Wait a Minute ….

 

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Patience may be a virtue but it has never been a virtue of mine.  It’s a failing.  I hate to wait.

I’ve had some practice in the last year or so with my twice-daily walks with our aging pug.  He cannot see or hear and it takes him quite a bit of time and effort to find the exact right spot to take care of business.  He cannot be rushed.  I should be getting better at this. I am so not getting better at this.

Lately, my challenge with patience has been pushed to its limit.   Our family is in a holding pattern.  It’s no one’s fault but our own and it is something that we could put an end to but we have consciously decided to wait and see.  As with Heinz ketchup, the waiting is the hardest part.

There is a point in the near-ish future where we will not be waiting.  We will be seeing.  And doing.  It’s not that far away.  But as each day goes by, my patience is more and more threadbare.  It’s beginning to unravel.  The thing is, the possible outcomes from all this waiting are all pretty good ones which, in theory, should make it easier to wait and see.  But I’m so darn ready to do something that I’ve kind of lost sight of the fact that, in the words of Bob Marley, everything’s gonna be alright.  Let it go, already.

My son is in the vortex of this waiting game.  I am trying so hard not to be an annoying gnat (or am I more of a horse fly?) circling his head.  We have promised him we will wait.  We will see.  We should make good on that promise.  We will.  I just may not have much sanity left by the time we get there.  I hope at least one of us does.

<I also hope that you hear Bob Marley singing in your head after reading this, rather than the Heinz commercial or the song from Freeze ….>

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They are Wrong (a lot)

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“No one ever said it would be easy.”  That saying is so wrong.  A lot of people have said it would be easy (consider the quick weight loss and anti-aging industries) and for the most part, they are wrong.

People are wrong all the time.  Drink grapefruit and you’ll lose inches in days.  Wrong. Vote for this guy and all our problems are solved.  Wrong.  Avoid cholesterol and you won’t have heart disease.  Mostly, wrong.

In fact, people are wrong so much, I’m wondering why we give People a voice in the first place.  People.  Huh.  I’m a people, and I’ve lived long enough to know a thing or two and I’m wrong a lot.  Yet for some reason I  subconsciously believe that People somehow has a leg-up on me and knows better.

Okay, okay, so if a People is an expert in astrophysics, that People is more likely to be right about something astrophysics-y.  But life?  Nope.  And even in astrophysics, other people may disagree and try to prove the People wrong.  And they may be successful.  They may not.

We can’t even count on someone who has lived a long time to be right.  That People’s words are based on a unique set of perspectives, life journey, brain chemistry and childhood traumas that haunted them for decades.  Age may bring an accumulated wisdom that is worth considering, but not always.  People can be wrong at any age, social strata, level of education or place on the beauty spectrum.

And yet, People get stirred up in the pot and their words and perspectives get churned into They.  As in, “They say you should walk 10,000 steps a day,” or “They say that if you make your bed every day you’ll live longer,” or “They say he is a socialist.”   They has a pretty significant voice.

Back to the topic (I didn’t have a topic when I started this little jaunt, but maybe I found it …):  Life is not easy.  People are often wrong.  Consider carefully whose words you value and why.

We give a whole lot of credence to what famous people say.  Famous people, who have managed to make some really bad, and really public, choices and we still think that what they have to say should guide our daily thoughts.  That they are somehow able to discern life better than we do.  Weird.

Charlie Sheen springs to mind.  I don’t know why him, as there are so many famous people we could point to as a little whacked and still have a say out there in the world.  Anyway, Charlie has managed to do a lot of really dumb things: drugs, demanding outrageous money to continue appearing on a mediocre TV show, “Winning,” tiger blood, having unprotected sex with women after being diagnosed with HIV.  And yet, he gets a spot on the Dr. Oz show this week.  (Let’s not get into how nuts Dr. Oz is.)  And I’m sure he’ll talk about HIV, or any other aspect of modern life, like he’s an expert and people will listen to him.  Charlie Sheen is a part of They.  Scary, isn’t it?

The thing is that we (lower case) people are fundamentally lazy.  We seek a quick way to understand our world and love to be told by People what They think so that we can be like Them.  And now, more than any time in human history, we have the ability to decide which People They are.  We choose our news sources on TV and the Internet to be the ones that espouse views consistent with what we think are the right ones.  We follow on Facebook and Twitter the voices of the People we decide are the best at knowing what is true.  So, in reality, They are Us (in the limited microcosm of our chosen reality).  It becomes a tornado of insular thoughts and ideas, throwing off any others.

