dry-cleaning-racks-of-clothesI 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?