Do It Anyway

IMG_4471I’m not exactly what you would call an motivated person.  I don’t spring out of bed in the morning, ready and eager to face the challenges of the day ahead.   My New Year’s resolutions are usually more along the line of “I will try to be more patient and tolerant with people who annoy me,” rather than “I will publish a book, run a marathon, and become chairman of the board of a worthy charity.”  Left to my own devices, I’m perfectly capable of wasting an entire day just puttering about the house, happily organizing my photo albums, re-reading a favorite book, or cleaning out the junk drawer.

I would prefer to think that I appreciate the simple things in life, but the truth is, I’m just not a “Type A” personality, and never will be.  And that means that I spend an awful lot of my time doing things that I really don’t want to do.

As much as I love helping shelter dogs, there are many days when I just don’t feel like walking them.  Some days I’m too tired or too sore, on other days I don’t want to be out for so long in the bitter cold or scorching heat, and there are also days when I’d just rather do something easier than walking ten or more shelter dogs in a row.   But if I’m on the schedule that day, I go down there and walk the dogs anyway, because I know that the dogs and the other volunteers are depending on me.

I enjoy writing my blog and being part of the blogging community, but there are days when I just can’t think of a single thing I want to write about.  It would be so easy to skip a turn on my self-imposed schedule of two blog posts a week, but I don’t.  If I’m supposed to publish a post on a particular day, I sit down in front of the computer and type until I come up with a post that’s at least somewhat worth reading.  That’s the only way I’ll keep this blog going.

This is nothing new.  When I worked full-time, there were many  mornings when I would have given anything for an extra day off, or at least the ability to delegate the parts of my job that I found boring or difficult to some other poor soul.  But I needed the paycheck, so I did the work anyway, without complaining.  Later, staying home with small children came with an endless stream of jobs that I would have preferred to avoid:  the dirty diapers, dealing with toddler tantrums, scrubbing vomit off the new couch, etc.  Raising small children can be hard, but they need and deserve loving care, so I did my best to see that they got it.

I think for most of us, life is sometimes a series of doing things that we’d rather not do, at times when we’d rather not do them.  And for people like me, who are not terribly driven or motivated, it probably always takes a little extra effort to tackle all the necessary challenges and chores that life throws our way.  But I don’t believe that’s ever an excuse for not being dependable, caring or hard-working.  I learned long ago that whether or not I feel like doing something is usually not what matters.  What matters is whether or not the job in front of me needs doing.

42 thoughts on “Do It Anyway

  1. So true and I can very much relate, Ann. I think we’ve all been guilty of feeling that way, at least I know I do. At times I feel incredibly productive and motivated, other times it’s an effort just to get basic things done. I’ve found more and more that writing myself a “to do” list at the beginning of each day is a great way to stay focused and keep me on track.

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  2. I think you are too hard on yourself 🙂 You are simply human – and just fine – no WONDERFUL – just the way you are. (think Mr. Rodgers) 🙂 “It’s you I like – it’s you yourself – it’s you – I like – haha!!! 🙂

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  3. Most days I don’t want to move either and then on other days I’m like a well pikes machine going from one thing to the other. As long as things get done it’s good to take a day off puttering. I think my biggest problem is that when I’m being lazy, I feel guilty for not being productive. You are not alone in this feeling.

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    • I think we’re sort of conditioned to think that any time spent not being productive is time wasted. But you’re right, as long as we are getting the things done that need to be done, a little “wasted” time now and then can be a good thing!

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  4. So very true and I needed to hear this on a cold Friday morning when there is a 4 hour meeting at work today, an all day and night volunteering for a fundraiser on Saturday and then waking up early Sunday morning to catch a flight for a work related trip. REALLY needed this, thanks.

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  5. It’s true. I think somewhere on my “About Page” I have a line that says something like “I spend most of my time doing things that, on balance, I’d rather not be doing.” I guess that’s just the way life it. There are enough fun bits, though, to make up for the boring ones.

