Hard work is private.
It makes many of us feel uneasy. Except maybe at the Olympics, but even then we particularly enjoy the ones that seem to sweep up gold medals with effortless ease. Think Michael Phelps.
There was an article in the New York Times about how Obama changed over the last four hard years, more confident and scarred. He did most of the ugly work behind closed doors, but some of his tougher moments were on national television, such as responding to the Sandy Hook tragedy. We look to the president as a representative of our nation--we don't want to see the president shaking, buckling under intense pressure and work. We don't say it, but we expect to see the same grace and ease as those prima ballerinas and super Olympic stars. Our presidents, both past and present, have strove to keep the grunting and grimacing behind closed doors. I understand and appreciate that.
Yesterday at the end of the inauguration, Douglas and I both lipread Obama saying, "...one last time." He turned around to take in the view. The nation (at least those who were watching television) watched this long and very personal pause. I could see how hard those last four years were for him. But the lengthy pause showed me how rich he felt.
Hard work feels good.