Life is hard. Everyone you encounter on the street, just as much as everyone you encounter online, is going through something. The friend who’s cracking self-deprecating jokes all the time could be suffering from depression. The picture perfect family you see on Instagram could have a household of chaos when the camera is off. We all have our challenges, though certainly some challenges are more challenging than others. And complaining isn’t going get to you anywhere.

Put another way, complaining is not a strategy.

Based on the title of today’s blog post, you might think that I’m done with complaining and I just want to give up. That I just want to throw in the towel and let the cards fall where they may. And believe me, some days I do feel like curling up in the corner and allowing the world around me to crumble at my feet. But that’s not really true.

As many challenges and frustrations as I may have, I also recognize that I largely lead a life of privilege. I am lucky enough to enjoy certain advantages and benefits that are denied to many, but these also come at a price. At the same time, the things that I do complain about, I’m not really willing to give up on them either.

Allow me to present two prime examples.

Freelance Freedom and Frustration

I’ve been working as a self-employed freelance writer and blogger for over 10 years now. You’ll sometimes hear me complaining about the struggles of life-work balance. I’ll talk about how I don’t get stat pay, sick pay, vacation pay, or an employee health plan. There’s no employer to contribute to my retirement savings plan, because I am both the employee and the employer.

And I can never escape my work either, since I can work at any hour of the day.

But I’m not willing to give up on the relative freedom and flexibility that the freelance lifestyle affords me. While a more traditional 9-to-5 would provide a clearer separation between work life and personal time, as much complaining as I might do, I’m not terribly interested in pursuing a more conventional job either.

That Dad Life Though

And then there’s parenthood. Raising a child is hard. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. Between the sleepless nights, the overwhelming anxiety over every tiny detail, the frustrations of temper tantrums, and all the rest of it, child-rearing is a draining, exhausting experience. It’s overwhelming and there is very little (if anything) in terms of relief.

But as hard as all of that might be, there is no way that I would give up the dad life for anything.

I get it. We all need to vent sometimes. The next time you catch yourself complaining about your lot in life, though, consider what the alternative might be. Are you really willing to give up what you have?