A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing what kinds of exercise we like to do. I told her I enjoy my exercise DVDs, but that I’ve been wanting to do the Couch to 5K running plan. I’ve even talked about that on this blog a couple of times, and it was on my to-do list on my phone for months.
After our discussion, I deleted it from my list.
I have a hard time making up my mind to do something and not doing it. Or starting something and not finishing it. I hold myself accountable, but sometimes it makes me feel more stressed than driven. It’s just one more thing on the list instead of something I’m excited or motivated to work toward.
That’s how I felt about Couch to 5K. No one told me I had to do it, but I determined that I would like to run a 5K sometime and thought this running plan would make me feel confident to do so. Who knows? Maybe I can run a 5K without any kind of training. I mean, it’s really not that far. But I haven’t tried, so I don’t know. I would still like to run one sometime, but man, deleting that from my list felt good. It was nice to say to myself, “You know, I’m just not into this. And that’s OK.”
It’s kind of silly. No one looks at my to-do list except me, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I check something off. And deciding that I shouldn’t feel a need to do something in the first place was empowering. Even a small weight off my shoulders — that I put there. I can’t do everything, and while I enjoy running short distances, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be “a runner.” I can be other things, like someone who enjoys working out to DVDs in the comfort of her own home. (Note: I did a P90X workout this morning and liked it.)
My friend said something like this: “Life is too short to waste time doing something you don’t enjoy.”
I think there’s a line, of course. I wouldn’t suggest that a new mom abandon her baby just because mothering isn’t that fun sometimes. And I wouldn’t advise someone to give up on a marriage because it’s tough. But that’s not what she was talking about.
If there’s something you’ve been meaning to do and keep putting off, maybe it’s time to let it go. Maybe you would be happier or better off by putting that time- and mind-consuming thing aside and freeing yourself up for other things you’d rather do. I’m not saying be irresponsible, but I know that many of us have to-do lists that require more hours in the day than we have, and we stress ourselves out about some unobtainable goal.
I am queen of too many to-dos. Sometimes the things on my list really do need to be done, but sometimes they are barriers to doing the really important things in life, like spending time with family or talking to God.
Another thing I determined not to finish is “Wuthering Heights.”
I bought this book in a used bookstore earlier this summer and thought I would expand my literary proficiency by reading a classic. I read half of it, was somewhat intrigued, then got bored.
I found myself trudging through it so I could read the next book, which looks way more interesting. So I tossed it into a bag with the rest of my Goodwill-bound items. Now for something more enjoyable. …