Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
And I’m not sure if I’m related to this fellow Murphy or if he just really has it in for me, but it seems that when one thing in my life goes wrong everything else tends to follow.
It’s never just that I have a messy room, it’s that I have a messy room, my computer and phone stop working and I sit on a large black fellow on the subway by mistake. It’s never just that I can’t make it to yoga it’s that I can’t make it to yoga, I mismanage my finances by hundreds of dollars and am being attacked by a mountain of laundry so enormous it probably weighs as much as me (which, incidentally in this scenario will be 1o lbs more than I want to weigh).
And I’m not asking the very obvious question of why does this happen, because the answer, my friends, is very clear – that I’m terrible at adulthood. I’m asking what do I do when my life slowly but surely starts to do this kind of weird whirlpool of chaos scenario that ends in about a million phone calls from curious debt collectors and upsetting amounts of dust in the corners of my bedroom.
So, I’ve created this list of reminders as an attempt to get my free-spirited yoga ass in line.
1 – You can only do one thing at once. It’s that simple. The human brain can only hold a single thought at a time and the human body can only be in one place at one time. So from here on out when I’m doing something I am doing that one thing and nothing more. When I’m talking to a friend I am present because that friend is talking to me and deserves my full attention. When I’m composing an email to a coworker I am not also eating a sandwich and pouring more coffee down my throat and all over my computer. When I’m writing a blog post I am not also composing rampant and terrifying to do lists in my head…
2 – Ask for what you need. If you don’t you’re just going to have to beg for what you need more urgently in the future. We’re human beings and we all need a little help from our friends, coworkers and family, so ask for it before it becomes such an urgent situation that instead of being composed about it you start sobbing hysterically and crawling across the floor bellowing about how you need help. Get preemptive with your drama and be clear about what the situation is and what other people can do to help you. Challenging as it may be living is something that for the most part is done with other human beings, so embrace it.
3 - Calm down. To touch on the point above, a personal crisis only gets more dramatic if you respond to it with tears, hyperventilation and a total mental break down. It’s like when you’re in college and you’re pulling an all nighter for the test you have at 8am and at 4am you realize you’re not even half way through the material. For whatever reason your first reaction is to sob and freak out and lose it completely but then you’ll just be an additional 15 minutes behind schedule. Best to stand up, stretch, take a breath and get what you can get done done because…
4 – Accept that there’s no going back. The situation is the situation is the situation. You can’t go back to 23 and start being more reasonable about your student loan payments. And you can’t go back in time and unsay that embarrassing thing you might have said… and you can’t unsit on a stranger’s lap on the subway when the car moved suddenly when you weren’t ready. Sometimes things just happen and you have to deal with the consequences. The most important thing is that you learn from the past. If you haven’t done that, don’t freak out about it (that goes totally against this advice I’m giving you), just keep it in mind moving forward. Dive into the shame of the problems you’ve been having and swim around in there until you’re quite at home.
5 – Count your blessings. Because no matter how bad things may be or how messy you’ve allowed your life to get chances are you have a lot more than a lot of people. So take a moment and just be happy with what you have. Look at your life from the outside in and appreciate it. It’s easy to get tied up in our mistakes or bogged down with our missteps or pissed off about our fuck ups, what’s not so easy but a hell of a lot more graceful is to be able to admit your mistakes and face them head on. Clean up your mess with a smile on your face and you’ll be surprised at how much respect people will have for you. After all, everyone loves a comeback, no one can deny the brilliance of an underdog and there’s nothing more rewarding than coming a long way up from rock bottom.
The bottom line is that every day is a new beginning and a brand new chance to get it right. Everyone has messed up at least once. Everyone has been at a point where they feel pretty sure that they’re in a hole that can’t be gotten out of — but they did.
So when Murphy comes to call and you’re not ready for him (because when are you ever really ready for everything to go wrong?) look him in the eye and say “Oh hey, buddy!” and then kick his ass one problem at a time as calmly as you can with help from your friends as you deal with everything in the moment while count your blessings…GASP – that was a lot of advice in one sentence.
So that being said… I think I’ll clean my room before I head to yoga and then to work!