I’m trying to evaluate where my They voice comes from and why.  I live in a small place, made smaller by the group of people my family most associates with.  I no longer go to work each day with people who force me to consider their unique life views.  Selling lift tickets a couple of days a week does expose me to people from varied lives to be sure (and the germs they bring from all over the world), but we don’t tend to engage in deep conversations while I swipe their credit card for outrageously priced tickets.  My views could become pretty entrenched.  And so, I’m working at expanding my influencing sources.  It’s really hard, but hey, They say Rome wasn’t built in a day ….

My kid turned 18 on Friday.  As I look at my <ahem> adult child, who will be voting in the next election, I wonder who his They will be.  If I have any influence at all, I hope to help him challenge Them, whoever They may be.  Teachers, hip hop singers, Snap Chatters, the producers of Ridiculousness, me.  I hope to help him realize that People are often wrong.  Take it in, breathe it out. As hard as it may be, think for yourself, young man.

 

 

A Rebel Without An SPF

fist-681848_1280Remember when you were a kid, and growing up couldn’t come fast enough?  You wanted to be an adult, make your own choices, no one telling you what to do?

But now that you are an adult, have you noticed that there are a lot more people telling you what to do than when you were a kid?  Used to be it was your parents, an older sibling, your teachers … now just about EVERYONE seems to have an ideal of what you SHOULD be doing and how to do it:  your politics, your faith, your marriage, your parenting, your skin care regimen.  Eat more kale, less bread. Organic this and hyped-up that.  Sleep more, sleep less. Drink coffee, drink wine, don’t drink wine, drink coconut water, wait, scratch that, pomegranate juice!

I just figured out that I took a stand against the YouShould-ites this summer without consciousness or conviction.  At some point along the way, I stopped using sunscreen when I’m out and about, hiking and biking and whatever-ing in the sunshine.  I confess.  I know it’s stupid.  I’ve lost a friend to skin cancer.  I know, I KNOW.  I’m a pale skinned woman living at altitude.  I KNOW BETTER.

And yet … when I religiously cover my skin up with protection, at some point I miss a spot and I get a horrible burn in that one little spot.  But if I let it tan naturally, I don’t get nasty burned patches.  And I’m old enough to engage in risky behavior.  Some people smoke, I expose my skin to cancer-causing rays. I am flossing more, though.  My new dental hygienist scared the crap out of me at my last cleaning.  She said I’d been doing it wrong my whole life and told me how to do it properly …

On “Volunteering”

dandelion-111014_1280You know those personality tests — Myers Briggs, or the one that identifies your brain tendencies by color?  According to those tests, some people really are altruistic. I know, I was surprised too.  Folks of this type want to do good, change the world, make a difference and all that.  My personality profile does not include this trait.  According to Myers Briggs, I am an INTJ:  Introverted, Intuitive (why they use “n” for Intuitive is beyond me), Thinking, Judging.  Basically, I know that I’m right and I’m not going to tell you why until I can’t stand it anymore and then I have a hard time considering that you have feelings.  In reality, I tested pretty close to center, so whatever.  My point is, I don’t want to save the world.  I care about the world, for sure.  But I don’t feel the need to be the one to lead the saving charge.

Yet I find myself, at this particular cross road in life which has lasted a couple of years longer than I thought it would, being a “volunteer.”  I use the quotation marks because sometimes what I am doing does not meet the definition of the word.  For example, my son’s ski club requires a certain number of volunteer points or we have to pay them a bunch more money.  So I stick stamps on envelopes for the annual fundraiser, work the coat check at said fundraiser and stand frozen at the bottom of the race hill with a hand-timer and a clip board marking the time for each racer. (I refuse to stand at the top after an unfortunate incident involving a coach’s flung wad of chewing tobacco … but I digress.)  Basically, my ski club volunteering amounts to doing whatever earns us enough points to keep the check writing to something just under astronomical.

