Many things in life require time and effort. Exams. Relationships. Personal projects… even shopping.
Some of these things are quite explicitly worth effort, such as a relationship, where time and effort make it more likely to last a long time and the feeling of invincibility that follows the survival of a shopping trip is really rather long-lasting.
But what about the other times? When I revise for an exam, I spend months on end working for just two hours of my life. When we spent every hour of every day for six months organising a show, the result was just three hours in a single evening. It can often be hard to come to terms with finding the end of something so quickly after it has been so important to you for so long and, if everything is viewed in this way, it is hard not to question why we bother putting so much effort in for what is, in reality, so little time.
But nothing really should be viewed in this way. The process of getting somewhere is often more significant than the moment itself. What we learn about ourselves and each other is what makes it so exciting and the grand moment itself is really only as grand as the journey allows it to be. It is knowing what challenges we have had to overcome to get there and realising how much we did right, instead of wrong, that makes the moment so exciting.
The show was worth the six months because it meant that I got to spend six months with my best friends and our collective understanding of each other’s efforts is what made the show so exciting.
I guess that if we choose to measure the worth of our efforts based on their duration then misery is a little inevitable. On the other hand, if we choose to recognise just how much we have gained from any experience and the time that it took to get there, then the success of the moment itself will not end.