Monday, April 03, 2017

Life-coaching thoughts

A stream of free-associating kicked off by a Twitter reference to "Gwyneth Paltrow's Chicken Recipes could Literally Kill You!" (because she apparently doesn't list a "required temperature for done-ness")

But, it did leave me to wonder: if I wanted a recipe for chicken, an actress is probably the last person I'd look to. I'd either go with someone like Julia Child, or James Beard, or one of the writers for Cooks' Illustrated....or my mom. Why are we giving people whose "wheelhouse" is something else that kind of platform? (I have similar grumps about celebrities who think they'd make dandy politicians).

Anyway, I referred to those "life coach" types who always have someone else to pick up their stuff for them, while we poor slobs in the real world have to juggle everything....and then I thought, hey, I could write a real-world life-coaching book.

I would call it: "If Nothing's on Fire, You're Probably Okay: Learning to Accept that Life is Messy."

My credentials on this? I am the tensest, most anxious person you probably know, so if I can say that, you can probably do it.

Some insights, or maybe chapter titles:

- If you can still find stuff in your office, it's not too messy (with the sidebar of: different people think different ways so don't harass your slobby brother who piles papers everywhere but can still find exactly the form he needs within 2 minutes)

- Take a vitamin and it will be OK (sometimes we might not eat as nutritionally as we want: don't do it every day but once or twice a month won't kill you)

- People are weird but you're weird too (striving not to judge people, at least not to their faces)

- I know you are but what am I: learning to rise above arguments where the other person is acting like a third-grader. Mainly by NOT reacting.

- If you can't find it, you can probably buy a new one (and then you will find the missing thing). Alternate title: start looking for something else and you will find the missing thing

- Sometimes you just have to "manage" other people's feelings (learning that some people, it's just easier to bite your tongue than deal with their upet)

- It's really OK to have a big pile of unread books next to your bed (housekeeping for people who really hate to clean)

- Slap some mud on it and keep moving (not dwelling on setbacks and not going Full Hypochondriac over minor injuries/illnesses: thinking of how much energy I wasted worrying over my tetchy stomach when it was PROBABLY the aftereffects of a virus)

- Usually, losing the paperwork isn't the end of the world. (I left a piece of paperwork behind at the Science Fair involved with the Barclay Award, but we were able to recover).

Edited to add this one: - Life's too short for disappointing cheese (Saving money is great, but buying something cheap of terrible quality isn't; once in a while spend a little more to get better stuff)

Actually, in general, the theme would be: stuff you think would be the end of the world probably isn't. Because I've been there (reference my previous post and my comment about hotel reservations).

And yeah, the thrust of the book would be that those of us who are tense and anxious sorts probably waste a lot of energy planning for contingencies that never happen and we need to learn to chill out. But I get tired of these "life coaching" type books that talk about the joy of decluttering your life to a plain white box (never mind that that takes a lot of energy, and for some of us, going totally out of a comfort zone - where do I keep my books?) or only doing things that "spark joy" (Seriously? What real-world adult gets to do that? Most of us have to do stuff that's a hard slog because that's how life IS)

And in general: if you're not doing it perfectly, you're still doing it. And that's more than can be said for some people. (Thinking of a volunteer effort in which I take part....) So in other words: if nothing's on fire, you're probably okay.


purlewe said...

I am almost tempted to tell you to submit this as a proposal and get the book deal.

Mokihana said...

"- If you can't find it, you can probably buy a new one (and then you will find the missing thing)."

Oh man, this is so true. We searched for hours and hour, hubby and I, trying to find our safe deposit box key. We had to get into the box. So we searched for weeks more, but finally gave up and had to pay to have a new hole drilled, at a cost of almost $300.

Guess what I found the next day???