“All human wisdom is summed up into two words: wait and hope” – Alexandre Dumas
No special edition this time, but it’s back to what I learned during week. Here goes:
- Don’t eat something if the smell of it makes you think of diarrhoea. You’d think this goes without saying, but when I was sniffing the eerie smell of those cucumber slices last week when I was out to celebrate my parent’s 40th anniversary, I told myself there’s no such thing as a diarrhoea-smell. And that I needn’t worry, because what could possibly go wrong from eating something as simple as cucumber?
Well, let me put it this way: there was no diarrhoea involved (thank goodness), but I did spend an entire night fighting off nausea and stomach cramps. Which caused tiredness bordering on exhaustion, and in the end I had to call in sick from work.
So people, even if food seems edible and your brains tell you something cannot smell like diarrhoea: don’t eat it. Even if it resembles an innocent cucumber, don’t. Just don’t.
- For some people it doesn’t matter what you do: it’s never good anyway. So don’t over-think it. As I wrote in this post, my middle sister has given birth to a daughter. I wasn’t sure what to do, because there’s some history between us, but my new niece has nothing to do with that. So I asked myself: do I visit or not?
In the end, I opted for sending a card so as to avoid a more direct form of hypocrisy, and just await and see. But then the question arose what to put on that card. Should I be very enthusiastic, or bitter, or neutral? Should I write a whole story on the inside of it, like I usually do (I don’t like blank spaces, I tend to fill them up)?
Eventually, I decided it didn’t matter, since it’s never good anyway. Trying to see it from my sister’s point of view, I figured being enthusiastic wouldn’t be okay, because why would I be so happy if we haven’t spoken to each other in a year? Being bitter would be wrong, because it’s a baby that’s been born, so I need to be happy! And not sending a card wasn’t an option, because helloo-oh! She‘s had a daughter now, the whole world should be applauding!
Basically, neutral seemed to be doing it just fine for me. So I picked a pre-printed baby-girl-card that read on the inside “Lots of congratulations” and added: “with the birth of your daughter. Greets, Samantha.”
I know that’s probably not what she wanted, but then again, I don’t think anything ever is.
- Sometimes choosing yourself over someone else isn’t a bad thing. I wrote about one of my clients trying to get me to work overtime every week, and how I do not intend to do so. Like many seemingly difficult decisions we have to make in life, the real choice is actually quite simple: choose the other’s interests over your own, or vice versa. It’s not a healthy situation to be in, constantly working in my free hours to do more and more chores each week as opposed to doing what needs to be done and leave. I have a life, too. Wednesdays are always already super busy for me, with three clients and a body pump class to give, so why add extra stress to the pile? I am a human being, I cannot fly and I cannot work magic. And I have no intentions to try, either, especially not if what I do already isn’t being appreciated.
It’s okay to choose someone else’s best interests over your own, but not if it means you do yourself harm. My grandmother used to say: “look well after yourself, because no one else will do it for you.” And she was right.
- Speaking of Body Pump: I’m already a better instructor than I thought! I was reading through a booklet for instructors the other day and read about the NETT-teaching method. NETT stands for Name of Exercise, Tempo, and Target zones. I assumed the target zones meant explaining to your class what muscles you were handling with each exercise, but the booklet gave some examples, such as: “Squats (NE), singles (T)! Push those bums back and keep your knees before your feet! (T)”
I happily concluded I do that already! I keep shouting what people have to do, and what the tempo is (e.d. “down hold,” “two seconds down, two up”), and how they ought to do it! I know there’s a lot to learn, still, but I thought the road ahead was longer than it actually is.
- Don’t worry too much about things you can’t control, for they will always happen in a way you least suspect. Imagine thinking through every potential possibility of a future situation’s outcome, say a job interview, then experience that situation and you’ll find it happens in a totally unexpected way. We can’t predict the future, not even the people who say they can. Some things, or maybe a lot of things, in life are predictable in a sense that when they happen it’ll make you go: “I told you so”, whether it is to yourself or someone else. My sister ignoring us until she had a baby? I saw that coming miles ahead, didn’t have to think about it twice. But other happenings are so unpredictable, they keep us up at night, thinking, pondering about what might happen. What will my mother’s sister do or say when they meet for coffee tomorrow, finally discussing how to handle my deceased aunt’s inheritance? Will she be cross, will she be upset, will she be tame, will she be stubborn?
The real question, so it appeared, was: will she be there? Because she didn’t even show up. I spent an entire day worrying about this, only to find nothing happened. Literally nothing.
So if you cannot predict the outcome of an event: don’t even try. Just see what happens. And if you can: just wait until it happens, then go “I told you so.” But in both situations, there’s no reason to ponder on it and deprive yourself of sleep.
- You can bend the truth any way you want, but the only person you’re fooling is yourself. Wow, this one sounds so pretty-witty it could be printed and hung up on the wall. Maybe later.
There’s a woman I know who’s taking a course to become a pedicure, and she asked me and my mother to be models for her (apparently they need real life people to practice on, whilst being supervised by a teacher). Offering me a free pedicure is like offering me free chocolate, so of course I went.
Now, this woman is very kind, but I suspect she’s rather insecure about herself, for she kept telling me and my mother stories that were, invariably, untrue. Things like: “I’m re-taking this course, but only to prep myself for a follow-up one. But really, you’ll notice how much further I am than my classmates,” “I’m doing so well, they asked me to take my final exam in two weeks, while the rest of the class has to wait until January,” “I’m secretly already operating as a pedicure on my free days, and I have tons of clients already.”
In the end, both her own words and actions contradicted everything she had told us before. My feet look okay, but not necessarily more impressive than when I handle them myself. And of the two hours spent in her chair, she used more than half of that time for my intake interview, and only a short bit for the actual footwork. Needless to say, if I had hired her to do my feet instead of being asked to let her, I wouldn’t hire her again. So in the end, it doesn’t matter what beautiful stories you tell everyone, and yourself, to make you feel and look better, what matters is who you really are. Stop all the nonsense and just be yourself. I’m okay if people aren’t good at what they do, especially when they’re taking a course to learn. But don’t invent a life you’re not living, it’s too much of a burden to bear.
- And finally some more paper-wisdom. This week’s slip read: if you can imagine the future, you’re already halfway there. (Yes, you may print this one too, and hang it next to number six).
These words of wisdom got me all excited! Yes, I can imagine myself on a plane to Canada! Yes, I can imagine myself on a beach in Hawaii!
I guess what this means is that, if you have an idea, you’re already on the way of realising it. And so weird, but this is just what I needed after feeling so lost. I don’t know where to go from here, but I don’t want to stay stuck in the life I have now. So thank you Best Wishes box, for making me feel better :)
I hope you all had a good week! Mine was pretty good, apart from my stomach problems (it’s the only thing I ate that the others didn’t, and I am the only one who got sick, so it must have been the diarrhoea-smelling cucumber slices!), and apart from this week’s Earworm Of The Week. I don’t know where I picked it up, I only know I cannot seem to lose it… But hey, “bear ye one another’s burdens”, right? ;)
Good luck getting over this one! (If you do, let me know how!)