I Can’t Adult Today

There is a lot to unpack in that statement. Say it aloud, “I can’t adult today.” Lets start with I can’t. That is probably inaccurate. At least in my case, the more accurate statement would be either I choose not to or I would prefer not to.

Then, there is the word adult. What does that mean anyway? A dictionary definition is …having attained full size and strength. While that could be debated based on my height, I’m as tall and strong as I’ll probably ever be again. An alternate definition is mature. Wow! Mature can mean fully developed physically or showing the mental and emotional qualities of an adult. This is another fuzzy definition. When I consider the original phrase I can’t adult today it is the second definition that most likely applies. I interpret this to mean that I don’t want to exhibit the amount of wisdom, intellect, and emotional control I would expect from an adult.

The statement then could read…I would prefer not to make decisions, think through problems, face challenges, or regulate my emotions.

Today. The implication is that this is a time-limited problem. I might be ok doing it tomorrow, next week, or next year. This is somewhat hopeful but might be better expressed as….in this moment and under these circumstances.

Put it all together:

I choose not to make decisions, think through problems, face challenges, or regulate my emotions in this moment and under these circumstances.

This has a totally different feel to it, doesn’t it?

Time To Celebrate

I have now transitioned out of a soul-crushing ethical wasteland into a job that is fulfilling and allows me to utilize my professional skills. It is definitely time to celebrate. In less than one week I’ve lost 3 pounds, am sleeping better, and feel more relaxed than I have in 3 years. Pretty awesome results since it has happened in the midst of a pandemic.

Photo of Industrial Plant

I had been trying to embrace the adage of “bloom where you are planted” but my reality is that the muck where I had landed was not life-sustaining. I gave it my best effort for quite a while but sometimes a new garden is necessary. Even so, it was not an easy decision.

Shallow Focus of Sprout

I acknowledge that I am very blessed to have had opportunities that some people do not have in terms of employment but this concept applies to others areas of life as well. Spring seems to be a good time to take stock of my life’s garden and make decisions about what needs to be enriched, what is good just as it is, and what is so toxic that it can’t be salvaged. This includes hobbies, relatioships, spiritual activities, as well as employment. Then, once those changes are made, it is time to celebrate any improvements that have been made.

Bokeh Photography of Lights

Practice Makes Perfect

If you ever took piano lessons as a child I’m sure you heard the words, “practice makes perfect.” While I’m not a fan of the word “perfect”, the general concept that repetition improves performance is valid. There is a caveat, the repetition must be approximating the desired result, not repeating the errors.

Close-Up Photo Of Person Playing Piano

The phrase “neurons that fire together wire together” was first used by the Canadian neuropsychologist Donald Hebb in 1949. The gist is that the more frequently you utilize a specific neural pathway, the stronger it becomes. So, if you play the same piano keys in a sequence over and over again that pattern creates somewhat of a superhighway in your brain.

Aerial Photography of Concrete Bridge

This is great if what you are practicing is something you want to keep in your brain and it serves your greater purpose. Practice makes perfect after all. But what do you think happens if you say to yourself, aloud or silently, that you are stupid, fat, anxious, or worthless? Bingo! That creates a superhighway too.

Black and White Exit Signage on Roadside

Over time, superhighways in the brain become resistant to change and you need to build off ramps. Once the off ramps are created and used frequently, the original negative superhighway crumbles or can be closed. How do you build an off ramp? You can build one by refuting the negative statement and creating a new one.

Examples:

Highway: I am stupid

Off ramp: That wasn’t my best moment but I am a smart person.

Highway: I am fat

Off ramp: I am working with my body to become more lean

Highway: I am anxious

Off ramp: Sometimes I feel nervous just like everybody else and I choose to remain confident in my ability to handle life’s challenges

Highway: I am depressed

Off ramp: My mood has been lower than I would like recently so it is time to take positive action

Highway: I am worthless

Off ramp: I am a wonderful and perfectly created child of God

It is important to use the off ramps at least as often, if not more often than you travel down the negative superhighway.

I usually recommend that you use journaling as you begin the process. There seems to be somethig beneficial about making these statements formally and seeing them in written format. Saying it aloud is also beneficial.

Remember….what you practice will grow stronger. Practice makes perfect. Choose wisely!