This summer we are doing lots of adventuring, taking time off, taking vacation and having a really good time.
When the time comes to do something resembling work: actual work, laundry, work on a volunteer project – I often dread it.
I feel like it’s too hard. I ask myself why I ever took this on? Why isn’t my life easier? Why do I do so much stuff? Why don’t I have more down time?
What I’ve learned is that I usually have built a story up around the activity that is not necessarily true. Once I’ve started it’s nowhere near as bad as I made it out to me. Sometimes when I’m done, I’m even glad I did it.
Lately, my strategy in dealing with the things I don’t want to do (or think I don’t want to do) is to tell myself to let it be easy. .
What I’ve found is that the actual activity isn’t usually that. It’s not bad or hard or unfair. The activity itself is neutral. The story I build around it is what makes it hard. .
The resistance I build up around it is what makes it hard.
For example, when we got home Sunday evening, I was cranky and grumpy about the laundry I had to do. I still had to get to the grocery store and prepare a few meals for the work week.
It was hard to adjust to my routine and a schedule after a weekend of fun and running on a loose timeline. I was letting myself get bitter about it.
I asked myself ‘How can I let this be easy?”
I realized it can be easy if I stop feeding all the reasons I kept thinking it was hard. .
Is doing laundry really that hard or inconvenient? No, not really. Laundry is actually quite a neutral activity. I appreciate having clean clothes and sheets.
Is getting meals ready for work lunches actually hard or inconvenient?
No. Cooking can be fun and soothing if I don’t rush myself and put myself under pressure. It’s so much easier during the week if I have things prepared in advance. Then I’m not rushing in my mornings, trying to get it together.
Things get hard when I resist my circumstances, when I resist my reality. .
Working isn’t hard. Doing chores isn’t hard. Resenting those things is what makes it hard.
The negative chatter in my head is what makes my life hard.
Letting go of that chatter, considering a different possibility makes life so much easier. We have all kinds of habitual thoughts that affect how we feel and how our life goes.
Once I learned to start question my thoughts – especially the ones that felt awful, I started to realize that I was placing value judgements on things that we actually neutral. If I could put a negative spin on things, then I was certainly capable of putting a positive spin on things. Life is WAY easier when you make friends with those activities that you normally dread.