Life is hard, but we push forward

Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th Space Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Chris Dewitt)

Col. Jennifer Grant, 50th Space Wing commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Chris Dewitt)


While saying goodnight to my son, Grayson, the harvest moonlight flickered through the window blinds and danced across his face in an otherwise dark bedroom.

“Mom,” he started slowly, “you know what I think?”  I answered, “What’s that, buddy?”

While anticipating, as most parents probably do, a rather deep thought by a seven-year-old, he said, “I think life is hard sometimes.”  Out of the mouths of  babes. And so began an end-of-day contemplation of life being hard sometimes, why that is, how we handle it and what we do about it.

I agreed with him.  Life can indeed be hard sometimes. In the military, we have come to accept and understand this, and we go to great lengths in training to ensure we equip ourselves, our people and our families to be resilient enough to overcome and work through the tougher periods.  

Life is challenging at times when the unexpected happens, or perhaps we do not have what we thought we would at a certain time or stage.  Sometimes, circumstances beyond our immediate control contribute to stress levels that can seem quite overwhelming, especially around the holidays or the long winter months.

And so, we push—push forward.  We initially feel we are big enough to handle it on our own; through working out, hobbies, quiet times alone or other means.  And we continue to push, we work harder.  However, if those coping mechanisms fail us, we may reach out to friends, family, spiritual leaders, or our own mediation, to tap into a support system outside of ourselves.  If those support networks cannot suffice, then we turn to teams of trained professionals, ready and able to assist us in the process of working through our challenges and ultimately healing.

Grayson found great relief in hearing me reassure him, yes, at times, life is hard. But we are never alone in feeling that way.  I was so very thankful he wanted to talk about what it was that was troubling him. 

He was having a challenging time getting the other kids on his Lego club team to come to an agreement on how to work together.  He found reassurance in learning even adults face challenging events in life, working with and for others, but we always, and in all ways, remain a singular team.  Just like our family.  We are here for each other, and we seek to build up each other in a way that helps us overcome the difficult times we may face in life. 

In the morning, the dawn comes.  The sunlight beams through the windows, reminding us that every day is a new day, filled with new opportunities and new beginnings. We are always here, as one team, helping each other get through this thing we call life. One day at a time, one step at a time.

Take a moment today to remind someone you and they are a part of the same team. Grayson was encouraged, it could help our fellow teammates.

For any members out there needing some encouragement, please use the information here to seek help.