Things I Wish I Liked (Or Loved)

A few weeks ago Suzanne wrote a post that included a rundown of foods she wishes she enjoyed (if you’re curious they were: tomatoes, oatmeal, and eggs which, incidentally, are three of my favourite foods). She asked readers what food(s) they wished they liked (or at least tolerated), and it got me thinking…

You can choose what you do but you can’t choose what you like to do.

Gretchen Rubin

Sing it, Gretchen.

So here, in no particular order, are things I wish I liked (or loved).

  • Spicy food. I manage to hobble through life avoiding spice – I’m talking heat, not flavour – but occasionally the only thing on offer is spicy and it makes me miserable. It also feels like bring-your-own-Sriracha/(insert other specialty hot sauce) has become a cultural phenomenon – one in which I can’t participate which leads to some version of #FOMO.
  • Mornings. I am not a morning person. I can interact with people and get things done (and, with kids, early mornings are unavoidable). But I wish I was the sort of person who could leap from bed singing the Newsies soundtrack and rush to embrace the day. In reality, I’m more of the swing-one-creaking-leg-over-the-edge-of-the-bed-at-a-time-while-moaning sort of morning person.
  • Pets. Hear me out, all you dog and cat lovers. My mother was, and is, terrified of dogs. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother avoiding and/or actively running/biking away from dogs. I’m also allergic to cats and dogs (with fur). So the fact that I tolerate (and even like) most dogs is a huge leap forward. But I wish I loved them. And it’s not just dogs, I feel very meh about pets in general.
  • Running. Again, bear with me. I appreciate running for utilitarian reasons. I cover ground more quickly and, yes, there are great endorphins yada, yada. But it hurts my knees and it makes me sweat (and I hate sweating), and it makes me dislike hills even more than when I’m walking them. I can appreciate and even “like” running, but I wish I loved it.
  • Sweating. See above. I actually know people who enjoy sweating. I loathe it. And I almost always end up cold after I’ve been sweating. Ick.
  • Rollercoasters. There is a hit of adrenaline, but I’d rather stay on terra firma.
  • Classical music. I like classical music, but I wish I loved it. I feel so out of place when I look around at a concert and see people with their eyes closed in this trance-like state; I’m more likely to be thinking about my grocery list than paying attention to the music. I often put on classical playlists when I’m working, but aside from Beethoven’s Symphony No.7 in A major op.92 – II, Allegretto, which I enjoy immensely, it’s mostly pleasant background noise to me. (I do love lyrical music, though.)
  • Winter. No matter how I approach this subject…I don’t like winter. I’m well aware of the fun of sledding and skiing and skating. I still don’t like winter. Do I try to make the most out of it? Yes. But it all happens through gritted, chattering teeth.
  • Home renovations. One acquaintance actively looks for areas in her home to have renovated (she does outsource everything, but loves the whole process -from planning through to having contractors at her house for months on end). Another friend will randomly text that she decided to paint a room over the weekend – like this is NO BIG DEAL. To someone like me THIS IS A VERY BIG DEAL. I dislike every aspect of renovations – DIY or not. I can’t paint or use an electric drill properly and I can barely manage to hang a picture on the wall. But I also stress when someone else is in my house painting or hammering. Sigh.
  • Fresh flowers. I love the idea of fresh flowers but they always strike me as depressing in my own home. When I receive flowers I see a) another living thing I have to keep alive (I already have this responsibility with children!) that will, inevitably, b) die quickly, which means these flowers are c) a waste of money. (I do like plants, though, and seem to have good success keeping them alive by only watering once every 2 weeks – it’s my only “secret” and may have more to do with good luck than anything.)
  • Big groups. I’m introverted and wish I didn’t feel so ill-at-ease in any group bigger than 3-4 people.

Sometimes it makes sense to work on certain areas so they become more tolerable, but Gretchen Rubin’s right: generally, I can’t choose the things I like to do.

This means I’ll have to accept I’m unlikely to become a dog-walking, rollercoaster-riding, paint-brush-wielding gardener in my retirement years.

And that’s totally okay, right?

Your turn. Anything you wish you liked (or loved). Do you love fresh flowers, winter, home renos, and spicy food? Please tell me someone else dislikes sweating and mornings?!

