This afternoon, whilst working from home on a PR strategy document so complicated it made me want to repeatedly bang my head against a concrete wall, I began to ruminate on the importance of sometimes doing things we don’t want to do. When I became so frustrated with the document that a break was imperative I decided (somewhat irrationally, with hindsight) to do something else I didn’t want to do: Go for a run. And I’m not going to lie to you, every single step was horrendous. Beyond horrendous, actually, it being so humid the sweat was running in rivulets down my back before I’d even turned the corner of my own road.
But despite the discomfort of these activities, the important thing is that I did them – not with good grace and humour, admittedly (what do you want from me – blood?), but with something more resembling grim determination. And in doing them I managed to assuage the guilt I had been feeling about putting both activities off for the past few weeks.
It’s not just about assuaging guilt, however. One of my favourite singer-songwriters, Megan Henwood, wrote a beautiful song in which she explains why it’s important to endure harder times in our lives in order to appreciate the good ones: “Without the down and dark there would be no contrast between the high and light, the happy times, the balance and the bliss.” Now I’m not saying writing a PR strategy or going for a run when it’s humid are on a par with, say, a family bereavement or relationship break up, but no one could deny they place significantly lower on the scale of good times than winning the lottery or getting engaged.
So now my daily quota of ‘Things I Don’t Want To Do But Regrettably Have To’ has been filled, I’m off to view my new flat and spend the evening eating fine food in fine company. I might even treat myself to a glass of wine – it’s all about striking a balance, after all…