Fake it Til You Make it. Or Not.

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emotional health / human experience / Uncategorized

Perhaps it’s “backwards day”, like my second grade son gets to participate in at school if the kids behave well enough to earn 100 marbles in a jar.  Maybe it’s a full moon (as I write it is actually!)  Maybe I’m bored.  Or maybe I want to get stuff done and find that my lackadaisical, nonjudgmental, earth-and-creatures-big-and-small-loving self is finding inefficiencies in maintaining a daily practical routine where everything has a place and there’s a place for everything…or however the hell that saying goes.

Or maybe there are others in my household, who shall be nameless, who do not appreciate my “daze-like existence” (their words) and poetic verbosity (my words) meshing with his/her very emergent need to be tidy and organized and efficient.  Incidentally, all the things I. am. not.

IMG_0083   <– This is me.

img_0112.png  <– This is my nemesis, on the far left.  The impatient looking, angry one; Or, taken together this picture speaks volumes.  I am the mere innocent – the one wearing the feathers.

This could easily be an example of a metaphoric me.  The bird deciding to hang out on the sand, for example, while this other being (still nameless) decides to provoke and prod her.  S/He would prefer that this lovely bird was more like him/her.  In which case I…er, she would be the feathered, long necked bird with a broom in her talon sweeping the desert to keep the sand orderly. Always.

You see friends, the beasty thing chooses to micromanage this poor feathered poultry opposed to sticking his/her head where it might just be better suited elsewhere. While all the beautiful bird wants to do is to inspire other poultry, some fowl, maybe a fish or two…a camel and hopefully a moose to sit back and meditate on all that is good in the world. That is what she is prone to doing despite being met with a resounding no from those who shall not be named. The ravenous, teeth baring carnivore judges poultry harshly.  And as you can well imagine, the results are not pretty.  One of them is going to be pissed off (or eaten) at the end of this.  Guess which one?

So…in an effort to imagine that I am the sort that cares about details and the like, as a good beasty thing should, I am attempting to walk in another’s uncomfortable looking leather shoes, figuratively speaking.  I am to be the cougar, if you will, or is that a cheetah…ok, whatever…I will be the one that knows what needs to be done and makes it happen within a timely fashion.  That is exactly what one of my favorite people would do.  His name is Michael Linenberger (linenberger.com).

His system, termed “Manage Your Now” is brilliant!  Not only do I love the name of it, but it sounds so very efficient!  Naturally, my goal is to manage my now.  Where to start…where to start….?  My “now” has so much going on that just deciding which moment in that “now” timeframe boggles my mind!  Could I possibly be overthinking this task already??  In my world every second of a new breath is a “now”.  Each moment is the last moment I will benefit from that exact moment.  Go ahead.  Read that sentence again. I’ll wait.  It sounds better out loud actually. It’s really rather intense.  (You see how I might find this taxing…yes?)

Deep breath.  Ok, clearly, that’s just what I need.  A “system”!  I am told to prioritize – hardest, most important first.  Ok.  But what’s more important?  Laundry? Blogging? Exercise? Finding a publisher for my book?….It depends on who benefits from the prioritized item…well, if it’s my family then I would say laundry or cooking something; if it’s for me I’d say blogging or finding a publisher.  Again, if it’s for the family I’d say exercise; as the consequences when mommy doesn’t take care of herself are pretty grim indeed.

Stuck already.

(If you were here right at this moment.  I mean sitting here in my office with me as I write out my thoughts about my priorities, you would see me glance at my phone, yell, “SSSSSSSShit!”, grab my flip flops and my car keys and tear out of the house).

All that thinking and I almost missed my hair appointment!  As I was doing the “efficient”, “organized” work of prioritizing, I unconsciously glanced at my phone and saw in big, bold numbers 3:32!!  I was so busy being efficient that I missed the time, let alone the fact that I should have perhaps prioritized “haircut appointment” somewhere on top of that list that I hadn’t yet written. Geesh…

I suck at this.

Still with more daytime to go (my efficiency could still work!) I returned to my home after getting yelled at by my hairstylist for snowballing all of her appointments (sorry, Mia-the-best-hairstylist-in-the-world!) And yes, my hair looks really awesome, thanks for asking.

With only minutes to spare I yelled calmly, yet strongly advised my eight year old darling son that he needed to be ready in the next fifteen minutes for his soccer practice.  I had already checked and double checked the field my son was playing on.  In the past (week….), I have unfortunately taken him to the wrong field.  Amateur mistake.  I got this!  I could practically smell the ink crossing off “soccer practice” from the priority list.  I felt confident already.  I can redeem myself.  EFFICIENCY IS GOOD.  ORGANIZATION ROCKS.  I am MANAGING MY NOW, BABY!!!!