Header photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

33 thoughts on “Things I Wish I Liked (Or Loved)”

  1. Ugh, I loathe renovations. We have never gone through one because we know it would be awful for us. When we were looking for a home, it took us over 2 years to find one since we were not open to a home that required renovations. We bought in an area with old homes so it was hard to find something that didn’t need some work!

    I wish that I liked decorating more than I do. I have such little interest in home decor. So our house looks fine but not as nice as others’ homes look. But I am so left-brained so home decor is just not my thing at all.

    But I love spicy foods and sweating. And I like mornings more than evenings but wouldn’t say I am a morning person… but of the 4 people in my house, I am more of a morning person that anyone else seems to be. And I love fresh flowers but I never buy them!

    1. We said the same thing about buying a house…and then we bought one that needed work. We also bought in a place with older homes; some of what we’re doing now is aesthetic, but we’ve had to tackle some big projects (like replacing all the windows, fixing the drainage tile etc). It’s those smaller things – like painting a room or laying tile or even just hanging shelves that is NOT in our wheelhouse.

      I love, love, love looking at home decor and if money was no object and I had a dedicated team of people to execute on my vision, I would love decorating. But in reality I’m frugal…so I/we hobble along with decorating. I love many of the items we’ve collected over the years (mostly from thrift stores or IKEA), but there are some “holes” to fill that honestly may be around for a while.

      I just can’t understand liking to sweat…but I know other people that go out of their WAY to sweat (like wearing layers while exercising in the summer and actually enjoying the sensation). Different strokes for different folks.

  2. I’m with your mom on the dogs! I used to be terrified of them and now I can barely tolerate being in the same room as them. I passed that fear on to my daughter and she’s constantly running into my arms whenever there’s a dog around!

    1. It’s so hard to know what is my own inclination and what I inherited from my mother/watching her actions – but her responses definitely left a big impression on me growing up. My father loves dogs and always had one growing up. If I wasn’t allergic, I’m SURE we’d have a cat because others in the household would really enjoy one.

  3. This is a fascinating list! I’m actually SO glad I am not a pet-lover – I know people get a lot of love and joy from their pets, but holy crap are they expensive and time consuming. I LOVE that I don’t have any desire for a dog, and cats are a no-go because of husband’s allergies (plus, my daughter’s friend’s cat just bit her face twice at a sleepover and that required several stitches and antibiotics, so…. no thanks to cats).

    Things I really wish I loved:
    #1 by far – exercise in any form. I cannot get into it, nothing motivates me (Rebel on the 4 tendencies) and I just don’t care. The only thing I do mildly enjoy is walking. I used to like strength training classes at the gym pre-pandemic but I don’t feel comfortable returning to those.
    #2 – Goat cheese. It is the one food I really don’t like, and it is very specific. I’ve tried many, many, many times and each time it is just utterly repulsive to me. Yes, I do love feta, and truly all other types of cheese. It’s a fairly easy thing to avoid, thankfully, but I get really annoyed at friends trying to psychoanalyze why I don’t like goat cheese, and if it’s a REAL dislike…. This comes up fairly regularly and it is frustrating!
    #3 – Watching movies. Completely random, yes – but I find I never really want to watch a movie, and my husband and kids love watching movies. They’re always a bit too long for my attention span, and I find the character development is not nearly as good as watching a TV show or reading a book because they have less time. Many of the classically good movies are depressing and that’s not my jam.

    I think that’s it!!!

    1. – I do enjoy walking but, in general, I definitely exercise mostly because I know it’s good for me. It’s not a compulsion and I wouldn’t even say I “love” walking.
      – I also do not understand the appeal of goat cheese. I’m not a huge cheese fan in general (very much take it or leave it), but I would always, always, always leave goat cheese.
      – I enjoy watching movies, but it’s never an activity I seek out on my own. I actually think I like movies more than TV shows, which is ironic because I used to LOVE watching TV. Now I’d rather read!!

  4. This was fun to read! And thanks for the shout-out. 🙂

    I am 100% with you on roller coasters and big groups. Ack. Although I mainly feel Just Fine with my dislike of both. Liking big groups would make life easier and less stressful though!

    I wish I loved entertaining. I LIKE it, but it is so incredibly stressful. If I loved it, maybe that would mean the stress had magically disappeared?

