I know I’m smart but sometimes I feel dumb. When I can’t manage the simple mundane tasks that are required for responsible living, I get down on myself.
When my article (pre-viral) was posted on Lifehack, I showed it to my husband. After he read it, he asked me, “Where did you get this from, did you research it?”
I looked at him surprised and answered, “No, I didn’t have to do much research. That’s me!” That’s what goes on inside my head.” We’ve been married 22 years. Some of the points he recognized, but most he didn’t. I thought I was more transparent than that.
I wrote that article for him… as an explanation, not an excuse. I wrote it to explain why I’m so smart in some areas of life, and why I feel so dumb (or spacey) in others.
I wanted to explain how such a smart, deeply philosophical, intelligent person, (that’s me!) can’t manage the simple tasks of taking dry-cleaning in and picking it up, mailing a letter or paying a bill.
The challenge of errands
I often wonder this myself. How is it possible that I have trouble mailing a letter? The process of putting a piece of paper in an envelope (if I can find one), sticking a stamp on it (another search that takes 10 minutes), addressing it, and then getting it into a mail box- is a task I can’t seem to achieve. It gets even more complicated if I have to write an old-fashioned check to pay a bill and then put it in the envelope to mail.
I have no problem helping my husband by running some of his errands. But being the highly functional person that he is- he’s afraid to ask me to do anything. He knows that the cleaning might sit in my car for a week or more before it makes it into the actual dry cleaning facility. Then picking it up is the second part of the challenge, but it doesn’t stay in my car for a week, because the big plastic bag behind my seat bothers me. I am happy to get that out of my car.
Soon the feeling that I can’t be depended upon to run a simple errand started to bother me. That uncomfortable feeling made me want to change.
Instead of accepting this annoying part of myself, thinking “I can’t do it, it’s just too hard for me,” I decided I wanted to change it. I don’t want to be looked at as a wife who can’t pick up the cleaning.
So I got in my car, went to start it, and realized that the dry cleaning was still in the house. I went to get it, got back in my car and drove straight to the cleaners, distraction-free! I had to fight the urge to stop at Starbucks, or drug store to see the latest nail polish colors. I had to make a bee-line straight to the cleaners.
Whew! Victory! I did it. Like a child taking her first steps across the living room, that was a huge accomplishment. Ok, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but that’s what it feels like.
I pictured my husband sitting nervously in his office, wondering (and probably doubting) if his suit made it to the cleaners. So I texted him a little happy face with a big “YAY! Mission accomplished.”
I can do it!
Bravo! I could hear the crowd cheering. But, I didn’t want a standing ovation. I just wanted to change the way I thought about myself. I didn’t do it for my husband to prove that he can depend on me to manage a simple task, I did it for me! I wanted to challenge myself.
I accept myself. …. I am a person of extremes. Just because my thoughts are in constant motion at all times (which makes it harder to mail letters, pay bills and pick up dry cleaning), does not mean I’m dumb, irresponsible or lazy.
I have to go a little easier on myself. I like who I am. I like how I think. Even if it’s a little harder to complete the mundane tasks that are required of me.
Self-acceptance means that I know my strengths and my weaknesses. Self-worth comes from working hard to overcome my weaknesses. That’s my strength.
What would you like to overcome… just to prove to yourself that you can do it?
I was laughing halfway through reading this. Not because of the content (don’t take that the wrong way…I love this post) but because I recently told a mom of one of my daughter’s friends that we would NOT be participating in a sticker club because it required mailing multiple sets of stickers, finding addresses, addressing envelopes, finding stamps, etc. and we went through a batch of strep to boot! I also have a pair of my husband’s pants in my car that need to be dropped off at the dry cleaners. I hastily threw them in my car, even though he doesn’t need them cleaned anytime soon, because it bothered me where he left them in our closet. Yet it hasn’t bothered me to have them in my car for the past 1.5 weeks! Weirdo-thinkers unite! I also enjoy being me…strengths, limitations, and everything in between! Thank you.
HaHa!Thanks Heidi for understanding and sharing in my weirdness. I love it!
I know we try to be efficient but we’re limited. I am laughing so hard as I write this. Your sticker club sounds like torture to me. And yes, we are awesome! We get the job like no one else can (even if it’s completed in the last 5 minutes before it’s due). We are creative, fun, optimists, with x-ray vision who see what those “other” people cannot. I wouldn’t want to be any other way. It’s a secret club we’re in. Welcome! Thanks so much for making my smile. 🙂
Wow! This is me in a nutshell. I feel dumb sometimes because it’s the small things that get me. In fact, I’ve told my husband on multiple occassions, “sometimes I wonder how I’ve managed to keep myself alive for 23 years. It’s truly a miracle.” I don’t feel like I have what my dad calls ‘walking-around sense’ most of the time.
As a side note, I’m trying to write a paper so I can go to bed because I’ve got to get to work tomorrow, but instead I’m searching the internet about why I can’t focus and why my husband should turn the TV off so I can think to write my paper. How messed up is that?
It’s ok! I get it! Only those of us who have it can understand it. That’s why we have to stick together. Sometimes it is messed up, but that’s ok. Because we eventually get the job done. We just take the crooked route instead of the straight one, like those other people your Dad speaks of. I do the same thing (all of us with ADD do it). When I have an article to write and I get lost in other things, it’s because I’m not ready to write yet. I don’t have my thoughts in order. If I play around with other things (like FB, the internet, food, or my phone) it gives my thoughts time to surface. And then, Bam! I knock it out of the park. It’s cool! I don’t mind it. Other people do! I bet you finished your paper (even if it was at 2am). Thanks for sharing. Would you mind if I shared this on FB today (WITHOUT your name on it?) Welcome to the club!