Over the years, I’ve volunteered to help with all sorts of things, like organizing banquets and decorating/shaperoning/whatevering the homecoming dance.  Way back when, I worked in the nursery and later children’s church.  (Those toddlers were tough, let me tell you.)  More recently, I found myself chief minion for the high school’s graduation next week.  I’m not sure how that happened.  Someone asked me if I could “help,” and suddenly I was the contact person for all minions.  Leader of the minions.  Wooot!

This spring, someone told me that she volunteers for Junior Achievement.  Six one-hour sessions over three weeks. “I could do that,” I thought, “How hard could it be”?  I sent an email to the JA organizer and told her to sign me up.  My husband, knowing me so well, looked at me sideways when I told him what I had done, “What do you get out of it”?  Really?  It wasn’t enough that I was going to give of my time and vast professional and personal knowledge about the ways of the world to a bunch of curious-minded seventh graders?  He knew me very, very well.

Why had I done this?  Assuaging guilt?  Like I would be a complete loser if I didn’t get out there and do something productive sometime soon?  Maybe some of that.  Validation?  Proof that I am still relevant and worth something, even though I’m not going to work every day?  Yup.  Most likely.  But I really couldn’t say.

It took a fair bit of time for me to prepare.  I had to read the materials, watch a bunch of videos, gather stuff, think about what to say and worry about how to react to the kids who would give me a hard time.  Then I had to face those 27 kids, some of whom were so sweet I couldn’t stand it, and some of whom I would probably punch if I had to deal with them on a daily basis. And I was reminded that teaching is really hard, that kids are for the most part awesome, and that sometimes the curriculum should be pushed to the side so that we can play more games.  What I got out of it was a fairly awesome reality check.

So maybe I am not the altruistic volunteering type.  I lack zeal.  I have no zest for getting in there and making a difference. I accept this about myself.  For a long time I beat myself up about not serving on non-profit boards or organizing fundraisers or heading up the PTA.  Enough.  I am not that person.  Ask Myers Briggs.

Bless all of those who schedule the meal deliveries for friends who have gone through surgeries.  Who set up the food drive boxes before Thanksgiving.  Who build houses for low income families.  Who buy the card and cake for a colleague’s retirement party in the conference room down the hall.  Who realize their altruistic selves from giving in this way.  Bless!  Them!

What I now know about myself is that I need a quid pro quo in order for my volunteer satisfaction to kick in:  a reduction in cash out the door, knowing that a friend’s load will be lightened, or realizing that I will get back from an experience with those JA kids so much more than I ever gave them.  I’m an INTJ, what can I say?

A More Eloquent Way to Say What I Wanted to Say

The other day, I wrote about the fleeting nature of our life on earth; how we gather so much learning in our lifetime and then it departs with us.

Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and NYU Professor, alludes to this in his reflections after learning, at 80 years of age, that he will die of cancer:

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

The holes left behind and our own unique paths, that is what stuck in my head that day after the post office encounter.  Dr. Sacks nailed it.

The full article is here:

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer – NYTimes.com.

Lifetimes of Learning, and Then *Poof*

Well, this may be a little morbid.  Or a lot.  Please accept my apologies in advance for writing about our inevitable demise.

At the post office yesterday, I noticed a woman maybe fifteen or twenty years older than I preparing an express mail cardboard envelope.  She had a label, on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper that looked to have been printed from her computer.  It appeared that she was returning something to some on-line retailer.  As my imagination went a little wild considering what she was sending back in that little envelope, I noticed her carefully measuring and folding, with great precision and the back of her thumbnail, the paper label so that it fit the envelope, just so.  She had a roll of packing tape neatly next to her.

I moved past her in line, got the package I was waiting for, and left.  I didn’t have a chance to see her tape the label onto the envelope and send it on its way, but the entire rest of my errand running (and apparently still this afternoon, as I write this), I thought about everything we learn throughout our lives and how one day, poof, all that learning and ability will be gone from this earth.  Somewhere during her life, that woman had mastered the skills necessary to measure and fold that paper and attach it and get the parcel wherever it needed to get to.

I know that seems like a small thing, but think about it in the context of all the other things we do in our lives.  Over our lifetime, we learn to do great things and small things; to comfort a crying baby; to catch a ball; to swim; to write technical papers; to sell software; to banter, sing and sharpen and knife. And for all of that to disappear when we take our last breath, well, I don’t know what to think.  I’m not saddened, as I know that part of living is doing, learning and experiencing.  I think I feel a little sense of responsibility to the people who may live longer than I.  You should know what I know, feel what I feel …. But then again, why?  They will have their own knowings, their own feelings.

