Lessons Never Learned

A Brief List Of Lessons I REALLY Should Have Learned By Now But Can’t Seem To Keep In My Thick Skull:

1. Eating too much crap will make you feel like crap.
2. Wash your face before bed.
3. Wear sunscreen. No, really. Wear it. All the time.
4. Don’t stay up until midnight when you know your kids get up at 5:30 am.
5. Going grocery shopping without a list is ineffective and expensive.
6. Procrastination just makes you anxious about that thing you have to do, so then you’re anxious AND you still have to do it.
7. There is no such thing as “Just checking Facebook really quick”.
8. Ignoring the check engine light in the car doesn’t make it go away.
9. If you spend all your money, then you do not have any money.
10. It’s really hard to end a list at only 9 things.

This post is partially inspired by Amy’s list of lessons she’s learned, which is a great list and can all pretty much be added to THIS list, since I’m sure I won’t remember to put any of it into practice. I feel like a major part of being a grown up is getting to a point where you stop making the same mistakes over and over, which is why I will NEVER be a real grown up. I’ve been making the same mistakes since my very first homework assignment was due in school, the first time I ever got an allowance, the first time I went to a water park without my mom. And yet! Yesterday I put off a writing assignment I had due, spent unnecessary dollars on candy I didn’t need (and shouldn’t eat), and already sunburned my nose twice this season.

I wish there was a definitive way to change a behavior, permanently, forever that ISN’T just “will-power and hard work.” I realize that makes me lazy, and possibly a shitty person in general, but if I have learned anything about myself it’s that I can’t do it all. Something always slips. And at this point in my life the areas where I cannot afford to screw up – mainly the two small, blurry, red-headed areas usually hovering around my knees – take a lot of energy. If will-power has to be used for either “Don’t eat that cookie your kid just handed you” or “Don’t shout at your other kid for grinding that cookie into the carpet”, I usually eat the cookie. Even when I make things as easy for myself as possible (I bought face wipes and left them on my nightstand so I would ALWAYS clean my face before bed. I still forget.) I can’t seem to follow through. Do I have a chemical deficiency? Am I without a brain part? Did I miss will-power day at school?

Maybe the trick is baby steps. Teeny tiny itty bitty changes over a long, long period of time. If I start drinking a glass of water first thing every morning, maybe in a month I’ll drink 60 oz a day. Maybe if I can go to bed at 11:45 for a few nights in a year I’ll be in bed at 9:30. Maybe if I can skip that iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts and save my pennies in a hundred years I’ll be able to hire a butler to make me all my iced coffees at home! Or maybe I’ll start trying to make changes some other time. Later. Maybe after I check Facebook.

p.s. Unrelated to anything in the post – except for maybe the procrastination thing – I asked Siri (in my iPhone) to sing to me yesterday and this is what I got. I know making Siri say funny stuff is really old news, but it still cracked me up.

ask siri to sing


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6 Responses to “Lessons Never Learned”

  1. Other Erin says:

    For stuff like face washing and sunscreen the power of habit is amazing. If you can push yourself to do it for ~2 weeks straight, it becomes habit and becomes a lot easier. To get yourself started you can set a recurring reminder on your phone – although I find it really easy to blow those off, at least you won’t forget.

  2. This list is ridiculously true. The procrastination is something I”m really trying to battle right now. Clearly, I’m doing well, reading blogs. ;) But I have found that trying to start my day with the scariest, biggest, most-hated things helps me a lot.

  3. Four and six… four and six. Every darn night no matter what the mister and I say, we’re up until late late late. When would we have time together otherwise? And six. Well, I’m actually procrastinating right now. It’s such a crap day I don’t want to work!

  4. Audrey says:

    I totally need to remember sunscreen. Water is easier for me because if I don’t drink enough the baby gets cranky. No one likes a cranky baby. I need to lose weight and I keep baking yummy things and not wanting to not eat them. I was thinking about doing WW online but I am hesitating for whatever reason. This is a definite case of #6.

  5. Brigid Keely says:

    A friend of mine needed to get into the habit of spending X amount of time every single day writing.

    So she got a calendar that showed an entire year, and got a timer. And every day that she got up, sat at the computer, set the timer, and wrote for the entire length of time (or longer) she put a big red X on that day.

    She could see at a glance how far she’d come, her long streaks, etc and that motivated her to not break a streak. Now, getting up and writing in the morning is a pretty strong habit and she doesn’t really need the calendar… about a year and a half or so later. Not sure how long it took to actually form the habit.

    Maybe something like that will work for you? Just work on one new habit at a time for a few months until you have a lonnnnnng string of Xs, and then start adding a new one?

  6. Gemma says:

    Number 9 made me giggle, all of the above is completely true to for me too also.

    I just asked Siri to sing to me… Her response was ‘you know I can’t sing, Gemma’ I don’t think Australian Siri has a sense of humour.

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