Post # 1
The thread about the whether or not having a baby was harder than expected got me thinking. I feel like everything people have warned me would be hard in life has been… by and large… not so bad. College, law school, home finding/buying, wedding planning. Not to say that those things weren’t hard. But I feel like I pretty much took everything in stride and never was really shocked by how hard something was or felt like I couldn’t do something or freaked out about something. I’m not prone to freakouts 🙂
My mom always says that I’m unusual in this: My default is to assume I’m perfectly capable of whatever it is I have my sights set on… and then I try it and its fine and I finish it without much or any drama.
I always wonder if I’m somehow just lucky that things are somehow worked out to be easier for me than most? Or if things are rarely as bad as other people make them out to be? Or if its just my personality to not get overwhelmed and be generally content even when working my way through hard things.
So… what say you? Do you often find the reality of a situation to be better or worse than you were expecting?
Post # 3
@CorgiTales: I feel like I’m in the same boat as you.
I have definitely had my difficulties and in the moment may have felt that things were “impossible” but looking back it really wasn’t “that bad”.
I think this fact has made me ore open to try “scarier” and “harder” things since I’ve gotten to this point just fine.
I’ve always had a pretty positive, can do, outlook on life though.
I think your perspective and attitude helps a lot.
Post # 4
It definitely depends. Some things are like “wow, that’s easy…wonder why it’s built up?” and other things, I just don’t feel capable–which is different than being capable, you know what I mean? I think people (me included) should look at stuff as something they can do regardless of the difficulty.
Post # 5
@KatNYC2011: i agree that attitude has a lot to do with it. This discussion with my mom actually came up regarding the book “the secret.” I guess its about visualizing what you want and “putting it out there to the universe” or something? And she said she thinks its really just about confidence in expecting that you’re perfectly capable of whatever and then somehow… you just are! And that people like me do it naturally whereas she has to really struggle with that.
I always wonder how having kids in particular will affect me because its one of those things that most people say is omg-so-much-worse-than-expected, but I have heard a select few saying that while hard (obviously) its really not so bad as they thought it would be. I’m hoping that my streak carries me through and I find having kids to be another thing that is not as bad as I think it will be.
(New thought: Maybe also this is a factor of expectations? I expect having kids to kind of suck for the first year so I don’t think it’ll be too hard to impress me…. lol)
Post # 6
@CorgiTales: I have also found the more I talk about the good parts of any new upcoming challenge, the more excited I get for it.
The current example is moving to London. When I was just talking it over with FI I was feeling really uncomfortable and nervous. Then I went to my 5 year college reunion and started talking about it with more people and everyone seemed so excited about it.
The more I saw other people become excited, the more I got excited and started to focus on all the great things this means for FI and I. I’m sure there will still be really hard times, but I’m really starting to look forward to it.
Post # 7
I can tend to get really stressed out about things (I definitely don’t take things in stride – that’s DH’s job). Despite that though, I definitely think that most everything I’ve encourtered in life so far has been way easier than people make it out to be.
Maybe it’s just that negatives and challenges stick out more to people than the easy stuff?
ETA: Even though I stress, I always believe that everything will fall into places and that things will work out. I’m also a realist in that I know everything isn’t always going to be perfect, but that we’ll make it work and be fine.
Post # 8
I think the things are the hardest are the situations you never thought you’d be in. If you never imagined it happening to you, you freak out the most. This includes sudden, unexpected deaths in the family, moving abroad, taking that dream job, having surgery, beating cancer, huge stuff like that.
I’m finding that true now. I’m not sick and no one died, but very shortly I’ll have one of those shocking life experiences that is currently giving me anxiety.. and it has nothing to do with weddings.
Post # 9
I can’t think of anything that was harder than people said it would be.
Luckily, most things have been easier for me, but I agree that it has a lot to do with attitude! I think it might also have to do with being very much a realist. I understand that things can get hard, but that I will make it though. I do not build things up to either be “hard” or “easy,” but just that they will happen. Does that make sense?
Post # 10
I think I’m like you too corgi. I dont really freak out or find things to be too difficult and just let things roll. College wasnt difficult, it just required some dedication to study a little. I lost my job and was unemployed for almost a year, but never stressed. I didn’t really look for a job either, but two landed in my lap so I started working again. Buying a house wasn’t stressful, just time consuming. And the wedding?? I have yet to find out what all the fuss is about. The biggest difficulty was nailing down a date due to superstitions and finding a venue for a resonable price. The rest was a breeze, a few phone calls, a meeting or two, and all the key players were booked and all the little things are done at my leisure. I think its about how people view it, if they are worried about things, then its stressful and difficult. But if you just believe that things are going to fall together and you do what you need to do to move it along without stressing, then its not difficult and no big deal.
Post # 11
For being such a pessimistic person and always expecting gloom and doom, I set out fairly often with a “I’ll be fine!” attitude, while everyone tells me I’m insane.
Of course the things that I legitimately fret over, everyone tells me that I am worrying too much about. Go figure.
Post # 12
I’ve always been this way too, which is why I was surprised to find that I found parenthood difficult. LOL. I think I genuinely thought I’d breeze home and lounge around with my baby and dabble in some hobbies and have Mommy n Me playgroups all day long. I in no way expected it to be so hard.
The reason is, I think, that there’s genuine, irreversible consequences that can happen if you mess up parenting. If you fail a class in college, you retake it. If you lose a job, you find another. If you actually MESS UP YOUR CHILD though, you can’t fix that. You can’t go back and make their childhood better or fix the things you wish you’d done differently. And unlike getting good grades, or raises, or whatever, there’s no real indication of how good a job you’re doing parenting until your child is grown and you can see the kind of person they became.
Post # 13
@ohheavenlyday: I don’t think it’s daunting at all. See this article:
If the kid became a serial killer or something just as bad and I knew that the parents provided them with a nice home, a normal upbringing.. well, I’d just assume the kid had bad biology. If it happened to me, I wouldn’t blame myself.
Post # 14
I don’t mean something like that. I mean like you argue too much with your husband in front of your child and they get a skewed sense of what a healthy relationship is. Or you drink too much around them and they learn to associate alcohol with being anxious and on edge. The things you worry about are the ways that your very human flaws that you did not even realize were shaping the person your child becomes can change them without you ever meaning for them to.
Post # 15
I think having children is hard. I don’t have children, but my brother is 10 years younger, and I did a lot of child care. It actually got harder as he got older and became a teenager. I think lots of people believe that if they just love their kids and provide for them it is enough, but a lot of times it isn’t.
I thought high school was extraordinarily difficult in a lot of ways. College and law school were easy. And here’s my dirty little secret- I didn’t think the bar exam was that bad. I complain about it and the studying sometimes just to fit in.
Post # 16
My philosophy on life is to expect the worse. DH hates me for this but I expect the worse of any given situation. This way, the outcome can either be what I expected or better! 🙂 I’m never let down or disappointed.