    1. Yeah. I am almost never in a position where I have to go on a roller coaster and the pandemic has definitely eased expectations on big groups.

      I’m also with you on the entertaining. Even if it’s just a small group of family visiting – whom I love to see and enjoy hosting for – I find it stressful and am almost always relieved when people leave. I know other people who SEEK out having people over. I will say that lately I’ve been doing simple suppers and inviting people over last-minute for Monday-evening meals which means there is a natural cutoff for when people leave (because we have to get the kids ready for bed since it’s a school night). THAT has felt a lot less stressful.

  5. Ha ha, well let’s see here. First off, good thing you don’t live in Florida. I sweat a LOT. But, I do have to say I like a good sweat when I know I’m going to be showering afterwards- like I don’t care how much I sweat while I’m running. But if it’s just randomly during the day and I’m wearing regular clothes and not going to shower anytime soon, I see why you don’t like it.
    Classical music- I grew up with a lot of music and actually was a music major in college. So I love classical music- but not ALL classical music. There are certain pieces that I love, some I don’t like and some I’m just neutral to. If I go to a concert I might be really into it, or my mind could be wandering. So if it’s really important to you, you could probably find some pieces that you like, get really familiar with them, and enjoy them. For the rest, you’re probably on par with the rest of the population.
    I totally agree on fresh flowers! I’ll bet we’re in the minority here. I also find them depressing- they’re just going to die and then I have to throw them away, which makes me sad.
    Great idea for a post- I might have to copy you!

    1. I had no idea you were a music major. How cool! I do really love a few classical pieces and tend to gravitate to listening to those same ones over and over. I have to say it’s not overly important to me, but it just feels like such a nice thing to love, so it’s more a wistfulness that I don’t feel this way.
      I think we’re in the minority on the flowers, too. I have a friend who would always celebrate a big “win” at work by treating herself to an expensive meal out (I’m just as happy to eat at home) and would buy herself a big bouquet of flowers. We could not be more different! The gesture of someone gifting my flowers is lovely, but I really do find them depressing in the oddest way?! Now plants, I see differently. Even if those die, somehow, it doesn’t seem as sad as seeing wilted petals falling off flowers on my table. *Shrugs*

  6. I think this is my first time commenting here but this was a really fun list to read. I share many of your dislikes. Can I add a few weird dislikes?
    Massages- I get them once every few years and just can’t relax. Also, some people rub too hard and I have a hard time expressing my needs.
    Dessert wine- yuck. But it is always included in a “wine package” if you do a multi-course dinner.
    Interior decorating magazines- I hate remodelling/building so much that I find it mildly triggering to read these.
    Sushi- i know it’s hip (and has been since about 1995) but I just kind of tolerate it.

    1. Hi Sarah! I think it’s endlessly fascinating to see what different people enjoy/dislike. One person’s “yuck” is another person’s “yum!”
      I know several people that don’t like massages. I have a very sensitive back, but aside from that, I’d get a massage daily if I could!
      Oh, sushi is so divisive. If I could only eat one prepared food item for the rest of my life, it would probably be sushi, but I can 100% see why people don’t love (or even like) sushi.

  7. I hate sweating and have no desire to like it either. I definitely do not seek it out.

    I used to hate mornings but now I love them that is something that has really changed with age for me. I never would have thought I would ever love mornings. That said there are odd mornings when I don’t love them but that is usually followed by a gnarly type of day that is full of difficult hard things that I just want over with.

    I love Home Renovations, not terribly keen on the mess or disruption but love the process and the end result. We have not done any in our house for a while now, the bathroom is in desperate need of some TLC but even though my husband has done plumbing training and worked as a plumber for several years he is not keen to do it!

    Food wise I hate meat, it is why I originally became vegetarian, I have no real desire to like it and have not eaten it for over thirty years I cannot imagine ever eating it ever again.

    I am with you on the flowers and big groups.