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Generations from now, no one will think twice about my lifetime of learning and my little accomplishments.  I will be remembered, perhaps, with a headstone that lists born-on and died-on dates.  It won’t say, “Sarah knew how to draft a damn good disclosure document.” It won’t explain what it takes to learn, at 46 years, how to stay up on a slalom water ski.  There will be no mention or care that I had a weird, sick sense of humor,  or these bizarre thoughts on living and not living while standing in line at the post office.

 

On Strength

I’ve been thinking a lot about strength over the last several months.  Most recently, because I haven’t had any following my bout with the stupid flu.  But even before that, I’ve had flitting thoughts of what it means to be strong, why we value it so much and whether and how I and others are strong.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see the movie “Wild,” with Reese Witherspoon.  She plays Cheryl Strayed, a woman whose life was plagued with difficulty, heartache and addiction.  She hiked, alone, over a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.  I walked out of the film wondering again at strength.  How did this woman, by all accounts broken, find whatever it was she needed to dig deep, survive and face her demons?  Physical, mental and emotional strength came from someplace in her.  Where?  Why do some people have it and some not?  What is it?

I’ve been collecting a few thoughts, which I’ll share here, even though I’m still pondering.

1. Our society places enormous value on certain types of strength and I think we’re a bit out of whack.  Fortitude, stick-to-it-tiveness, having convictions, being bigger-than-life.  We love strong athletes and pay some of them ridiculous amounts of money.  (No matter that they may shatter their brains or those of an opponent, because at the end of the day they are human, even if they can accomplish unhuman feats.)  We speak with admiration about someone who is “so strong” in the face of adversity.  Or we tell them that they must “be strong,” meaning that they must shore up, fend off, stand tall and generally never fall apart.  At least not openly.

Where does this awe for strength come from?  Are we overall better for it?  Or would we be better off viewing ourselves as part of a collective, where ones’ strength is recognized as a complement to another’s weakness?  Where we view the individual more holistically and value them for them, not just how fast they can run?  Where sometimes it’s ok not to be strong?

2.  We should have a little more respect for someone who acknowledges a weakness.  Ms. Strayed knew she was at a cross-road.  She recognized that her life was crumbling and she found a way to face it.  People were confused by her decision and told her to give up along the way.  If she hadn’t acknowledged that she needed help, she would have continued to spiral.  There is value for her and for those around her (and society, as we got the benefit of her writing) when she says, “Yep, I’m a weak mess and I need to figure this out.”

One of the first things I learned as a young professional was to admit when I didn’t know something or that I had messed up.  It was so much better to say, “I don’t know the answer but I will do my best to find out,” than to give the wrong answer and have to explain that later.  Or to look like an idiot by fumbling through what was obviously something I knew nothing about.  When I was further along in my career, I appreciated that same trait in a colleague or outside advisor.  Don’t give me a half-assed or guessed answer.  Go figure it out and get back to me.  Please.  It shows that you know what you don’t know and I can trust you.

Similarly, the best leaders know their strengths and their weaknesses.  They aren’t afraid to surround themselves with those whose strengths can fill in the gaps.  The most effective people I have encountered have a willingness to be exposed at times, to point to the number 3 or number 10 person and say out loud for all to hear, “This is her thing.  She will carry this part of our load.”  Doing this demonstrates an understanding of the landscape, the team and the individuals.  It shows confidence in that person and allows her to shine and grow.

3.  An area of weakness doesn’t have to stay that way.  We can get better.  Maybe not as much as we would like, or maybe not to the degree of the next guy, but better.  We all have soft, unexposed baby skin, areas that will flare red from life’s friction, joints that may buckle from the weight of too much, muscles atrophied from lack of use.  We may not be able to change our complexion or strengthen a joint, but there is more than one way to skin a cat, as they say.  Find the sunscreen, wear a rash guard, put on a brace, move those muscles.  Rely on a friend, talk with a colleague, study up, take a break.  Hike the Pacific Crest Trail and face the demons.  You can find strength from other places.

