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Hating something and doing it anyway

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

I’ve decided that it is ok to be miserable doing something and still do it anyway. 

At some point I am sure I will write something about my whole philosophy on embracing all feelings, but this is a bit more targeted today. My application - painting.

I recently bought my first house. It is something I never thought I would do alone, but as I’ve gotten older, I began embracing the ability to move forward with goals and dreams instead of waiting for what I thought would be the ideal situation.  In doing so, I discovered hidden treasures to experience as an individual making all decisions. 

My living room boasts a velvet blush colored couch, my bedroom is all things French Country…. who am I kidding – my entire house is French Country,  and as I sift through ceiling lights online, it’s all about me and me alone. 

I look forward to saying ‘I do’ to the love of my life (and no – I have not met him yet) but the point is that once I decided that I wasn’t going to delay certain parts of life’s experiences, I discovered all the joys in experiencing things alone and differently.

Back to painting. 

My little country house was in desperate need of painting - like every wall in the house. Not willing to spend thousands for someone else to come in and do it, I volunteered me. I know how to paint walls and I’ve been wanting to paint my own walls for years. 

Quickly, I realized that I don’t enjoy painting. At all. In fact, other than a brief moment here and there, I hate everything about it. I can’t put a finger on why exactly, just that it feels so much more like a chore than I expected it to. I thoroughly enjoy helping others paint their walls, why would I think it would be any different for me?! But it is, and I’m finally passed the halfway point, and still - the dread of taking on another room seems to grow as I get to the finish line.

The other day, after spending the majority of the time questioning why I was making me do something that was so unenjoyable, I decided that it was ok to not be enjoying myself.

I determined that we don’t have to enjoy everything we do in life. Sometimes - many times, we need to do what we wouldn’t choose to do, to reach a better place. 

Seems simple enough, right? 

I am now curious to examine other things in my life that I haven’t enjoyed but done anyway. There must be thousands of things.... why can’t I think of some? Dishes? I find that even when I don’t look forward to them, when I am actually in the process, I relish that time. The soothing warm water over my hands; the tranquility of getting lost in thought. When the last dish is completed - a bit of disappointment arises at the conclusion of my washing-dishes-thinking-time. 

Tasks at my old job - I could list off the items I never wanted to do. Avoiding them was the crappy part... when I finally did them - it felt great and so often I enjoyed doing them. Again - the knowledge and feeling of accomplishment and contributing to something overwhelmed the expected dislike. 

Lesson here is that perhaps I will look back at this painting experience and be able to say that the feeling of accomplishment overwhelmed the miserableness. That it’s ok to hate it as I am doing it, because the positivity that will come out of it will outweigh the temporary ‘pain’ I experience now.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on experiences like this. 

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