This feels ridiculous to type, but I really dislike washing my face at night. I wash my face in the shower in the morning. At night, getting ready for bed, I take out my contacts and brush and floss my teeth without incident. Yet somehow, the prospect of getting my face wet and soapy when I’m tired makes me incredibly cross. It brings out my inner rebel. I just don’t want to do it.
I have tried various methods of making this chore more pleasant. I’ve procured lovely-smelling, luxurious face soaps. They do smell nice, but I’m still not pleased with the wet-and-soapy part. I’ve experimented with various cleansing pads to do away with the wet-and-soapy part, but they don’t remove make-up all that well.
Anyway, for a long time I was going through various mental gymnastics and whininess about this. Then I had a realization. I didn’t have to like it. If I thought it was important to wash my face, then I could do it anyway. Whether I liked washing my face or not was irrelevant to the fact that I could become the sort of person who washes her face every single night.
And so, I have become that person. Every night I hear a little inner voice saying “I don’t want to!” and I proceed to tell that little voice to be quiet as I wash away. It’s over quickly and my skin looks mildly better than it otherwise would.
I am guessing you don’t have these toddler-level battles with yourself over face washing, but maybe there’s something else you are willing to believe might be important that you don’t want to do. Lots of people resist exercise. Some people, as adults, still won’t eat their vegetables. I hear from spontaneous sorts all the time about how they hate to plan — especially if it involves weekends! Then there’s flossing, which people hate so much that they lie to their dentists about how often they do it.
Our first inclination, when we encounter inner resistance to these tasks, is to come up with a seemingly good reason that we just can’t do X, Y, or Z. Dentists hear from people that they don’t have time to floss, even though it doesn’t take much more time to floss than it does to complain about how you don’t have time to floss. I’ve always been amused by ads for gadgets promising people they can get a full work out in 4 minutes or something like that. It’s not that people can’t find 15 minutes to exercise but could find 4. It’s that they don’t want to exercise. I would tell myself that I don’t wear much make-up. Especially these days!
But instead of expending this mental energy to prosecute the case, why not just…do it anyway? You don’t have to like it. If you’re tired of living in chaos but you don’t like planning your time, well, try planning your time. If you’re tired of feeling stiff, and you think walking more might help, you can walk for 20 minutes a day even if it’s not your idea of fun. If you think your life might be improved by doing something, you can do it whether you enjoy it or not. You don’t have to like it. Realizing this can be life-changing. Or at least might make the next dentist visit better.