    I wish I liked using my phone for more things, I find doing anything on it such hard work, the screen is so small. I am a highly visual person so I have often wondered if the visual is a bit lost for me on a smaller screen. Using a phone is much more convenient than getting my laptop out, I am aware that by not doing things on my phone I probably use screens way less

    1. Glad to know I’m not alone on the flowers, groups, and sweating.
      I think I can see liking mornings in the future? Right now, mornings tend to be relatively rushed because of getting the kids to school.
      I try to avoid my phone as much as possible, but do spend a lot of time on computer screens for both work and pleasure (mostly writing). But I’m like you and I’m not a fan of the screen size or even functionality of navigating while on a tiny phone screen!

  8. #1: Cilantro. It tastes like soap to me and it basically prevents me from ever eating Mexican in restaurants because it’s always in sneaky places, like rice.
    #2 Children. I feel about children the way you do about pets, I think. They’re probably okay in someone else’s home, but they’re not for me. They’re loud, messy, and expensive.
    #3 Watching movies/television. As soon as I try to focus on a moving image, I fall asleep. People don’t realize that watching tv is a skill you learn and I just never learned it. It takes so much concentration for me and I just can’t do it. But everyone talks about tv and movies so much! I feel left out.

    1. One of my sisters says the same thing about cilantro (it tastes like soap); we LOVE cilantro (it is the one fresh herb we regularly buy and I have some in the fridge right now). It seems to be so, so divistive. I have never been able to conjure up the “soap” taste, but my sister refuses to eat it.
      Kids are a lot of work. While I obviously adore my own kids, I do have to admit I’m not really a “kid” person. If we’re at someone’s house and other kids are around I would always, always rather be with the adults than engaging with kids. I’ve often said being an early child educator sounds like something out of my worst nightmare. It is just not where my skillset lies.
      I don’t love movies/TV. I watch a fair bit because others in my house do, but when John was on the road for work, I would go the entire time he was away most times without ever watching a single thing. I appreciate it as a group activity, but it doesn’t pull me in. Now books on the other hand…

      1. I am so with you on cilantro!!! I LOVE IT!!!! I literally stand in the grocery store and will just sniff it before I put it in my cart. It’s so good!! I agree though, it seems people either love it or hate it.

        1. It’s tied with dill as my favourite fresh herb. But you’re right – it’s a love/hate thing. Our whole family loves it, but at least one of my siblings refuses to eat it (and I don’t think we ever had in my house growing up).

    2. I know what you mean about kids. I’m not sure they’re for me either. LOL. just kidding!! But they are, in fact, everything you mentioned. I can honestly see how for some people having kids is just not appealing. I love my kids and am so so so glad I have them, but I do think that a perfectly full, lovely life can be had without them for some people, too. And I think it’s great to just acknowledge and accept that, without feeling any pressure that you “should” want to have kids.

  9. Among so many things, I wished i loved dressing up and styling my hair, but i simply ..don’t. More often than not, i have my hair in a pony tail, and wear casual black yoga pants and a comfortable top, when i work from home. When i go to the office, i have a couple of capsule wardrobe outfits, that i mix and match, and these six pieces or so work for me for many years. And when one pair of pants (or skirt) wears off, i simply replace it with another similar pair of navy blue work pants or a nice skirt. I took a trip this year (a first one since pandemic) and when i was in the airport, i was literally shocked to see how many women travel “in style” with their hair styled, nice outputs, purses, their nails done, etc. Who are those people? Do they have young kids and full time jobs? Do they not sleep? These days i prefer comfortable over dressy, and don’t have any extra energy for extraordinary styles.

    1. I’m the same with hair/makeup thing. I am minimal with both and mostly okay with that, but do feel wistful about how some people seem to do it all so effortlessly.
      I have very thick, wavy hair which just takes A LOT of time to style. I know some people with stick-straight hair where they literally just have to brush it after the shower and it hangs perfectly. Mine takes a lot of effort.

  10. Ooh, great list!

    I’ve shared before my recent commitment to train myself to enjoy flavoured teas, and I’ve managed it – I now really like fruity teas, yay!

    I wish I liked porridge, and I’ve tried to train myself on that too… but it’s the texture. I just can’t do it. But I love the idea of it, and making it for A on a cold winter morning… so nourishing for her.

    I wish I liked running too. I’ve tried to get into it on a couple of occasions but it never sticks.

    I like winter. I actually love all the seasons and every kind of weather… I’m a bit of a weather addict!

