Most of us have something—or a list of somethings—we don’t feel like doing.
Cleaning the house
Scooping the cat’s litterbox
Cleaning up cat barf
Getting a mammogram
Going to any doctor
Dealing with my PMS mood-swings
Running in the cold weather
I could go on.
(Notice that working isn’t on my list. That’s because I love what I do. Thank you, Waylon!)
Many would agree on the laundry, dishes and house cleaning—mundane tasks that never seem to disappear from our lives, unless we’re fortunate enough to have a daily housekeeper. I do splurge on a monthly cleaning service (all green products) because a) I work and b) the very idea of cleaning stresses me out. But there’s still upkeep in between—spills, cat hair tumbleweed… I don’t have to tell you. You’re alive, so you know.
There are days that I could do nothing at all. Days that I feel like an absolute vegetable. And being the task master that I am, I like to give myself a hard time on those days. Life is short! Make the most of every minute! Be productive! Move around a bit, it will get the blood moving.
It’s also a requirement that I figure out why I feel like a vegetable (or if I’m feeling kinda sick, why am I sick? Am I really sick or is it in my head?) and retrace my steps over the last 24 to 48 hours. Did I miss a meal? Did I not eat enough vegetables? Should I be eating more fish? Did I eat something spoiled? Did I exercise too much/too little?
Yes, I’m a tad quirky. But at least I admit it. I’m working on just accepting those days of lethargy that crop up out of nowhere and the moments I’m faced having to do something I really don’t want to do.
An exercise I just made up (although I probably subconsciously picked it up from one of the elephant articles I edited) is to take all the things I don’t feel like doing and turn them into a positive.
Dishes. I’m alive and have a full life with people I love and nurture (one thing I enjoy to a fault) with the food I make. The sound of running water is calming and I’m fortunate to have running water!
Laundry. I’m the world’s worst folder. See above for the positives. Plus… I can fold while watching Colbert or Conan on my computer. And think how much worse it would be if I had to hand wash everything!
Cleaning the house. If our house was always immaculate (and it never is) it would seem like nobody lived here. A bit of clutter—an open book, a stray shoe, a LEGO—is a sign of life. I’m fortunate to have a roof over my head so the added task in my life of having to keeping us out of squalor is a gift.
Scooping the cat’s litterbox. Gross, yes. But our cats are part of the family. Wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Cleaning up cat barf. See above.
Getting a mammogram. These hurt like H-E-L-L. But it really doesn’t take too long. I could drink a martini (note to self: schedule the next one in the afternoon). And getting a mammogram will catch breast cancer early enough that something could be done about it, therefore potentially saving my life.
Going to any doctor. I could write a book about this. I abhor a person poking and prodding my body parts. It’s invasive. I dread it. (Dentists? Not a problem.) But I’m fortunate to live in an area that offers high quality physicians so if something goes wrong, I’m in good hands.
Dealing with my PMS mood-swings. As I approach the menopause years (I’m 48) these mood-swings are more like Full Metal Jacket, but less predictable. I’m not sure if they’re worse for me or the unfortunate bystanders. I’m able to fake my way through it and appear non-psychotic to the naked eye, but inside I’m angst-ridden and trying to claw my way out of my body and mind. Yes, it can be that bad. The upside? Ummmm. I’m stumped. Oh, I know! As long as I have PMS it means I’m not old enough to have gone through menopause.
Running in the cold weather. “Perfect” running weather is a dry 60 or 70. I can handle the cooler temperatures, but it’s harder to motivate myself. As soon as I’m out there—even if it’s 10 below—I’m happy I ran. It’s exhilarating and meditative all at once. (When it’s nice out and I don’t feel like running, I torture myself with thoughts like, “Enjoy this weather! Get out there! What are you thinking? Life is too short! It could rain tomorrow! Winter is coming!”)
Bottom line. Deal with it. I know, easier said than done. The things we enjoy the least aren’t going away. Until we die.
During any of these tasks or bad days, we can be mindful of how we feel and then allow the time to be an opportunity to be grateful and breathe.
I, personally, will work on being kinder to myself and allowing the days of just wanting to read a book by the fire become just that (as soon as I’ve taken care of my responsibilities).
P.S. Please leave some tips on dealing with things you don’t like doing! I can use all the help I can get!