Nothing's Easy

Aug 27, 2014 | Random

Nothing’s easy.

Kenneth Berry, an executive VP at our Roswell branch, said that to me several years ago, and those words have stuck with me.

Nothing’s easy.

When we’re young, or just not thinking about it, we as human beings assume certain things are going to be quick and easy. We tend to oversimplify the tasks before us because, let’s face it, it can’t be that hard. Right?

The older I get, the less I take for granted the possibility that anything is going to be easy. Not because I’m becoming a pessimist. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s just that life has a way of teaching us the way things are. I’ve been at it a while, I am starting to catch on.

On one of my rare date nights with my wife Christy, we went to see the movie “Valentine’s Day”. I normally hate those kinds of movies, but I have to say I really enjoyed this one. The best line in the movie came from a reporter who was interviewing Taylor Swift, the high school cheerleader and her boyfriend, the football star. They were both gushing about how wonderful the other person was, how much they loved each other, how amazing it all was, and the reporter, sending it back to the station said, “There you have it, folks. Young love. Full of promise, full of hope, ignorant of reality.” Of course, it got a huge laugh because everyone in the theater who had been married more than fifteen minutes realizes that love is not a gushy, mushy, feel-good emotion. Love is a decision, and staying in love is often times an act of sheer will.

There are times when I come home late after a long day of working the job I passionately love, fuming and frustrated, to my beautiful wife, my best friend, and mother of our two beautiful children who are driving her up the ever-loving wall. As the door opens and they run out to greet me, my son stumbles, skins his knee and starts crying loudly. My daughter criticizes him (also loudly), and the [multiple expletive deleted] dog streaks out the left-open door in a flash of white and brown creating an ever ascending cacophony of barks as he agitates every dog on the block.

Ideal situation meets real life.

Here’s another example: Plants. Buying plants is not hard. Buying plants is easy. I mean, for crying out loud, they’re plants. It’s not like we’re trying to build a proton accelerator.


For those of you who don’t know, the bank’s IT (Information Technology…computers) Department is located in a basement. It’s a nice basement, spacious and well-lit. Beautiful art, nice color scheme. However, it’s still a basement. No view. No sunshine. No idea what’s going on outside. So, we like to keep it bright and cheery with plants.

My staff and I love plants, but we’re not particularly good at keeping them alive. Believe it or not, some plants will die if you don’t water them.

Over the years, we’ve figured out which species are techie tolerant, and last week Katie (our webmaster) and I decided to purchase some of these infinitely heartier species to replace their fallen comrades.

I didn’t think the plants would fit in the Tahoe I usually drive, so I went home to get THE BLUE TRUCK. I love THE BLUE TRUCK. My wife HATES it. It’s a 1986 Toyota 4x4 with the mini-extended cab. 216,000 miles. Rust. Dents. Blue. Several shades of blue, in fact. One of its previous owners tried to make it look better by giving it a coat of fresh paint. Latex paint. Blue latex paint. At least the headlights and bumpers aren’t held on by bailing wire. I think its speaker wire.

I love that truck. Christy hates it.

Some day, I’ll come home, and it won’t be there.

But it was there last Monday, and I jumped in through the window because the doors won’t open (not really, but it could be true…it’s that kind of truck). I put the key in the ignition and turned it. Nothing happened. Not a click-click. Not a whir. Not a beep. Nothing. I know why.

My kids love THE BLUE TRUCK also, and Christy lets them play in it (hoping they will destroy it, no doubt). For about the fifth time this year , they left the lights on and the battery was completely dead. I gave it a jump and it started right up.

Back in business.

I drove around the block, and out of the abundance of caution, I killed the engine and attempted to restart it, just to be sure the battery was still operational. It wasn’t. The battery was completely dead. Muttering under my breath like Yosemite Sam, I stamped around to the other vehicle. I redeployed the jumper cables, rejumped THE BLUE TRUCK. Put up the jumper cables. Parked the Tahoe. Hopped in THE BLUE TRUCK and headed to the local auto parts store to fix the problem once and for all.

It took me a while to pick out the replacement battery I wanted. I asked the clerk lots of questions because I have a lot of questions about batteries. I’m just that way. I finally made my decision, and he proceeded to help me install it.

It’s kind of hard to get the hood open on THE BLUE TRUCK because there’s a giant gash in it near one of the hinges, but I kept pushing it up until, with a loud pop, it opened all the way. I propped it open, and undid the bungee cable that holds the battery in place. We swapped the new battery for the dead one, and rebungeed it. The truck fired right up, and I was back in business. Again.

By this time, it had been nearly an hour since I ran home to get the truck, but I had a new battery and I was crusin’ with the window rolled down and the radio playing the one station it gets out of the only speaker that works. Life was good.

Suffice it to say, it took most of the rest of the day to select the plants, repot them, make another trip because we didn’t count right on the number of pots, etc. Plus, we still had a lot of regular work to do. By the time I finally got home that night, it was late and I was exhausted.

Nothing’s easy.

But that’s okay. Every time I hear an ambulance siren, I remind myself that not easy’s not bad.

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