I guess it comes down to this:  we need to give ourselves a break.  No one can be strong in all ways always.  The sooner we come to terms with that, the sooner we can appreciate the beauty of life’s mosaic, comprised of all of our strengths and our weaknesses.


A Rock’s Weakness Paints the River’s Path

A Rock's Weakness Paints the River's Path


You Can’t Please Everybody, Or So They Say

safety-43801_1280People pleaser.  I’m pretty sure that Wikipedia has my picture next to the term.  All my life I’ve wanted people to like me.  Always.  Everyone.  Just don’t think badly of me.  I’d rather be lame than shamed.  Or something like that.

I don’t know why I’m this way.  Midwestern roots?  Overachiever?  Protestant guilt? (Yes, contrary to popular belief, Jews and Catholics do not hold the market on guilt.)  Last child syndrome?

I thought I had made some strides in this area over the last few years.  I’ve been trying to shed old notions of good and bad, right and wrong.  Opening my perspective, accepting others and myself.  Let go and let God.  You know the drill.

And then last night I came home to an open garage and a note.  Beginning to shake this flu thing, I had gone out of the house for the second time in almost two weeks to go to a friend’s for the evening.  Bobo wouldn’t go back in the house when I was trying to leave so I left him in the garage.  He’s funny that way sometimes.  Anyway, I guess the garage door didn’t close.  And so, the note:

My dog(s?) had been outside barking AS USUAL and the neighbor had put him in the house and would appreciate it if I kept them from barking ALL THE TIME when I’m gone and took care of them LIKE RAISING CHILDREN.  Smiley face (no joke).  They didn’t sign their name.

There I was:  worn out, feeling bad about the dog being out in the cold, feeling bad about the neighbors having to put him in the house and wondering why they thought the dogs bark ALL THE TIME when I’m gone since I’m hardly ever gone and they’re always inside and, whatever, they’re dogs.  They bark.  I think normal people would be mildly annoyed with the note, grateful that the house was in one piece and go to bed.

Not me.  I was a mess.  My stomach in knots.  I don’t want to be that neighbor that everyone complains about for having a junker in the front yard or weeds up to the windows or hideous purple paint (those last couple would apply to one of my neighbors).  I just want to live our lives in peace and harmony.  Can’t we all just get along?

So, today, I’ve slinked (slunk?) around, careful to avoid eye contact with The Neighbor (although I don’t know who he/she is), keeping my dogs close by, closing the blinds so that the dogs can’t see people walking in the street to bark at them and generally feeling bad.  Why do I let some angry person I don’t even know make me feel bad?  This is not the me that I want to be on life’s adventure.

I have a friend who is slightly crazy, ok maybe a lot crazy, whom I have witnessed yelling at a random stranger, and I mean dressing him down in a huge way, because he told her slightly obnoxious kids to get off of a public beach.  Wow.  I was in awe.  Slightly horrified, but still awestruck.  I just don’t have that in me.  I wish sometimes for a little bit of Latin blood somewhere in there.  I could storm out of the house in the middle of the night, waiving The Note, screaming up and down the street and demanding to know just which ball-less moron had the audacity to abuse my pet and trespass on my property?!

Well.  Maybe next time.

15 Minutes, Twice a Week

Over the last month or more, I’ve been going to physical therapy a couple of times a week to try to get my shoulder to behave.  You may recall my whiny post about getting the cortisone shot, and these visits are all part of the Grand Plan to get rid of the pain and avoid surgery.  Even though I’ve begun to lose faith in the Plan, I still regularly go to see Neil, the PT.

Neil is a nice guy and all, but I’m beginning to question why I go back.  Am I one of “those people” who craves the one-on-one attention he has to give me because I pay him to?  Maybe, but it seems like this would have manifested earlier or in some other way in my life, perhaps by being a therapy junky or something.  I hated counseling specifically because it was all about me, so I’m pretty sure that’s not why I’m going to PT.

Is it the way the shoulder feels following PT?  I don’t think so because it never feels all that great, even when I leave.   The “massages” often bring tears to my eyes and not in a good way.  Neil makes me do little range of motion and strengthening exercises with stretchy bands and very light hand weights, all of which are much harder than one would expect they should be.

