Stop Doing That
All through our lives, we have to do stuff we really don’t want to do.
We all pay bills and taxes, and that really sucks. I wish my Grandma was here with her little change purse, giving me a quarter right now.
We all obey laws – stopping at red lights and picking up dog poop – although not at the same time of course.
We also obey people that we don’t necessarily agree with or respect. I have several bosses that come to mind right now. There are lots of people in the world telling us what to do all our lives and we just grit our teeth and get it done.
Most of us have worked at jobs we hated at some point in our lives – and we stuck it out because of the economy or other pressures. Lack of options is the nastiest boss of all.
But sometimes we do stuff we dislike for no reason at all.
I’m here to tell you: STOP DOING THAT!
That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to get to work on time or vacuum the house or tolerate the kids when they are at their most intolerable.
But here are just a few things you might want to chuck:
Finishing a book you aren’t enjoying. Boring? Annoying? If you are no longer in school, put it down. Give it away. There are so many good things to read, don’t waste another minute on something that isn’t pleasing you. Right now I am exactly 56% (thank you for the precise stat, Kindle) into a book by a writer I greatly admire. But it’s just not working for me. I love her tweets; I love her blog. I do not like this book. I’m going to abandon it and read something I like.
Going to a party you’d rather skip. Skip it. I have spent 66 years going places I didn’t want to go. Sometimes – still – I have no choice. Family stuff is important, whether I feel like it or not. And sometimes I make the sacrifice because my husband wants to go – and I should do stuff that he likes once in a while. But not always. Like Larry David, I love cancelled plans. And although I don’t like to be rude by cancelling on a friend – it is not rude and it is not even cancelling if you say NO in the first place. New Year’s Eve? No thank you.
Speaking of Holidays – here’s something I am slowly abandoning: Christmas decorations. I love Christmas. But I hate pulling all of the accoutrements (I originally typed “crap”, but I will be nice) out of the attic and taking hours and hours putting them all over the house. And then spending the next few weeks policing the dog and the cats – “Don’t touch that!” If they are not supposed to knock over the Nativity or climb the tree – what is it doing there all shiny and interesting? And worse – far worse – taking down the tree, and putting all the
crap beautiful decorations back in the attic. So I am scaling back. This year I had a small tabletop tree in my living room and my best glass ornaments on my dining room sideboard.
Stop being mad at the person you are mad at right now. I’ll bet at this very moment you are aggravated at someone. Your spouse. Your kid. Your father. Your boss. Just stop being mad. Is that possible? Yes. Yes, it is. You don’t have to agree with whoever you are fighting with. But your anger isn’t really hurting anyone but yourself. Just tell yourself that you are moving on – and then move on. Give that person a call, a hug, a compliment. If your relationship is just horrible with that person, end it. But if it’s not so bad, then like them again. It’s that simple. Just decide.
And most important of all –
Comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone richer or prettier or more successful. Always. Don’t try to measure yourself against what you think other people’s lives are like. Because that is just your imagination looking at the outside of someone’s life. You don’t really know. Keep striving to make yourself into the person you really want to be. The person you want to love. In the meantime, like yourself at least as much as you like everyone else.
You may think your life is not as good as someone else’s. But unless you are living on the streets of Mumbai, you are probably okay.