Efforts and Rewards

We went to a baseball game as a family last night.  It had been on the calendar for a few weeks but when yesterday came I didn’t want to go.  Taking kids to events like that takes work.  It’s not hard work but it’s still work.  Once you’re there it’s not like the work ends.  It’s even more work to keep them occupied and not bothering the people around you.  Not to mention the fact that it is after their bedtime and the effects of that are felt the next day.  It is just so much easier to stay home and put the kids to bed on time.

We went to the game and as usually happens, I was glad we did.  It was fun.  Even though it was work it wasn’t too bad and the effort was worth it.  As I was sitting there I thought, “Why don’t we do stuff like this more often?”

It’s funny how we don’t do things because of the effort that is involved.  It seems like most of the time when we put forth the effort and the work, it’s worth it in the end.

There is one story that I can think of when the effort definitely wasn’t worth it.  The following is a post from my family blog from 2008.

I just wanted to share our day with you. My husband has wanted to take Big Boy camping again for awhile now and had planned to do it tonight. He decided on Payson Lakes because, well, I don’t know why but that is where he wanted to go. So I decided that Medium Boy and I would join them for the day playing at the lake and then we would come home and sleep at home. So, this morning we spend about an hour getting stuff and kids ready to go. Then we stop at Wal Mart so my husband can get some breakfast items and also to get some oars for a little blow-up raft that he purchased a few days ago. They didn’t have any oars so we went to another store in Payson which also didn’t have any. So, my husband went up the canyon with the boys and I drove out to Santaquin to borrow his sisters oars. My husband called me from the campground and told me that it was totally full (which I had expected since it’s a holiday weekend, but he didn’t believe me.) So we spend some time driving to another campground a few miles away which is also full. Then my husband found a spot off of the road that already had a fire pit and you could tell it was an unofficial camp site. But Big Boy didn’t want to camp there because the grass was long and there were too many bugs. Granted, he did only have flip-flops. I meant to get some other shoes for him but forgot.

So we put the tent back in the car and went over to the lakes. We pulled into the lakes in two cars and ended up having to pay $5 per car. Then we get to the lake, let the kids play while my husband blows up the raft. And by play I mean listen to Big Boy complain about the water being cold and try to keep Medium Boy in the shallow water. Then we all get in the raft and Medium Boy cries the whole time. Big Boy is complaining about something the whole time. We ended up putting Medium Boy back in the water and my husband held onto his life jacket but it didn’t help, he still cried. We were out in the boat for about 20 minutes and figured it wasn’t worth it. I was going to bring Medium Boy home so my husband and Big Boy could stay and have fun but then Big Boy was complaining too much so we all left and came home.

We set out for a day of fun and all that really happened was us wasting gas money driving two cars all the way up there, spending $30 at Wal Mart that wouldn’t have been spent regularly and dealing with two ornery kids the whole time. The one good thing is that Big Boy fell asleep on the way home and it looks like he will sleep all night. Although with our luck today he will wake up about 9 and be all rested and not go back to sleep.

That is the only time I can think of that all of the effort wasn’t worth the reward.

This doesn’t just apply to taking kids out of the house.  It can apply to our lives in so many ways.  For example, we remodeled part of our house this summer.  That meant that most of the stuff that is upstairs had to be moved downstairs.  The downstairs is already full of our stuff plus my parents stuff that is being stored here while they are out of the country for a few years.  Then all 5 of us had to live down there.  It was chaos.  We have finished the upstairs (mostly) and have been sleeping up here for weeks yet the downstairs is still a disaster.  Every time I go down there it drives me crazy but I don’t do anything about it.

Well, this weekend my husband and I finally made ourselves go down there and work on it.  We started with the room that required the least amount of work to put back together.  Surprising?  Not really.  We probably spent a half hour or so and the room looks so good.  Later that night, after we were finished cleaning, I went in that room and just stood in there and looked around.  I stayed for about 5 minutes just enjoying it.  It felt so nice to be in a clean, organized space.  Especially one that I knew would stay that way for awhile since it’s the guest room and the kids rarely go in there.  The effort to clean the room was totally worth it.  Why didn’t I do it sooner?

Because I’m still learning that the effort is worth it.  That the rewards that come from putting in the work are far greater than I can imagine.  And because even when I know how great it will feel once it’s done, it still requires work and sometimes that’s just hard to get myself to do.

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