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Choosing Easy vs. Challenging

Some days, it is a war in my mind. The war isn't a new one, at least not to me. I am sure it is not a new one to anyone.

The war of doing something the easy way versus doing something challenging or will challenge me.

I have written about laziness and entitlement before. This is not what I mean in this respect. A lot of people find life easier by taking the easy way: everything handed to them, always choosing what takes the least amount of effort, not having to work for much, and being very content with life being that way. I actually struggle to understand people like that, but they have the right to live like that. That path is their choice.

I enjoy learning new things and constantly challenging myself. Some days are just about surviving the day, but I always try to read or watch something everyday that will teach me something. That something could be a new skill, a new recipe, cooking technique, gardening, homesteading, preparedness, survival living, history, or parenting. I have always wanted to learn and be challenged. I still do.

However, I have an internal debate going in my mind. One that has very prevalent since Dane was born and I became a single parent two years later. Sometimes I just don't have time for challenging. Sometimes I can't do it all and be supermom/super-gardener/superwoman/super(whatever). Some days, I want to take the easy way too.

I have the attitude sometimes, "I want to do it myself!" Trust me on this one, my mom heard that plenty when I was little. The attitude hasn't changed much since then. I play well with others, but I need the challenge. Even though I have learned to say no and realize I have time limitations, in my mind I think I can do it all and do it myself. I take great measures to be self-sufficient and not have to rely on anyone. That attitude has its pitfalls and learning experiences. It is not always the best attitude to have.

I find myself struggling because of a recent conversation Rob and I had (one of many that have gone this way, I just picked one). His neighbor is an awesome gardener that has many, many years of experience. So whatever gardening idea I am pondering and happen to speak out loud, Rob asks his neighbor about. That kind of irritates me, but not something to get upset over. Whatever his neighbor says about the current subject of gardening, Rob thinks I should do. Without question, without thinking over the advice. I am just not that kind of person. I can't just blindly follow advice.

Granted, he probably is right. There is a large part of me, though, that wants to try things a certain way just to see if I can do it that way or conquer that project. I want to take the challenge and prove myself a success or find out why it failed. For example, starting seeds. I have tried to start plants from seeds many times. Every time I have a little more success and that makes me want to try it again. However, it is much, much easier to buy the plants and plop them into the ground. More expensive, but much easier. I try to do a combination of both, but he thinks I should just buy the plants from an Amish farmer that is close to him and be done with it. Rob knows that I don't really have a lot of time to be starting my own plants and this would be easier for me.

Another example would be when I wanted to try no-till gardening. Plenty of people told me that they don't till, they just go in the garden, and plant. They feed their garden from the top. They also use plenty of mulch to keep the weeds down, letting the mulch break down, and become part of the soil.. I researched it and thought that is pretty simple and that I could do that. That particular method went bust for me. I tried it for three years and the garden is harder than a rock now. My Iowa soil needs some fluffing and nutrients tilled into the soil. My frustration would have been simplified if I would have just have given up a year or two sooner. But I love a challenge...

Sometimes life is made easier if you do just follow others' advice and choose the easy way. Sometimes, though, life is better for fighting through the challenges and proving you can do it. Life is choosing your own path whether you choose the easy path or the challenging path, but whatever path you choose, that path is yours.

Do your research before deciding which path is for you. Realize the path can change with each situation, stage, and experience in life. Just because that path was right for someone else does not mean it is right for you. If you fail, chalk that up to a learning experience. Failure is not bad. Failure just means that you tried and didn't produce a certain result. Success is great, but success should be built upon and not be an end result.

Whatever path you choose, make it your own.

Thanks for reading!
Erica

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