As if we don't know that.
I understand where these comments are coming from and I don't begrudge the countless people who have uttered these words to us. Heck, I'm sure I've even said them to someone before - many times in fact. But after hearing this phrase ad nauseum and having lots of time to sit and ponder (what with the polar vortex and all) I have started to really think about what it means when people say this and why it always makes me a little uneasy. And I have come to the conclusion that when people are telling us that XYZ is going to be "really hard work", what it feels like they are saying is: you should probably re-think that plan.
Lucky for me, I am the type of person who is fueled, and not dissuaded, by this sort of response. When people tell me something can't be done, or something will be "really hard", the drive within me doesn't waver at all. In fact, quite the opposite: the more someone tells me I can't, the more I actually believe that I can. I'm not sure if this is the result of my natural competitive drive or a side-effect of parents who made me believe I could do anything, but when someone puts a wall up in front of me, intentionally or not, I see it as nothing more than a challenge to overcome. I guess I should thank all the skeptics because, let's face it, nothing is more pleasurable than doing something successfully after people say you can't.
The fact of the matter is that the last three years of our life has been anything but conventional and, truth be told, we are no strangers to people telling us that what we are doing is going to be "hard". Almost every juncture of this journey has been met with skepticism. Refit a boat? Insanity. Plan a wedding AND refit a boat? Have fun. Quit our jobs, take off on a boat without a real financial plan and just head south? Nuts. Sail out to the ocean without any prior ocean experience? Better think twice. Stay on the boat while pregnant? Good luck with that. Sell your boat in this market? Impossible. Raise a baby on a boat? Preposterous. Sail offshore with a toddler? Stupid. Cruise while pregnant with twins? Unthinkable. You get the gist. So, yeah, we're no strangers to this. Every single step of the way we we have been told that what we were going to do was "really hard" (or crazy, or irresponsible, or insane...etc) and yet, we did it. All of it.
What strikes me most though, is that this is a country that really values "hard work" but it seems as if most of the people who tell us that what we plan to do is going to be "hard work", are not putting value on our work at all (and, yes, all of the above took a tremendous amount of good, old fashioned "work"). It seems that they are trying to actually dissuade us from working hard to do what we want to do, which leads me to believe that all work is not created equal.
If you work hard to get a degree, score a high-paying job and/or buy a nice home - your work is praised and you are considered a good, productive member of society. If, on the other hand, you work hard to follow your dreams, do something unconventional or attempt something that might seem extreme to others - the work is more often than not, undervalued. Why is this? I don't have the answer but it is interesting to think about.
It's a knee jerk reaction to say "wow, that'll be really hard" when someone tells you how they are going to do something that you might perceive as unnecessarily difficult, risky or maybe even impossible, but it's not helpful at all. There's a difference between "keeping it real" and being subversive. I write all the time that following dreams is not easy, that the cruising life is no walk in the park, that living on a boat full time is not for the faint of heart - but almost always, I frame it in a way that shows it can be done (and is very rewarding) but that, yes, it's going to take a little blood, sweat, and tears to get there. There is a difference.
I propose that we all try to take a moment before we blindly tell someone that their choice is going to be "really hard work" (particularly if we have zero experience with whatever it is they are proposing) and, instead, respond with something along the lines of "Wow, I'll bet that will be hard work, but SO rewarding." Doesn't that sound so much nicer? I think so.
I know that we're in for a major "about face" in our lives, I know that our future plans will have some growing pains and, believe me, I know that this next chapter in our lives will not be "easy" and might require some tweaking. We are not disillusioned (have I mentioned that I have read eighteen books on twin rearing?!) but we are up for the challenges, just like we always are. We have goals, we have plans and we are making choices to see those come to fruition. We're not sure what the future holds, but we're going to steer this ship as best we can and change tacks if and when necessary. We've got our work cut out for us and it's going to be hard work - but nothing worth doing is ever easy, right?
Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.