“Snap Out of It”
Once in a while, I need a thunk on the head. A figurative one, that is. Fortunately, I need look no further than my refrigerator door. There, by the calendar and the magnetized clip from my insurance agent, holding up the Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon, is a young girl with blunt-cut, fiery hair. Looking natty in a sailor dress and red-trimmed frock coat, she glares out from under the wide brim of her straw hat. With hands on her hips and a determinedly set jaw, she admonishes in capital letters, “SNAP OUT OF IT”.
I love that girl. She’s the girl I’ve always wanted to be. Tough. No nonsense. Facing life head-on and telling it like it is. You just know SHE doesn’t worry about snapping out of it, because she would never allow herself to be stuck IN it for long.
Unlike my little heroine, I’ve been stuck plenty. In fact, it’s happened often enough that I have a list of antidotes specific to the situation to holler at myself as needed:
“Quit your pouting.”
“Enough already, Cranky Pants.”
“Is worrying really going to help?”
“Hope you’re enjoying your pity party, Cookie.”
“Good news! I checked, and the universe doesn’t really revolve around YOU.”
I suppose some might say I’m being a bit hard on myself. Au contraire. What’s hard on me is telling myself I can never dare sing a solo, because what if I make a mistake and I’m not perfect? Worse, what if I think I did great, but everyone in the audience is really rolling their eyes, wondering what I was thinking even trying to sing? I’ll look like a big fraud and never be able to show my face to these people again! Yeah, I know. Pretty dramatic.
Now, I haven’t worked myself into a state like that in a while. Maybe it’s something that comes with ‘mature’ adulthood, but I’ve reached a point where I just don’t want to make myself unhappy. Life is short. There’s a lot I want to do, and mostly I’m goofily grateful for what’s been given me so far. Whatever time I have left in this world I don’t want to waste with worrying that accomplishes nothing, or moping around because I don’t weigh what I did when I was 20.
Although I know there will be times I get angry at people I love, as well as with total strangers, I’m not going to hang onto it any longer than absolutely necessary. I’m going to take steps to work it out or, if it’s not that important, just let it go.
I’m not going to say ‘no’ to things I want to do because I might fail, nor will I say ‘yes’ to jobs I can’t stand or don’t have time for, just to be nice.
That’s what I’m aiming for anyway, even if I can’t say I’ve reached the point where I can always be that tough cookie on my fridge.
Author’s note: The magnet I refer to is a design from artist Mary Engelbreit. Some of her stuff is a little syrupy for my taste, but “Snap Out of It”, along with “It’s Good to Be Queen” are right up my alley. Also, I confess. I was too lazy to come up with something new today. It’s freezing here in Michigan and all I want to do is laze around in my sweats and read. And eat. So this is an older essay. It shows.