’s not that it can’t be appreciated…we just mostly overlook the gratitude in the daily hustle.

19 conceptionallychallenged { 05.25.15 at 11:05 pm }

I think to some extent I am more grateful to be a parent to a living child after the long road it’s been. The awareness of how much I wanted this makes middle-of-the-night wakings easier. But then again, I’ve never experienced parenting any other way, so how would I know?

20 Ang aka WhiteKhocolate { 05.26.15 at 5:13 am }

Goodness, yes. Things that are easily come by are much harder to appreciate fully. Things that you fight and claw your way towards, one fingernail at a time, they are worth SO MUCH when you finally achieve them, no matter what they might be. And usually, it isn’t something material – so it is harder for others to appreciate it as a milestone than it is for ourselves to rejoice in our achievement. Especially for those for whom the material is the ultimate goal (disappointing but true).

21 Geochick { 05.26.15 at 3:50 pm }

As someone who feels like I didn’t get anything handed to me growing up or otherwise, it’s difficult to think about what it’s like for something to come easy. I guess I see value in struggle.

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