I realized today that I’ve been learning more and more about myself from working retail this winter. Part of it might be the fact that this was really my first year round job that wasn’t limited to the summer or semesters of school. But it also might be the people I’m working with, the job itself, the fact that its retail, and the other things happening in my life.
This morning though, I realized a new lesson that I had been learning at work and planning on trying to consciously implement it in the rest of my life. You know it from the title but here it is: Do It Anyway.
Now this might sound really bad, especially if the work environment is at all toxic or if the insistence that you do it anyway is coming from a boss who isn’t thinking things through.
No, the reason that this lesson really jumped out at me is that my work place is laid back enough that I’m the one teaching myself to Do It Anyway. It’s something that I started doing on my own because it seemed like a good way of looking at things; a good way at getting things done. Which should mean that I’ll be able to implement it all the more easily into other areas of my life.
By Do It Anyway, I mean this as an answer to those moments of “But”.
I should sweep and mop “But” I don’t feel like it. Do It Anyway (because it needs to get done). I should dust “But” it doesn’t look really bad right now. Do It Anyway (because it needs to get done at some point so why not now?). I should replace the shopping bags “But” they aren’t getting super low yet. Do It Anyway (because it’ll need to get done and I can do it, so why not help out when I can?).
It started out with basics that we’re supposed to do during open or close that sometimes seems pointless. Like, you’re supposed to recount your till first thing in the morning to make sure everything is at $200 each for the day. However, sometimes this really feels repetitive because the person that closed the night before should have set the tills back to the $200. However, I’ve always told myself to Do It Anyway so that I know for sure that everything is good. It makes me feel better. And Do It Anyway has caught problems, times when the till isn’t set properly. Points where everything would become more complicated because I hadn’t caught it earlier but were fixed because I Did It Anyway.
Do It Anyway might make things a little harder at the time. It means I need to take the time to do the thing I need to do whether that’s go dig around the basement storage to find those shopping bags, or dust for the third day in a row. It can also mean short term annoyance and aching like when I have to sweep and mop which leaves my back hurting or doing something that I feel like someone else should have done.
But I’m trying to Do It Anyway because I CAN do it even if I feel like someone else already should have. Because I’m trying to make myself better and that means letting go of assumptions of what other people should or shouldn’t do. Maybe there were other reasons that those people didn’t do those things but I don’t have that excuse so I’m going to Do It Anyway.
So at work alone I’ve been learning to take accountability for my own actions but not to assume the accountability of anyone else. All because I tell myself to Do It Anyway at work in a retail job.
What else could I teach myself if I applied Do It Anyway to other areas of my life?
I want to start going to the gym and that’s going to be a lot of work and discomfort from the very beginning (I hurt myself running half a block to catch a bus). But I have to keep telling myself to Do It Anyway because it’ll be good for me. I’ll feel more comfortable in my body. And maybe I won’t hurt myself running for the bus anymore.
I’ll have to start keeping the apartment clean on my own as everyone else heads off soon. I’ve started making a plan that’ll having me do one chore a day to keep on top of everything. Right now, that doesn’t seem so bad but I know there will be days I’m tired and don’t feel like doing anything and I’m going to have to Do It Anyway. Because I’m more likely to Do It Anyway if its just one job and not leaving all of them until one day.
I’ve been making plans with friends and then going, even when my anxiety and depression tells me not to, because I need to Do It Anyway. Because my anxiety and depression lie to me about people not liking me, not wanting to hang out with me so Doing It Anyway reminds me of the truth: if they didn’t want to hang out with me they wouldn’t have invited me.
Remembering to eat because I need to and Doing It Anyway. Remembering to keep drinking water and Doing It Anyway even if I want to drink pop. Flossing, groceries, talking with my best friend. Do It Anyway even when things get in the way, it seems hard, especially when it gets hard.