    1. I think the texture is a big part of food appreciation; I like oatmeal, but only when it has a lot of mix-ins. On it’s own (even with a little cinnamon and sugar, I find it quite disgusting, honestly!). The same with sushi. I now love it, but when I first tried it my issue was almost exclusively with the texture, not the flavour.
      One of my sister’s loves winter too and always claims it’s her favourite season. I can’t imagine liking winter…but think it’s wonderful that people do because there is so much beauty and different opportunities for adventure. It just seems so long and cold and snowy here…and with all the kids gear (which they can now get into themselves, but it a lot of hassle to keep dry), it makes the whole process of preparing to go outside onerous for months on end!

  11. very interesting. While I agree that we don’t need to force us to like anything, I also think by declaring that we don’t like them forever, we are closing doors/opportunities to expose us to new things. for example, I thought I don’t like pet ever, it turned out to be not true once I have one. It grew on me.
    as long as we accept. our preferences and be willing to try again when the timing works, then why not?

  12. Oh this is SO FUN. I might have to do something similar. I’m with you on spicy foods and rollercoasters. I used to LOVE rollercoasters but I just can’t do them anymore. Every time I’m on one, I just picture myself plummeting to my death and it’s no fun at all. I also wish I loved running but I have weak ankles and they just hurt the whole time. I love fresh flowers but I can’t buy them anymore because so many are toxic to cats. Wah.

    1. I think I knew the whole cat/fresh flower thing. A trade-off worth doing for the sake of your furry pals!

  13. This was a great post idea (might have to post my own list) and I am 100% with you on the roller coasters and big groups.

    I would call myself a morning person (although I am not someone who jumps readily out of bed at 6 am on a Saturday morning!) and I do love sweating (when exercising) although I also cool off very quickly afterwards and have to get into the shower right away. I don’t like to stay sweaty for a long time.

    One of the things I wish I loved is dressing up, but I think I am going to be a jeans and sneakers kinda girl forever. I like the idea of high heels and dresses, but feel like I never have an opportunity to wear them, so when I do, I kinda feel “out of place”.
    I also wish I loved podcasts/audiobooks. I like the idea but never get around to listening to them (save for very rare occasions) and I’d rather read (blogs/books).

    1. Great mention of podcasts and audiobooks. I went through a phase of loving podcasts, but I rarely listen to them now which does make me sad because there is some great content…but I just prefer to read things. And audiobooks are NOT my thing. I love holding a physical book in hand, though I appreciate the many times/ways audiobooks are such a wonderful addition to people’s reading lives. My kids adore audiobooks and listen to one at bedtime multiple times a week (and about 3/4 of our driving time during the trip to PEI involved listening to audiobooks).

  14. I am with you on big crowds, fresh flowers, and home renovations. I like (or do!) everything else. It’s so interesting to see how people who may “test” the same on personality quizzes, etc. actually embody those “types” differently. We all have our ingrained preferences and dislikes – some from our parents, some from our experiences, some from our environments…
    I do wish I liked, well, looking more put together. But I don’t think it is worth my time and energy when there are so many other interesting things to do, read, and see. So, that’s how I am! Leggings and sweaters FTW. Every time. 🙂

    1. I’m surprised how many people also don’t like fresh flowers (well, I love them – they’re stunning, I just don’t like them in my space/like having to care for them). I really thought I would be the only one on that.
      And leggings and sweaters are classic and chic. No apologies needed. I often wear the same 2 outfits on repeat for weeks at a time (with trips to the laundry, of course!). That said, I do love dressing up…I just don’t do it often!

  15. Oh this post made me laugh!
    I am with you on the flowers. My Husband knows never to buy me flowers. I mean why would I want to have something in my house that will die and I will have to throw out?!?! (Well, I guess we do compost them…) I hate throwing things out so flowers usually overstay their freshness until they are withered and brown and the water is disgusting.
    I don’t know if there’s anything I wish I liked more vs. just being okay with not liking them. Like I think life would be better if I liked doing laundry more and adulting more… hah!

    1. Another one for the flowers! I really am shocked (I thought for sure I’d be the only one on this, of all things). Doesn’t everyone love tending to fresh flowers? Apparently not!
      And I agree too – by the time I throw the flowers out, they’re in a bad state and it’s just so sad.
      Ha. I’m not a fan of laundry either, but I do enjoy washing dishes…

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