THE THING IS #26
Don’t you love the beginning of something? A relationship, a new hobby, a new home, a new car. It gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, lifts your spirits and gives you an energy that lights up your face. It’s a beautiful feeling, many of us love this feeling of new and exciting. The end has a different feeling to it. Mostly nostalgic, sometimes regret, but it gives you an energy too. The middle? Well that’s a whole different beast.
The thing is, the middle is tough. The middle is the longest. The middle can sometimes feel like a hamster wheel of never-ending ups and downs. The middle is where many of us give up on a career, a business, a relationship, a lifestyle, because it’s not how it felt at the beginning. It’s the same with raising a child. The beginning is exciting, then reality hits us and the middle is a rollercoaster, then they are 18 and leaving our homes and the end feelings kick in.
So how do we enjoy the middle more? I think it comes with acknowledging that the middle is the part where the learning, growth, and work is done. It’s the part where we need to be patient, caring, empathetic, and mindful of our emotions so we aren’t becoming resentful or hardened from what life has put on our path to deal with. I think it’s the time we need to give ourselves, our partners, our kids and our expectations of them a little bit of slack. I am in no way saying you should tolerate a crappy situation, but if you honestly love your partner, your job, your business and you are having a rough time – know it’s all part and parcel of being in the middle and take a breath.
Let’s face it, the reason we don’t enjoy the middle some days is because it’s not how we expected it to be, our expectations or wish is that life will feel like the beginning forever. It’s completely unrealistic.
The middle is where you see people lose themselves, or become someone they are not because they have been put in so many challenging situations and it’s really sad.
I read a story once where a grandmother put three pots of boiling water on the stove. She filled one with eggs, one with carrots, and one with coffee beans. She explained that even though all had to face the same problem – boiling water, each of them reacted differently.
The carrot seemed strong, but with pain and adversity (boiling water) it wilted, became soft and lost its strength. The egg that had a soft heart, hardened. The coffee bean, became better and changed the situation.
We all experience boiling water in our lives, the key is not to get soft and give up, and not to get hard and uncrackable, but to be like a coffee bean, and become better from being put in boiling water (facing adversity).
To keep the feeling of beginning in your life and get out of the middle blues, there is only one solution. Make the effort. Try new things, give more things a go, and go places you’ve never been before, and enjoy the middle for what it is – the most important and longest years of your life.