Better work, B.

Not going to lie, I really like that song.

I am not a lover of all things Britney Spears but I do really like that song.

Related & Unrelated: have you seen the meme that says "If Britney can make it through 2007, we can make it through this day"?

Related because Britney came back from 2007 with the song Better Work, Bitch.

(For the record, the song came out in 2013 - I don't literally mean she came back with that song.)

Related because Britney hit a really rough patch and was unfortunate enough to be famous at the same time so everyone saw the ugly.

Have you ever gone through the ugly? I have.

And if you've been through the ugly you know the only way out is hard work.

It's not fun. Sometimes the crawling out of the ugly can feel uglier than the previous ugly.

"Reward is on the other side of sacrifice."

James Clear, Atomic Habits

I capital-letters LOVE that quote. I love it because it's true. And I love it because it reminds us what we have to look forward to. The reward. The end of the suck. Closing the door on the ugly.

But sacrifice is eternal. Think about it - we never stop working. The question is, what are we working toward? And are we sure that's what we want?

Not all sacrifice is painful however. We sacrifice freedom for commitment in relationships, parenting, employment, etc.

And sometimes there is even JOY in the sacrifice itself - when that walk you began taking at lunchtime as a method to lose weight became an anticipated method to relax and reset. Then the weight loss became a bonus. The sacrifice itself was the reward.

Moms know this well. No other time in our history has going grocery shopping felt like a mini-vacation except when you go without your children. You find yourself stopping for coffee, and cruising up and down the superfluous aisles just to see what kind of crazy things "they" have come up with since the last time you had the luxury of uninterrupted thought patterns.

The real sticking point for us, I believe, is whether or not "embracing the suck" is necessary for survival. Because we tend to have a very human propensity for putting off till tomorrow the things that will make today suck. And we do that sometimes, don't we - we wait until we're out of our minds and heartbroken over the idea of spending another day like this with all of the mess compounded over time. And it all feels so overwhelming. But if we were to choose each day to embrace a small step toward freedom - over time we'd find ourselves on the other side of sacrifice. The reward side.

We all have that in us - the strength and fortitude to be our own hero today and say: I'm going to do this one hard thing. And next time I do it it won't be as hard. Because we'll have one win under our belt. One sacrifice on its way to becoming a reward. It is a methodical, pre-planned strategy. It is work. Hard work. Sucky, ugly work.

And you can do it. I have absolutely no shred of doubt that you can.

So get to work, B.