ThOse stEEp cliMbS
As you get older it seems that there are steeper slopes to climb. It’s not that you don’t have them when you are younger; I think that perhaps you are more equipped to handle the pressure. There is a treadmill that I often use (not as much as I should) which has a setting and you can adjust it so that you are walking on an incline. So rather than just walking or jogging on a flat surface using the incline gives you more of a workout. Personally I have only used the incline a couple of times as I don’t really like it that much. You see I am not that ecstatic about exercise it isn’t something I am all that passionate about. While I am completely aware that exercise is healthy it usually takes me a lot of psyching up to get me to actually workout. It tends to happen in spurts, so for me that can mean regular exercise for a couple of months and then stopping for some reason (excuse) or another.
The steep climbs we have in life often feel as though everything is working against us, so it takes a lot from you to keep climbing. Physically when working out on an incline you get exhausted a lot faster than walking or jogging on a flat surface. I would think that more muscles are being worked on at an incline setting, although I am no fitness expert! These steep climbs in life happen from time to time and they do tend to take more from you than what you would perhaps want to give.
These steep climbs also feel like you are swimming against the tide, as though for no real reason you find yourself in situations in which it seems everything is working against you. It may last a couple of days to a week or sometimes for a few months. When you are in the midst of it all you can feel is pain. It could be in your marriage or another close relationship with siblings or family. It could be your finances, there may be more bills coming in then there is income for a period of time. This in turn creates more pressure as you may be constantly swimming against strong currents that are trying to push you back.
Personally I would rather have life flowing smoothly in every single area, yet this is not the reality we face. As much as I don’t get excited about the incline setting on the treadmill I don’t get excited when I feel as though I am climbing another steep hill again in my life. These steep climbs in life take perseverance, as you know deep down that you can’t or don’t want to go back to where you were so you must keep GOING….
In a marriage both partners can feel that they are climbing A steep hill with no end in sight. As I mentioned earlier the older you get these steep climbs take more effort. You might be more sensitive than you used to be or you may not be able to handle pressure the same way as when you were younger. I know that for my husband and I since we had four children under four some decades ago, we now have four adults working their lives out at the same time. Both of us can feel the weight and pressure of their maturing process. Every parent desires the best for their children so you may find yourself walking up a steep hill with your adult children as they are working their lives out, phewww.
On these steep climbs you may need to get rid of baggage so that it doesn’t make it worse! Old behaviours or old ways of doing things may not work in this season or this climb, so there might be some adjustments to be made in order to keep climbing, releasing the extra weight off your shoulders. In the same way athletes wear certain types of clothing that help them move faster in their sport. Their clothing is specially designed to minimise any resistance to improve their time and result.
Married couples going through changes in life both physically and emotionally need to adjust their routines and perhaps even their communication. What may have worked when they were younger may not work at an older age. While both go through the aging process differently they can feel the same pressure as they are climbing the hill of ‘midlife’. It can be such a vulnerable time that quite some effort is needed to avoid jumping off the hill and leaving your partner there. In the heat of the moment we may feel like giving up yet the truth is that you will eventually begin the descent back down the other side. Don’t we all prefer that side of the hill as the pressure is lessened instantly and you almost feel like you can start running? Suddenly life feels easier again and what was working against you isn’t affecting you the same way anymore.
Life is a journey that continues despite the flat roads, the bumpy roads, the hills, the obstacles, whatever it may be at any given moment in time. Life might run smoothly for a while and then you may be back to the steep climb, either way it is good to remember that it is a part of the journey. It is a process that cannot really be avoided as much as every cell in our body screams against it.
Sometimes I have even stopped during a hill climb and sat there for a while (and prayed) just catching my breath and then getting back up, dusting myself off and continuing the journey. The main goal is to continue on in the journey and remember that while someone you know might be happily walking the flat road right now (slightly jealous) and enjoying their season in life your time will come TOO. We cannot control what the road is going to look like or how many hills we may have to climb, but be encouraged every hill you climb gives you strength and endurance and even more wisdom for the next climb that comes your way.
Happy hill climbing my friends you will get to the other side
(Speaking to myself too)