Not Enjoyable

I learned something about myself today. Nothing really earth-shattering, but important. I keep doing things I don’t actually enjoy. And, worst yet, keep doing them despite the fact I *know* I don’t enjoy them.

Today, for example. I was ahead on my hours at work so, great, I could leave early and do whatever I wanted for a few hours. First, I’d go to the mall and look for some new clothes for work. Then, after an hour or two, I would come out and sit out in our screened porch and knit or write or blog or all three. It’s not too hot today and there’s a fan out there, so it’d be perfect, temperature-wise. I could even listen to whatever music I wanted loudly without bothering anyone. And Matt would be out of  my hair, too (and Lizzie, who is at her grandparents’).

So I went to the mall and wandered around. My big idea was to look for a couple of specific pieces…which I did not find. What I did find was that I was too warm for walking around and everyone and everything was getting on my nerves. So I left after less than an hour of wandering, despite the fact it was only 3:30.

Arrived home, changed into a comfortable skirt, grabbed my supplies – laptop, cold drink, notebook, pen, laptop, Echo Tap – and went out to the porch. Where it was too warm and humid and something was trying to bite me.

So, here I am. Annoyed with the world and with myself for being annoyed with the world. And it’s Friday. A Friday where I got to leave work early and the forecasted rain stopped early. Ugh.

I’m reading this book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. (Okay, I’m actually listening to the audiobook but that’s a topic for a different post.) She chose a single year to make a purposeful attempt to make herself happier. After a lot of research and planning, she worked each month to add a handful of new habits to her life, shown by science to make people happier.

One of those things that makes people happier? Not continuing to do things that make you unhappy but that they felt compelled to do because others enjoyed them. Literally the topic I heard about on my way to work yesterday.

Guess I’m one of those people who has to learn things herself.

Today showed me two things I don’t enjoy: shopping for clothing for work clothes and hanging out on the porch by myself.

Other people love shopping for clothing or being by themselves outdoors. Shopping for clothing is stressful for me because clothes are expensive, rarely fit me correctly, and are something I think of as really important to my happiness but then settle with. (I also feel constantly judged by salespeople as they almost always ignore me completely until I go to buy something. I dress very casually when shopping – more comfortable that way – and don’t tend to look like I can afford their wares, I guess?)

Being alone outdoors sounds lovely in theory, but it makes me long for more comfortable temperatures and seating options.

So, if I want to be happy, those are not things I should do. Anyone want to take bets on how many more times I have to learn this lesson?

How about you guys? Are you doing something you don’t enjoy but do merely because someone else likes it or because you’re supposed to enjoy it?

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