And then, at the end of every session, I lay under a fleecy blanket on a table with a giant icepack across my shoulder, often hooked up to a shock-stimulation thing.  Fifteen minutes.  He sets a timer and everything.

I’m starting to think it’s the 15 minutes that keeps me coming back.  I have to just lay there.  I can’t really look at my phone because it’s awkward and cold to hold it up in front of my face.  No one sits and talks to me because everyone is either working or being worked on.  It’s just me and my thoughts, and snippets of other people’s PT exchanges:  “It hurts really bad when I . . .” “Look, I can touch my toes now!” “How long until I can ski again?” “What did you do for New Year’s?”

For 15 minutes I begin the process of letting my mind do what it wants.  I say begin, because I think it would take a lot longer than a quarter of an hour for that process to really happen.  As an apparent member of the ADD club, in normal life I’m constantly filling my head with something to think about.  More likely, it’s so that I don’t think.  Scrolling through the interwebs, listening to music, TV on in the background, I find constant stimulation so that my racing brain doesn’t drive me crazy.

I’m finding that I look forward to Neil’s walk back to the freezer to get the ice.  I take a few conscious breathes, try to let my muscles settle into the table, close my eyes and absorb, reflect, release. I don’t pray.  I don’t try to be rooted with the me who is on this adventure. << Gross Pointe Blank reference.  Great movie if you haven’t seen it. >>  I don’t think deep thoughts.  I just let go.

Years ago, I tried yoga, perhaps with the same sort of goal in mind.  But I found that I hated it when someone told me what I’m supposed to do to find inner peace.  My entire body rebelled.  It was counter-productive.

Meditation hasn’t found me yet either.  I don’t have the whatever-it-is-one-needs to meditate.  At least I don’t think I do.  Maybe I’ll consider it more the next time I’m laying on the therapy table with a frozen shoulder.

Cheers!

Looking Up, Sequoia 2014

Looking Up, Sequoia 2014

My Dog Is A Mini-Me

After living together for going on 6 years, I’ve had a revelation:  my dog is me. Those of you who know my family may think I’m referring to Bobo, our pug.  He is lazy, fat and generally clueless (wait a minute . . . maybe Bobo is me, too . . .).  But it’s Wilson, the little white fluffy dog, in whom I have seen myself.

Wilson’s characteristics:

  1. Looks cute (well, we each have our moments), acts grumpy
  2. Likes the thought of meeting new people, but on his own terms
  3. Loves snacks
  4. Engages in destructive behavior when bored
  5. Has bad hair days with regularity
  6. Hates crowds of people (unless there are snacks)
  7. Loves going on hikes
  8. Enjoys a good spa day (until it’s time to do his hair)
  9. Teases his housemates (until the cat comes back at him, then he retreats)
  10. Every so often, with a devilish look in his eye, ignores all the rules

I don’t know what this says about him or me, but it sure explains a lot about the little human-like monster we’ve been living with.


I’ve seen the enemy, and he is me.

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What Does The Voice in Your Head Sound Like?

As a kid, I wondered whether other people saw the same color that I did.  I mean, how would you know?  Maybe when they see red it’s really blue.  (So, yeah, I was a weird kid.)

Lately I’ve been wondering what other people’s mind-voices sound like.  Maybe no one else has a voice in their head and I should be in a psych ward, but I suspect that we all have someone on the inside talking to us on a regular basis.  My voice generally sounds like me, and she won’t shut up most of the time.  Often she is trying to remember what I forgot on my grocery list or reminding me that I’m almost out of gas.  I don’t engage in a conversation with her — mostly she is just a soliloquy running on auto play.

She is loudest and hardest to ignore when voicing my insecurities, snarkiness, cynicism and defeatism.  When I just don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, she tells me I’m pathetic.  Nice, huh?  You would hope that your inner voice would be encouraging and helpful.  Not mine.

So when she is at her worst, I eventually dig deep in my reserves and give her a swift mental smack and tell her to knock it off. She goes quiet for a while, which, frankly is a bit of a relief.  And then I’ll hear her whispering in the background, “It’s beautiful outside.  Why don’t you take those puppies for a walk”?  And as I look around at the blue skies and mountainsides she says, “Ahhh.  Ok.  Good call.”  And then she starts rambling about whether we’re going to have anyone over for Thanksgiving this year.

What does your inner voice sound like?