Thursday, October 10, 2013

Do What You Love...And Sometimes What You Don't

Today has just been one of those days.

I woke up with a horribly stuffy nose and killer sinus headache.  I had to walk to work in the cold and rain.  The internet was down at home for most of the day.  Dinner was a disaster.  It's still cold and rainy and I still have a killer headache and all I want to do is curl up in the fetal position under my covers and wake up tomorrow in a better mood.

It's amusing to me that just when I make a decision to do something, it seems like the Universe conspires to throw stuff in my direction to make me change my mind.  (This time it's my decision to blog every day for 21 days and I didn't even make it to day 3 when Mr Universe tosses nasty weather, a lack of internet connection, and the worst headache I've had in recent history to make me want to say. "Screw you!" to my resolve.)

But here I am at 10:42 PM headache and all.

I've read a lot lately about happiness.  According to some schools of thought, you should do more of what you enjoy and less of what makes you miserable.  "Do what you love" say the happiness gurus.  And while I agree with that to a large extent.  There are a few exceptions.

I hate to write.

There.  I said it.  I'm grumpy through the whole process.  I dread it when I know I have a deadline coming up.  I find it emotionally exhausting, and stressful.  Usually because I'm overly critical of my own writing, and I probably care far too much about other people's opinions of it.

But I love having written.

I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.  I enjoy seeing a them developed through words I've written.  I enjoy hearing from others that my words have made them think, or challenged them, or inspired them.

Basically I hate the process, but I love the result.  Kind of weird, right?  Not so much.

I also hate cleaning my house.

I absolutely hate every second of it.  I especially hate mopping floors.  I despise washing dishes.  I loathe folding laundry.  I can generally think of a million other things I'd much rather be doing.

But I love a clean house.  There's little I enjoy more than walking into a clean kitchen first thing in the morning to fix my coffee.  I enjoy propping my feet up on the couch in my tidy living room just to read a book.  I like being able to find neatly folded clothes stacked neatly in dresser drawers.

Basically I hate the process, but love the result.

So should I abandon cleaning house because it's something I don't enjoy?  Should I quit trying to control the dust bunnies and the clutter and the million little messes that a family of six makes?  If I did, I miss out on the comfort and peace I feel when the house is clean.

And this is the same reason I right.

With a little time and thought I could probably think of a dozen other examples, but right now I'm tire and it's late and it's raining and I still have this major headache.  So I'm going to bed, content that I have written today.  But I will try to think of this truth next time I consider skipping an activity because it's not something that I enjoy.  It might just bring me happiness in the long run anyway.

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