It’s not easy, but it’s simple. I’ve heard this said a lot recently. It seems to pop up in various places. Some days I like hearing this, other days not so much.
In my pursuit for sobriety and a life well-lived, there are so many places I can insert this into my life.
In my career: Dealing with adults isn’t always easy, but it’s simple. Treat them the way I wish to be treated and never take anything personal. Set boundaries and when it doesn’t feel right, say no. Not always an easy feat, but simple.
As a parent: Raising college and high school aged children definitely isn’t easy. (Insert eye roll.). Here’s the simple part: I need to love them, teach them self-respect and to respect others, raise them to be independent adults, be nonjudgmental, always be available to listen – and pray for them daily.
As a wife: Whoa – this one isn’t easy OR simple! This is probably my hardest area. I’ve been married for 23 years to my high school sweetheart. (That makes 30 years we’ve spent together.) I’m still learning the give and take. When to speak and when to be quiet, when to help and when to leave him alone, when to worry and when to trust his knowledge. The simple part: trust that God knew what he was doing when he put us together and that His plan for us is perfect. Even on the imperfect days.
And my sobriety: Getting sober and staying that way definitely aren’t easy. Distractions, cravings, that ugly voice in my head that tells me “I’m not nearly bad as other people in AA”. Sobriety means that I have to work – not just temporarily, but every day. Every.Damn.Day. Honestly, I don’t want to have to work for it. I want the easy way out. I want the magic wand. The magic pill. Whatever magic trick that can make me “normal” again. Everything else in the past 48 years has come pretty easily for me. I’ve “educated” and outsmarted my way through most of my life. It just doesn’t work that way with addiction- ANY type of addiction. Food, alcohol, sex, drugs. I know the simple truths/steps to a sober and happy life. The only way I’ll get there – and stay there – is with work. Good old-fashioned roll-up-your sleeves and get dirty work.
This is where I decide if I want the easy way out or the right way out. The easy way out hasn’t worked. I’ve tried it – lots of times. Each time, I told myself I’d work harder than the time before. I think often times we think if we just try harder things will be different this time. It never works. I choose to work smarter, not harder. Different. To listen to those who’ve come before me and say it works. It won’t be easy, but it’s simple.