Still sick. Yes, Still. I swear, it’s like the plague, the cold that won’t go away. I’m better than I was, but I just want to stop sniffling and coughing. It’s also possible that cold season and allergy season have united and turned against me. It wouldn’t be the first time! So yes, each day I’m progressively getting better, but at a snail’s crawl. Ugh!
I’ve been listening to Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech almost daily. I posted it last week. It’s only 20 minutes long, so it’s perfect to listen to while I’m getting ready in the morning. Here it is again in case you missed it:
You would think it would get old, but I glean something new from his speach with each pass through. I think about where I am and where I’d like to be. It makes me question why I do the things that I do. Do I go to work for the money or is there more to it than that? What’s my motivation?
Honestly, there are things in my life that I’ve been unhappy about. It’s a multifaceted problem. Am I doing what I was put on this Earth to do? Not always. Am I doing work that I can be proud of? Not always. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just showing up and going through the motions like an automaton. Am I open to the problems of failure? Usually…no. Oftentimes, I’m afraid to throw my metaphorical bottles into the ocean at all, because I am afraid they won’t come back, not realizing that it doesn’t even matter, that I’m SUPPOSED to throw hundreds of these metaphorical bottles into the world. And some of these bottles HAVE come back. I have a lot to be grateful for when I stop and notice. My life has been good. I should enjoy it.
I have been doing a LOT of pretending, thanks to Neil Gaiman’s speech.
So be wise, because the world needs more wisdom. And if you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise, and then just behave like they would. ~Neil Gaiman
I don’t fully understand the WHY of why this works, but this has been immensely helpful. Perhaps this works because I already see myself as a fraud, as if any day now someone will tell me that I’ve failed at being a grown up. I imagine someone wearing a uniform, like a police officer’s uniform, coming up to me at any moment and saying, “You’re in your forties. Seriously? You STILL haven’t learned how to be an adult? Seriously?” And I will be taken away to an adulting classroom, and stay there at my desk until I rot, because I will be too slow to pass my adulting curriculum. And I will be very sad, because although I will not like this forced education, I know it’s for my own good.
So anyway, I have been pretending. I pretend to be a writer, and surprisingly I have been writing. Some days I write a few hundred words. Sometimes closer to a thousand. I’m almost afraid to jinx myself, but when I sit down to write as I imagine a REAL writer would, it’s a lot more fun and I’m not as worried about getting it wrong. It’s only pretending, after all. It’s like giving a nod to the fraud police, but slipping by on a technicality.
I used this technique in my home life as well. How would a REAL mom tackle meal planning? How would a REAL mom manage their time. Strangely, the answers came to me quite easily. And it wasn’t even hard to do! I even laughed at myself. “Look! I’m pretending to be one of those moms that has their life together.” And I laughed at the foolishness of it all and I did what I imagined a REAL mom would do, and I prepped some meals for later, giggled, cleaned up after myself, and did my hair. And I felt good because I took care of myself and got some tasks out of the way. And I felt a little foolish that I needed to pretend to be the person I’d like to be. And I was a little kinder to myself, because moms who are only pretending are allowed to make mistakes. They’re doing the best they can. They’re allowed to take breaks. They don’t have to listen to negative mental chatter.
In the meantime, my used book came and I have a CorelDraw! program to decipher.