Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.
But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Mondays are do-overs, each one is our own personal reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?
For me, this Monday is a bittersweet one. It is the last day of my holiday break which means this time tomorrow I will be back to work and counting down the days until spring break comes around. I am spending the day writing, doing my best not to get myself too distracted, and getting everything ready for the work week.
I feel both good and bad about returning to work. I’m glad I will have a schedule again, but I am sad it isn’t my ideal schedule. At least at work, I don’t have to try so hard to remember not to watch TV instead of writing when I can. My day job makes my hobby/passion easier to make time for, surprisingly.
“You don’t have to always be comfortable. You don’t have to like everything you do.”
— Carrie Fisher
Of all the bad things that 2016 brought us, one of the hardest for me to cope with was the Carrie Fisher’s death. I never knew how much I liked her, how much I thought of her until I heard she had a heart attack. I loved her for Princess Leia of course, I knew that much, but what surprised me was how at that moment, reading that headline, I knew this world would be a little worse off if she were to leave it.
She was so much more than a Star Wars princess, but I had allowed that image to dominate my picture of her instead of her advocacy, her authenticity, and her truth. So, one thing I hope to do this year is to read her books and to learn all that I can for the harsh and beautiful life she lived. I want to honor her memory.
I recently read her Rolling Stone interview, and one particular question/answer exchange caught my attention. She was asked: “What’s the best advice you ever got?” and she replied that it was something she heard in Alcoholics Anonymous, something about not having to like things she had to do.
She said they would tell her things like “You don’t have to like it. You just have to go.” She said she felt relieved knowing that she didn’t have to like something, even if she still had to do it.
It sounds simple but reading the relief Fisher felt when hearing it made me consider it on a deeper level.
There is so much we don’t do because we know we are going to be miserable the whole time we are doing it. We think maybe we should wait until we want to do it. We think maybe our resistance is a sign. We think we shouldn’t have to do things we don’t want to do merely because they are hard, uncomfortable, or they aren’t any fun. The truth is we place too much trust into those kinds of feelings. We let them keep us from doing what we need to do.
Have you every paid attention to the things you do when you are trying not to do something? I started to, and I realized the things I do to keep me from doing hard things are not even things I’d rather be doing! I scroll Facebook when I am supposed to be doing research. I wander around the office when I don’t want to do paperwork. I do the dishes when I am supposed to be writing. None of these things are more fun or fulfilling.
I just don’t want to do something, and I can’t move past it so I do anything else but that “anything else” never feels better than the thing I should be doing.
So, this week, I am accepting that I am just not going to like things but that I have to do them anyway. Through that acceptance, we can just move on and get done what needs to get done. I am giving myself permission to hate doing things. I am letting myself feel that resistance. I am acknowledging it and then I am moving forward.
We all hate getting up early. We hate going to work. We hate answering phones, small talk, meetings, and spreadsheets. We hate grocery shopping, and laundry, and cooking dinner. Sometimes we hate the things we love too. Sometimes I hate writing but it is something I have to do! And not only that, contrary to what my brain and my gut are telling me, I feel better when I do it.
I feel better when I accomplish things, especially when they are hard. I feel better when I get things done, and I can move on to new things. I feel better when I check things off my to-do list. I feel better when I take advantage of my time to be successful and productive.
Don’t pretend you hate these things and don’t let your hatred keep you from getting them done. Let your lazy, whiny side have their say. Let yourself moan, and groan, and complain all you want, but then you do what you need to, even if you hate it the whole time. I promise you will feel better in the end :)
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Featured image via Unsplash