Life Isn’t Meant to Be Easy
‘Life is not all fun and games’
‘Life isn’t meant to be easy’
How many times have you heard these phrases? Where did they come from? Why such a pessimistic view of life? Who says it can’t be easy? Who says you can’t spend your life doing things you enjoy? Isn’t that actually what we’re aiming for?
I hear it all the time. I see it used as an argument against our lifestyle often. It’s too idealistic. Kids need to learn they can’t just do what they want all the time. They need to get used to the ‘real world‘. You can’t just do whatever you like! One day they’re going to have to grow up and fit in. Didn’t you know? You can’t just go around being happy and creating the life you want! Hey, you might make other people uncomfortable! Stop that right now. Fit nicely into society’s narrative of what a life is supposed to look like thank you very much.
“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” -Steve Jobs
Who says life is supposed to be hard/dreary/boring/predictable? We were sold the idea that our goal was to grow up, get educated, get a job, get married, have kids, work hard, buy a house, save money… And THEN after all our hard work we could retire and enjoy ourselves. Only then would our time be our own. If you decide to break from that path then people try to quickly pull you back into line. They tell you that ‘it’s not all fun and games’, that you’re too idealistic. But their view says more about how they feel about their own circumstances and limitations than it does about your reality. They can’t see that it could be different, or that it’s ok to want different. But maybe we don’t have to follow the story we were told? Maybe you can enjoy your life now. Maybe happiness isn’t something you have to earn. Maybe you’ve always been worthy of it.
So if you don’t mind, or if you do, I’m going to enjoy my life now. And I’m going to let my kids do the same. Starting with freeing them from the conventional education system and letting them enjoy their childhood however they want, not how somebody else wants them to. Maybe then they’ll grow up with a more positive outlook, knowing their life can look however they want it to. You can’t control everything of course. But why not control the things you can? Life can be what you make it. You don’t have to follow the standard plan. Do something different. Do whatever makes you happy.
I love your posts Sara, whenever I’m feeling down or defeated they always give me hope and motivation to carry on, thank you for giving me so much faith in unschooling you are a true inspiration 🙂
That makes me so happy. Thank you xx
Your posts always seem to come at the right moment. I couldn’t agree with your points more! I’ve just finished listening to my 5 year old screaming for 30 mins about the fact that she doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow and it’s breaking my heart ? if it were just myself making the choice I think I’d pull her out tomorrow but my partner has very different views. I often hear him (and his mum and dad) saying to our daughter “that’s just life and you have to get used to it” and I feel like screaming when I hear it. What to do though? I’m not convinced I have what it takes to bring them around to my way of thinking…
Oh I would find that so difficult Michelle. It’s hard to know how I would approach it but I think when we were making the decision I just told my partner I expected him to do as much research as me into the decision otherwise his opinion didn’t have much weight LOL. He did some reading and soon came around. He wrote about making the decision from his point of view here: https://happinessishereblog.com/2014/11/deciding-to-homeschool-dads-perspective/
Super exteicd to see more of this kind of stuff online.
What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for putting into words – much better than I probably could. My husband and I haven’t lived a conventional life for so long – traveling world, working 6 months (or less if possible) a year doing what we love and enjoying our time together as a family. It’s like the best kept secret out there – you can live your life and be happy now.. and you NEVER need as much money to do it as you think you need. We are by no means ‘rich’ in financial terms, but we aren’t struggling either. It is a question of priorities… what a wonderful gift to give your children too.. the gift that life is to be enjoyed now. Thanks again!
That sounds SO wonderful. We would really like to do similar.
Nice post. It inspired & reminded me to enjoy life, go with and listen to your instincts, intuition and gut because it will always point you in the right direction and lead to happiness.
Thanks for this, Sarah. My partner and I were actually just discussing this the other day. I admit, I have felt *that* way sometimes. The way of people who say “Life is not all fun and games.” And I’m really quite an optimistic and idealistic person, I promise! 😉
Here’s the thing: I’m not so much thinking about keeping children “in line” (I hate that as much as you do), but simply about the fact that sometimes, in life, you have to do things you don’t enjoy all that much. If an unschooled child goes to college or trade school, they might have to take a mandatory course they don’t care for. If they become an entrepreneur, their might be some aspect of the job (say, the financial side, or a difficult client) that they would prefer not to deal with. If they decide not to get a job at all and do something radically different, I’m sure there’s still *something* they’d rather skip. But they can’t. Because sometimes you have to deal with the tough parts or the boring parts to make the fun parts happen. That is what I’m thinking of when I question whether unschooling might be too “cushy.”
As always, I agree broadly with what you said here, and I love the picture-quote at the end. I have seen that one before, and it’s perfect :). I just wonder about things like these…and I like it when your blog posts make me do that.
You answered your own question there Bee!
“Because sometimes you have to deal with the tough parts or the boring parts to make the fun parts happen.”
Exactly!! When you are internally motivated to achieve something you have the willpower to get through the tough bits so you can get there. I don’t think making children do ‘hard things’ just for the sake of it really helps this much. It’s the intrinsic motivation that gets them through!
Absolutely agree Sara. My partner and I have always attracted negative comments and opinions from people including some family members as we don’t just go with the flow, we choose what makes us happy and what we believe in. I also believe we must set an example and enable our children to follow their passions and not be deterred by those who tell them to conform or that they can’t do what makes them happy!
Absolutely! Setting a great example.
Love this one! Thanks for always inspiring! ?
Thank you for reading! 🙂
I love this post. Yes! I think the idea that compelling kids to do unpleasant things in childhood somehow makes them more able to handle the challenges of adulthood is a fallacy. How many of the irresponsible adults you know are products of the traditional school system? Probably most. Things like work ethic and follow-through cannot be taught by compulsion. But real, meaningful, self-chosen work can build these traits.
I definitely agree Meredith.
Who ever says, “Life Isn’t All Fun and Games.” Must be either miserable or stupid!!!!!!!!!!
@Sara @ Happiness is here. Life is all about fun. It’s suppose to be all fun and enjoyable. That’s our purpose. We all have “free will” to do whatever we’d like. And not doing things that others FORCE us to do, just to make our lives miserable. And if you want to be all grounded, strict, BORING and LAME!!!!!!!!! That’s you. But, you don’t need to impose your opinion on to others. Let them think for themselves, and let people be the human beings they want to be. Instead, of judging or trying to turn people into the human beings you want them to be!!!!!!!!!!!! Nobody’s perfect. If they mistakes. That’s OK!!!!!!!!!!! We’re humans!!!!!!!!!!! YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO HAVE FUN, INSTEAD OF BEING SUCH A BUZZKILL AND A GROUNDED MISS PERFECT ALL-THE-TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I found your blog today via another unschooling Mum in the UK, and after iIhad read something that had infuriated me about humanity. Reading about the way of life iIhave also chosen lifted my spirits and reinforced my ideas. Thank you for cheering me up 🙂
I enjoyed your view and am so glad I am embracing the same lifestyle.
Nevertheless, I have heard and even said myself “Life is not supposed to be easy” when there are hardships in the family: illness, death, divorce, accidents, and so on. And I am of the idea that when those things happen, we can react positively or negatively to it and learn from our hardships, and still keep a positive attitude and outlook on life.
By the way, I am in love with the 30 days of connected parenting series. You have really inspired me, and I thank you for it!