Do the Unpleasant Things As Fast as You Can and All at Once

I hate going to the dentist. That chair you sit in. The pleasant way the hygienist smiles at you while she’s digging around in your mouth. And of course, they talk when they know full well you can’t say a thing back.

I hate going because it’s uncomfortable, yet necessary. I can’t tell you how my teeth are doing. I didn’t have any pain in my mouth but apparently had a pretty severe cavity. How was I to know? I’m not. Which is exactly why we all go to the dentist: we just don’t know.

It’s an unpleasant situation. My least favorite part is the inability to move. I asked for a stress ball while they were doing a filling not because I was feeling particularly nervous but because I needed something to do with my hands. 

I’m just thankful you only have to go twice a year. 

I also hate eye exams. Not as much as dentist trips, but they’re still uncomfortable. Asking all of those questions about, “Does 1 look clearer, or 2?” Half the time I just want to scream, “I don’t know, they look identically blurry!” And then you worry you made the wrong choice and you doubt your ability to understand what “blurry” and “clear” really mean.

Why am I telling you about my hatred of these places?

Because both of them are things you have to do whether you like it or not. Neither of them takes very long, and yet I dread them and worry about them. They’re such unpleasant things. (And because I did both of them today and I’m displeased.)

And because I think that there’s something to be learned here.

After my dentist appointment, the last thing I wanted to do was go for an eye exam. It seemed like a good idea when I set up the appointments last week, but when the time came around, I didn’t want to do it. 

Yet I decided to anyway.

Why? Because both of these things are unpleasant things. And unpleasant things are best done fast and all at once.

The sooner you get things done, the less you have to worry about them. If you’re dreading writing that paper, decide to sit down and get it over with so you don’t have worry about it anymore. If you’re freaking out about all the work you have to accomplish on that project, take an hour or two to figure out the basics.

“The best way to get something done is to begin.” That’s the quote on the front of a journal my friend gave me. I’d like to put it this way instead:

The only way to get something done is to begin.

So when you have something unpleasant that you need to get done, go ahead and do it. The longer you sit around ignoring it, dreading it, and distracting yourself from it, the longer it will cloud up your mind and bog you down. You can’t get over something if you’re not even dealing with it. And the best way to deal with something is to do it as fast as you can and all at once.

Because that’s the only way you can get on with your life. 

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