Do you ever find it hard to do something you KNOW you should do?

I can tell I’ve been working on the Happiness Project for a while now, because I have a resolution or a commandment that covers just about every situation.

This morning, for example, I finally followed my commandment, “Do what ought to be done.” In this case, that meant going to the eye doctor.

I started having trouble with my right eye while I was in India. We got back on October 16—yes, that was forty-four days ago. Did the problem go away? No. Did I call the doctor? No.

I kept trying to convince myself that my eye was getting better. Still sore, still bloodshot, still light sensitive…I had a hard time making the case that I was seeing some improvement, but still I delayed. I’m not sure why. I wasn’t scared to go to the eye doctor.

Yesterday I managed to get a grip on myself. I just picked up the phone to do what ought to be done. What result?

I called my eye doctor’s office yesterday afternoon at 4:00.

The secretary was able to squeeze me in this morning at 9:00.

I showed up at 8:55 a.m, to an office six blocks from my apartment.

Turns out I’m having an allergic reaction (not an infection) and, on a scale from 1-4, my right eye is 4+++ and my left eye is 4+. Apparently my eyes aren’t getting better on their own–but the doctor predicts almost immediate improvement once I start using the drops.

I paid my co-pay, got my prescription for eye drops, and was out the door at 9:16.

Now, was that so hard? Why did I suffer for six weeks rather than spend twenty minutes taking care of the problem? Do what ought to be done.

*
I got some excellent podcasting advice from Tony D. Clark, who, I quickly discovered, has gone FAR BEYOND anything I can contemplate doing myself. But although I was cowed by his podcast expertise, I was charmed by the rest of his site, Success From the Nest, which is about the challenges and fun of being a work-at-home parent. Lots of good stuff there.

Plus his site pointed me to a truly happiness-making video from YouTube, of a baby laughing in a high chair. You MUST go see this (probably everyone else in cyberspace has known about this forever, but I just saw it now). Check it out on the Escape Adulthood blog, which is also a wonderful new resource I just found, via Success From the Nest.

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • Chris

    You mean your eyes are more important than your podcast?!? Pshaw! :)

  • Gale

    Of course eyes are more important than the podcast!
    Do you have any doubts? :)
    G.

  • http://www.kentblumberg.com Kent Blumberg

    Thanks for the baby laughing link. Cynthia and I loved it. And it’s great to hear your eyes are getting back on track. Don’t know why it is, but I often postpone doctor visits, too.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxf maxf

    I believe the picture used is derived from mine at http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxf/59279271/.
    I’m very honoured about being an eye model for you, but please note that photo has a CC “attribution” license, which means you’re supposed to attribute the picture to me. Maybe you could link it to my flickr page? Thanks.

  • http://successfromthenest.com Tony D. Clark

    Thanks for the link Gretchen. I’m so glad I was able to help.
    Your commandment “Do what ought to be done.” is similar to one I live by, which is based on Zen teachings I learned several years ago. It’s “compassion is doing what needs to be done.”
    Thanks again for stopping by, and the kind words.

  • http://www.gretchenrubin.com Gretchen Rubin

    Hey MaxF — I’m SO sorry that I used your photo without attribution. Your image is on the first page of “Google Images” for “bloodshot eye” and I just took it from there. Clearly I need to start paying more attention to the rights of images–it’s hazy to me how it’s supposed to work. (I’m a lawyer, too, so should really be much more punctilious.) I’m embarassed to say that I’ve never linked to a flickr page before, but I’ll give it a shot. I have only a halting facility with this stuff, so if I fail to do so, it’s from incompetence, not for lack of trying.

  • http://mind-mart.com gr8face

    Heck, at one time I had it written on the wall–“Do what you’re supposed to do, not what you feel like doing.”

  • http://www.celiacchicks.com Kelly

    Interesting article on happiness in case you didn’t read it. Enjoy!
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15909133/wid/11915773?GT1=8717