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Are You Facing an Uphill Battle?

Recently life has been a lot of hard work, but productive and fruitful work.  We have spent long hours and countless days working but not without reward and indicators along the way the we are indeed moving forward.

It’s summertime and the living is easy
Fish are jumping and the cotton is high
Your daddy’s rich and your mama’s good-looking

-George Gershwin (I stand corrected on the author)

There are times when the work is so hard it seems like you are hitting a brick wall and then other times when the reward comes easily without any resistance.  While I believe in hard work and a ‘certain’ degree of planning maybe fate or karma do hold a percentage of influence on the ‘resistance’ we face moving forward.

For instance, yesterday I was sitting at the dining room table literally counting our change agonizing over wether we should spend the money and buy a small quiet generator for the sailboat for our three week trip.  The sailboat has no inboard with a big alternator, no solar panels, no wind generator, and we are anchored nowhere near a 110v outlet.  After a few days of even mild use, the one measely battery would pretty much give up the ghost and we’d be stuck without running water, lights, radio, etc.

As I was sitting there literally in pain over how much of our hard earned cash reserves the generator would cost, I glanced over at the mail that had accumulated last week and a good friend had sent me a letter.  I opened it and there, low and behold, was a check for darn near the exact amount of the generator!  Is that good timing or what?

Now we own a generator!

In this case, I would suggest the ‘resistance’ to moving forward was very low.  I’d like to think I was running with the current of Fate or Karma in this instance and I was swept along aided by the unknown forces around us.  OK, a little hokey, but I sleep well at night.

There have been times when everything seemed like an uphill battle.  Every decision was painful and every outcome less than optimal.  In these cases, maybe it’s time to Ying instead of Yang and change course and take a different approach.  Maybe it’s your attitude, maybe it’s the timing?  Who knows?

Here’s what I do know.  Life is a science project.  We learn things by empirical knowledge- meaning we do things and either they work out or they don’t.  If they work out, we do them again (in theory).  If they don’t work out, we adapt and try a variation on the same theme until it does work.  This, in the plainest of terms, is called success.

If you have a goal and things aren’t working out and you feel like you’re pushing a boulder up a long hill maybe you should step back and try a different approach.  Keep trying different approaches until the resistance fades and you are riding with the current in your favor.  Sometimes that means a dramatic change in plans.  So be it.  The current was too strong.

I know, I just mixed two metaphors.  As an old friend used to say, I don’t mix metaphors, I mince them.

There’s a lot to be said for a positive mental attitude and persistence.

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9 comments to Are You Facing an Uphill Battle?

  • Tom H

    Hey JC, I love what you’re doing. Thanks for sharing. It makes my struggles seem more managable.

    FYI, “It’s summertime and the living is easy…” is from the 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess, by George Gershwin. Sam Cooke did a great version as did Billy Holiday, Ray Charles and Janis Joplin.

    Keep on truckin’. (that was by the Grateful Dead) 8-D. I hope you make it.

    Tom H
    El Cajon, CA

  • big cheese

    Hi Tom-

    Thanks for the correction on the lyrics, I’ll change it now.

    I don’t know what else to do but to ‘keep on keepin’ on’

    All our best,


  • Tom H

    Oops! I spelled “manageable” wrong. I feel like I just shot myself in the foot. I stand corrected, too. 8-D

    Tom H
    El Cajon, CA

  • If the shoe fits….

    Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
    Music By: Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir/Phil Lesh

    Truckin’ got my chips cashed in
    Keep truckin’ like the doodah man
    Together, more or less in line
    Just keep truckin’ on

    Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street
    Chicago, New York, Detroit and its all the same street
    Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
    Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings

    Dallas got a soft machine
    Houston too close to New Orleans
    New York got the ways and means
    But just won’t let you be

    Most of the cats that you meet on the street speak of true love
    Most of the time they’re sitting and crying at home
    One of these days they know they gotta get going
    Out of the door and into the street all alone

    Truckin’ like the doodah man
    Once told me “Gotta play your hand
    Sometimes the cards ain’t worth a dime
    If you don’t lay them down”

    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see
    Lately it occurs to me
    What a long strange trip it’s been

    What in the world ever became of sweet Jane? (note 1)
    She lost her sparkle you know she isn’t the same
    Living on reds and vitamin C and cocaine
    All her friends can say is ain’t it a shame

    Truckin’ up to Buffalo
    Been thinking you got to mellow slow
    Takes time, you pick a place to go
    Just keep truckin’ on

    Sitting and staring out of the hotel window
    Got a tip they’re gonna kick the door in again
    Like to get some sleep before I travel
    But if you got a warrant I guess you’re gonna come in

    Busted down on Bourbon Street
    Set up like a bowling pin
    Knocked down, it gets to wearing thin
    They just won’t let you be

    You’re sick of hanging around, you’d like to travel
    Get tired of travelling you want to settle down
    I guess they can’t revoke your soul for trying
    Get out of the door, light out and look all around

    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see
    Lately it occurs to me
    What a long strange trip it’s been

    Truckin’ I’m a going home
    Whoa, whoa, baby, back where I belong
    Back home, sit down and patch my bones
    And get back truckin’ on

  • Hi JC,

    Good post as always. Glad that everything worked out for you with the generator. Out of curiosity, what kind of generator did you end up getting? Will you be able to use it in the RV too?

    You’re posts are providing lots of inspiration to those of us who are looking to break free and live simply!


  • big cheese

    Hi Bill-

    We lucked out and got a Honda 2kw EU (quiet version) for a good price. Luckily, the motorhome has a 7kw Onan generator that needs a little tuning but works pretty good.

    Break Free Bill- you can always go back! Do it while you can.


    JC & Fam

  • big cheese

    Doug, my good friend-

    You know us too well. We’ll see you and you’re organic gardens soon!

    All our love,

    JC & Fam

  • big cheese

    It’s OK Tom, I never did mind the little things (La Femme Nakita, US version).


  • big cheese


    Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
    Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings

    I love that line.