Thinking ahead to volleyball tryouts, (priority number something-or-other, after the one for soccer practice) I suggested that my teenage daughter be ready and in the driveway by the time I returned from dumping her brother off at soccer.  She sweetly said “okay” and I swear I could hear a smile at the end.  Apparently she digs my new style of organization as well.  Best mom ever, I’m thinking.

Another gentle reminder to my son to get off the computer and don his soccer uniform…yikes!  Uniform!  I run to the laundry room and yank it out of the dirty laundry.  Hmmmm….laundry was on the list after the list, the sub-list, if you will.  Maybe I should have placed it higher up.  Okay, live and learn.

“Oops!  Hold up…just a sec son, let me wipe this spaghetti sauce stain off the uniform shirt…ok, good as new!  It’ll dry, honey!  It’s OKAY.  Good Lord, sweetheart! Women with babies wear shirts with wet circles there all the time!  I’m telling you, it’ll dry!”

Satisfied with that rationale, we got into the car with twenty minutes to spare!  I was already checking this off the list in my mind! Once at the field my son looked around for his team.  “There they are, son!” I proudly pointed to a group of boys already in a drill formation.  My goodness this team was orderly.  My son asked if perhaps I’d gotten him there late.

I said “Absolutely not!  I’ve checked and double checked the time for Thursday!”

“Mom. It’s Monday”…Holy Jesus, Joseph and Mary (pray for me).

The way I see it, you can do one of two things at this point.  Laugh or cry…I laughed. I then patted my poor boy on the back and said in a motivational kind of coachy way,  “Ok, go on out there and kick some balls!  Oops!  That sounded funny, no pun intended, son…”, (I chuckle to myself. Yes, I’m an idiot.)

“What’s a pun?”

“I’ll be back in an hour, angel!  Love you!”

I watched as he joined his buddies, already sweaty from a full thirty minutes of laps.  That’s good, maybe his buddies would be so tired by all that running that they wouldn’t notice that my son had two good-sized water stains in areas most women lactate in.  Some things just work out for the best like that.

On to my next priority! Like a bat out of hell I ran to the car and hightailed it back the way I’d come to pick my daughter up for her tryout.  She was ready and waiting, sort of.  Meaning I only had to run into the house and scream strongly suggest she get her shit stuff one time, opposed to the usual eight to ten.  Love this efficiency stuff!

So I departed with kisses goodbye and a promise to return at whatever time my list told me to; except I’d left the list at home.  Oh well…”see you soon, honey!  Call if the time changes, or I miss what that was or something! Love you!”

The thought entered my mind that I’d better rush back to get my soccer kid since I got him there well after practice had begun.  Back up the road I sped.  I’m certain efficiency is good.  I’m just sure organization rocks.  Yep, my mantras alrighty.

As I finish this diary of how I managed my now throughout-my-one-day-tutorial, I would like to suggest that perhaps those with my penchant for swaying with the breeze…going with the flow…living on a prayer…easing on down the road and such, just keep on keepin’ on.  Lists are good.  But like one of my new favorite people stated so well, some people “…can just thrive amid chaos.”

I like that.

IMG_2284 <—   Albert Einstein rocks.

A greeting card to myself might sound something like this:

Why, Hello Disorganized Person! 

A little birdy told me you craved order in your life!  By golly, where there’s a will, there’s a way! 

You can manage your now or maybe manage your later;  I’d choose now, but that’s just me, and I’m no hater!

I don’t ever put off now what needs to be done; priorities 0 through 21! 

But you, you’re a bit different.  You tend to spend time feeling; flowing with the breeze, melding with the sun.

So go ahead and do what system works best for you; organized chaos has organization in it too!

Yours in “It’s all good”ness!

Michael-Linenberg-I-Am-Not

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The Author

I am a licensed clinical social worker who just happens to adore the written word. I have had a private practice and am now writing a memoir on my life in the company of my father and many of my clients who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I hope to dispel some myths and break down some barriers for those with mental illness. I write out of need and complete joy, which I hope to convey throughout my blogs. The human experience is not exclusive to one group. I hope to appeal to most as I touch on some pretty heady material with some self-deprecating humor and raw emotion thrown in for good measure. I have four amazing children, one HUGE dog and a tolerant husband. I am blessed.

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