Eating the Frog

“If you eat a frog in the morning, the rest of the day will be wonderful.”

When I was a girl, and dragging my feet to postpone something I disliked, such as doing geometry homework, cleaning my room, or babysitting my little sister, my dad would often remind me of the above quote from Mark Twain. A colorful way of saying that when faced with an unpleasant task, get it out of the way first and the rest of the day will be better.I have applied this idea to various aspects of imagesmy life with varying degrees of success.

Years ago when the running craze first took off, Ron and I bought expensive shoes and joined the hordes of 20-somethings huffing and puffing through the neighborhood, unwittingly ruining their knee joints by constant pounding on concrete sidewalks. It was torture. Those who took to it encouraged me to stick with it; that eventually I’d reach that “runner’s high” that would make the torture worth it. Every morning as I made breakfast and dressed for work, the prospect of having to come home after an exhausting day, lace up those shoes and run hung over me like the sword of Damocles.

So I decided to eat the frog. I got up half an hour earlier and ran then. I gave it a fair shot–at least a month because those who keep track of such things say 30 days is how long it takes to develop a new habit. But I still hated it, the runner’s high I was promised never arrived so I traded inĀ  my running shoes for aerobic dance shoes and started over.

Today the top of my dread-to-do list includes scrubbing bathrooms ( and you thought writers’ lives were glamorous–ha!) bathing the dog, and grocery shopping. And it turns out Mark Twain was right. Once I get those things out of the way early in the day, the rest of it does seem much more pleasant.

What’s on your frog list?