Writer’s Life: Can’t Argue With That

My dad always had a quick reply when I fussed about something that had to be done – from eating my cauliflower to going to the dentist to frustrating homework assignments: 
“No one said you had to like it.”

It was a phrase that stopped any argument before it could get started. Naturally, I’m guilty of aiming the same phrase at my children. Dad would be so proud.

Think of it as my dad’s version of Nike’s “Just do it” campaign. A talented salesman and motivator, my father embraced the entire positive thinking culture throughout his life. But there are some things that even when you approach them with the right positive attitude still aren’t likable tasks. Things you just have to do anyway. 

That’s why I turn on music or a podcast to make housework more palatable. I use Reese’s Pieces (and a different music soundtrack) to smooth out the rough edges of the editing process. (Even knowing the value of my editor’s advice, I’d much rather write the next story. It’s more fun). 

My back continues to put roadblocks in my life. The daily physical therapy and various treatments aren’t always likable, but they are necessary and my father’s voice whispers through my mind when I get frustrated.

“No one said you had to like it.” 

There’s a certain freedom in those words. I can approach the not-so-fun aspects life throws at me with a smile when I realize I don’t have to like it, I just have to get through it. (another of Dad’s phrases was “This too shall pass.”) When I’m done with whatever it is that I don’t like, I can move on to something I do enjoy.

Sort of like the promise of ice cream after having your tonsils removed.

“No one said you had to like it” takes the pressure off. It’s like a mental shrug, lowering the emotional expectation of any less than fun event. And who knows, sometimes when you don’t have to like it, you might find whatever it is to be a little less horrible than when you were putting all that energy into trying to like something unlikable.

Live the adventure!

Regan Black paranormal romance author

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