A few nights ago, I was out to dinner with a friend who is going through a hard time, and he said something very simple but wise:

“No matter how much I want to, I can’t fast forward through this.”

We all have things we want to fast forward through. The slog of climbing the corporate ladder. The search for Mr./Mrs. Right. The pain of a breakup. The grief of mourning. Whatever they might be, we can’t hurry up and skip the hard parts of life. And I think knowing that makes them more bearable, in a way. There’s a sort of freedom and relief in acceptance. We can’t fast forward, but we’ll still get to the other side, or wherever we’re going, one day at a time.

9 responses to “Bearing the hard parts of life”

  1. Shari Avatar

    So true. “One day at a time” can feel impossible – I know it did for me during the horror of last year – but when going through something difficult, we need that. We need the time to process, to learn, and to come out stronger. Fast forwarding would be easier, but it wouldn’t be better.

  2. Sonje Avatar

    That’s a great line. It’s going to stick with me.

  3. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    And, no matter how much you want to, you can’t slow down the good parts either. I remember times when I said to myself, “Hey, pay attention to this. Enjoy it, because it won’t last forever.”

  4. Pseudo Avatar

    ; -) Thank-you for the card. You are too sweet and all kinds of awesome.

    And yes. The hard part sucks, but it gets us to the other side. I think if one fast forwards, those hard things will just show up in another way.

    We are calling it a shift these days in our house.

  5. Pseudo Avatar

    PS Are you on FB? My daughter just posted the greatest photo ever there.

    These days, the unbloggable at home is shifting towards a better place; yet my wonderful principal got promoted last year and our new one is absolutely awful. Worst boss I have had in 20 years. Sigh.

  6. Juliann Wetz Avatar

    I love this line. My brother is going through a hard time (divorce) right now. I want to fast forward for him, but instead just sit and listen. I am comforted by the fact that he knows this is a transition time in his life and that things will get better.

  7. Kristan Avatar

    “Fast forwarding would be easier, but it wouldn’t be better.” – Exactly.

    Yes, good point!

    Yep, I’m on FB! Sorry about your new boss… :( Leadership makes such a difference. (But coworkers can help make up for it!)

    Listening is so important. Sometimes I think I have to have the right words to fix things, and I forget that my ears are as powerful (if not more so) than my mouth.

    And yes, “transition.” That’s exactly it.

  8. Julia Avatar

    Laughter and wine are like mini fast forwards. Or brief respites from the pain. Or small flickers of light in the center of darkness. Or, or, or,…choose your analogy. The point is, although we can’t skip the hard parts, sometimes we can make them a little less hard.

  9. Kristan Avatar

    “The point is, although we can’t skip the hard parts, sometimes we can make them a little less hard.”

    And a very good point that is.