Back Home Again in Indiana
Deep in my dark, empty soul I truly feel I am beyond transparent about what a hot mess of a human I am. However, I’ve had a few instances of people being confused and telling me I really seem like I have my life together so let’s clear this up once and for all: it’s straight facade.
Once upon a time I actually did somewhat feel like I had my life together, but then I popped out a kid, and really, no one feels like they have their life together after they pop out a kid. I went from being able to remember everything to needing to write everything down in a planner and still forgetting about it (looking at you, last Friday’s pajama day). I no longer find it necessary to shower every day or wear real clothes every time I venture out into the world. I now completely understand how there are not enough hours in a lifetime to get everything done – we can either eat every night or the bathrooms can be clean on the regular, but both at the same time is never going to happen. In the midst of this hot messness, though, I have discovered a few things to trick myself into once again somewhat feeling like I have my life together.
The single most important thing you can do to trick yourself and the rest of the world into thinking you have your life together is to paint your nails. It doesn’t matter if you do them yourself or have someone who doesn’t end the experience with half your fingers covered in polish do it for you; all that matters is you use a bold color. Would someone who’s a full blown disaster of a human be walking around with bright red or so dark it’s borderline black gray nails, calling attention to how much of a disaster everything they touch turns into? No. No, they would not. Anyone living their life with a bold nail definitely has their life together.
The second mind game to play with yourself is to dress like you mean it. There’s a time and place for garbage clothes (always and everywhere), but sometimes you’ve just got to step it up and put on some real clothes. I have 3 or 4 outfits that every time I put them on, I feel ready to go do real business (I say outfits but it’s 90% in the shoes). I have yet to figure out what that real business is because my business is actually just talking to myself in a padded room all day, but I feel ready for it nonetheless.
This next one may sound counterintuitive, but the motherload to do list is not to be underestimated. Few things in this world make me feel like I have my life together like crossing 900 things off my to do list in a single day. Granted I pad this list with things like “shower” and “unload dishwasher”, but at the end of the day I’m patting myself on the back over just how much I dominated the day and that’s what matters.
You could also try obtaining a child aged somewhere between 2 and 5. This age group is easily impressed and tends to profusely thank and praise you when you do things like buy more strawberries. Keep in mind though, this is also the age group who will tell you you’re no longer their best friend when they ask for said strawberries and you make them actually eat them before they can eat anything else for a snack. It’s a risky little game so tread lightly.
Not all of these tricks will work every time, and some of them may never work, but if nothing else, they at least let you feel like you’re doing something to get your life together and that’s really 90% of the battle.