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  6. I can relate to this. Even when I don’t feel like doing something, I try to convince myself that I should take at least a baby step forward and make a little progress (but I’m not always successful at getting motivated). 🙂

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  7. Seeing things as a burden or “should’ can be a downer in my day. I try to shift my thinking from I “have to” to I “choose” to do. I also ask myself “Is this the right thing to do?” and then do it in this spirit.
    xo

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    • What works best for me is, “is this the right thing to do?” as well. That way, even though I don’t really want to do something, I know there is a good reason for doing it. And afterwards, I do feel as if I’ve accomplished something worthwhile. Thanks for the perspective, Val!

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  8. I think most of us experience these things as we go through life, which in some strange way makes getting older more fun because you get to a point where you realize it’s all just stuff and you can pick and choose which stuff you want to do today.
    Most times you get to choose the fun stuff, though responsibilities at any age are always part of your daily life.
    There is nothing wrong with cleaning out the junk drawer or spending the day doing what some people may view as mindless a activities. Sometimes that’s exactly what the mind needs.
    Nice post, Ann. Now go do something you want to do..:)

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  9. I have “lectured” my children with the exact same words. Once after asking one of them to do a chore and she said she didn’t want to do it, I gave the example that I drove her to dance even though I didn’t want to. Hoping that it was an example that we must do necessary things in life. At the dance banquet, the kids were to write a tribute to their mothers and mine wrote, “My Mom drives me to dance even though she doesn’t want to”. It was read out loud to the entire group and my face turned beet red!

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  10. I can totally relate to this. Some days I just want to step away & have some time to do nothing. Absolutely, nothing. Potter around the house, read, watch a movie on TV … Just unwind & take a minute. I find these “moments” pop up more the busier I am at work. And as I result, I probably neglect other things I should be doing.

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    • It’s hard to take the time to do nothing (especially without feeling guilty about it), but sometimes that’s exactly what we need to do to refresh and recharge. I think the trick is to know how often to do it without neglecting the stuff that does need to be done. It’s a delicate balance, that’s for sure!

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  11. Interesting perspective. When I hit middle-age, I decided to give myself permission *not* to do things. So, yes, I try to blog everyday (I have another blog than the one linked to this profile), but if I don’t, I have permission not to beat myself up about it. I let myself say no to things instead of just saying yes in order to have company. I let myself go to bed early some nights instead of staying up to finish something that I wanted to do but is, honestly, not life-threatening if I don’t. I totally understand where you’re coming from about doing things that we don’t want to do. But sometimes we also need to allow ourselves to just let them go.

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    • I agree! There are definitely times when we need to give ourselves permission to take a break, and we don’t have to complete every task that is in front of us, at least not right away. I was focusing more on the issue of thinking, “I’d rather not do that, so I’m not going to” when it comes to things (or people) that do need to be taken care of, especially for those like me who sometimes find it too easy to slack off. I think the trick is to find a balance between challenging ourselves to do what we can, while at the same time taking breaks when we need them. Thanks for commenting and sharing your perspective! I really do appreciate it!

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  12. UGH GUILT! My Old Foe! And It would seem yours too! I have been practicing gratitude as well to see me through my bad days… but I forget sometimes too. It’s SO MUCH EFFORT! why don’t they teach these things at school?

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  13. Wow – I think you just describe what it is to be an adult. I an now faced, after almost 60 years, with having to accept that which has been upon me for many years. After reading your post I realize I have been a reluctant adult for some years now. BTW I look forward to your posts, although I am a few weeks behind, so keep writing.

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    • Sometimes I think the true test of being an adult is realizing that we are going to spend a whole lot of time doing stuff we don’t particularly want to do. And like you, I would describe myself as a “reluctant adult” as well. Thanks also for the encouraging words, and I enjoy reading about Kali as well!

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