I saw this stupid phrase on a teeshirt once and thought hmm.
I read Seth Godin’s recent post, Angry is a habit and thought, wow, now someone has just discovered what I am all about… and it seems I may not be the only one suffering like this.
Then, today, I read about The 80% Energy Rule : An Old Secret to Success by Jessica Stillman about a guy called Justin Jackson who blogged about his life spiralling out of control from doing too much. And I am reading about a father of four, who’s involved in a start- up (note father in start-up, not mother, so do-able, right?), who also saw fit to dive into volunteering, studying for another degree and various other projects at the same time. And I am thinking, What is that Guy doing? Does he not like having a spare second free? Does every moment have to be accounted for and doing something? And then I realise, with half the things on my plate, I am in the same boat. Doing too much, in too little a time span, completely overstretched, and occasionally succumbing to the desire to bite a little bit more. Did I mention newborn in tow? Sheer madness? Yes.
Well, then, nothing can top Devon Corneal’s Lesson in Futility. I would be laughing a lot at the crazy talk…. had it also not hit home for me.
It’s a humourous (right?) note about the moronic things Devon does as a parent. Guess what? I find out I have tipped the scales myself and am equally as bad. In Devon’s list of only 15 things that she gets wrong, I do about half of them as well !
Devon’s #2. I ask my kids “How was your day?” after school. I get the same response every day. My teenager says, “It was good. Nothing exciting.” Little Dude says, “I don’t remember. Can I go play?” That does not stop me from asking and, worse yet, expecting that they’ll suddenly sit down and fill me in on all the juicy details of the past 8 hours.
Me : ditto.
Devon’s #3. I threaten Little Dude with outrageous punishments that I will never implement. He knows this, because when I turn purple and apoplectic and inform him that if he does X one more time I will send him to his room for a week, he just looks at me and smiles.
Me : Come on already? Are you kidding me! I thought I was the only one.
Devon’s #9. I negotiate with a 5-year-old. Sadly, he is better at it than me. Yesterday he bargained for two cups of juice, a treat from the snack bar (see #4), and a late bedtime of 10 p.m. In exchange, I got two hours of hyper, a lot of guilt and a grumpy kid this morning.
Me : Do we ever learn? Evidently, not.
Devon’s #11. I ask my son to get dressed by himself and am shocked when he comes in wearing madras shorts, striped socks and a plaid shirt. Then I ask him to change. Because. I. Am. That. Stupid.
Me : Despite knowing that doing the same thing over and over while expecting something different is insane, I find that I am regular one at that. Nothing seems to change on that front. Sadly.
Devon’s #12. I cave when Little Dude asks to stay up late. Because he’s cute. Then I am horrified when he’s a crabby, wild-eyed monster at breakfast.
Me : Oh my god. Need I say more?
Devon’s #15. I tell Little Dude not to yell for me across the house. When he does, I yell at him across the house to remind him not to yell for me across the house. It’s like my own personal 9th level of hell. With lots of shouting.
Me : Oh, this is my all time favourite. Do as I say and not as I do. If only I had a mirror pointed at me, every single time but I would have to wonder whether that would really help? I am very good at shouting at my kids to not shout. Multiple winner, many times over.
What does all this come to? Same same but different.
I read all these wonderful little snippets from other people’s lives and realise, same same but different. I treasure the little nuggets of wisdom that people take the time to share with you, to know that you are not in this hell alone, that others have paved the way before you. That while you may not be on the exact same part of their journey, the fact that many of us do travel that path, helps make the journey that much more exciting, enjoyable, bearable and light. Yes, light.
I can do this. Yes, I can. Why? Because we are same same but different.
Why do I post? Because someone out there will see this and maybe get something from it. Something similar will hit a nerve. Something from this will speak to them, in a way, that perhaps others have not. And they will then know what others have known before me and what I now, indeed, know as well.