The internet – and by that I mean people – loves a list.
7 More Netflix Hacks to Make You a Binge-Watching Pro (uh, no thanks)
They are so helpful, so snappy. So likely to improve my cleaning, relationships and knowledge of the dangers of sugar. But to me they are just a box of stress that belongs on a shelf, in a galaxy far, far away. I already know I’m not the greatest house cleaner in the world. I certainly don’t need Good Housekeeping rubbing it in.
And no, Huff Post, I do not need to know how to be a more binge-y TV watcher. I’ve already lost acres of time happily reading, watching and re-watching Game of Thrones, but dude. I’ve got some laundry to do! Kids to feed. A bedtime.
Between Pinterest and the posts on my Facebook feed, I’ve been starting to get an inferiority complex. Life is hectic and challenging enough without scrolling through my social media feeds to hear about all the ways I’m misusing my flat iron or washing my hair on the incorrect schedule. So I decided to make a list of all the things you and me are doing right – without even having to think about them.
1. Breathing – Sure it’s regulated by our autonomic nervous system, but it’s working! And I’m grateful, because I know people with COPD and cystic fibrosis who don’t always have it working easily. And when I’m really stressed out I can breathe deeply to calm myself without any other effort than thinking of it.
2. Remembering my birthday – So easy! I know exactly what gift I want, where I’d like to eat dinner and what age I’m turning without a single reminder on the calendar.
3. Loving my kids – I’m far from a perfect parent. I yell. I decline to ride the bus to field trips. I laugh when they fall down, interrupt them when they’re talking and I’m not nice when they wake me up in the middle of the night. But I hug and kiss them a lot, and tell them I love them too.
4. Feeding my kids – In a perfect world organic food would be as affordable and accessible as groceries are at Wal-Mart, my children (and I) would love vegetables and a home-cooked dinner would be on the table every night. Ha! But I refuse to fret about the nights we eat fast food or the fact that one of my daughters eats Honey Nut Cheerios 5 out of 7 nights.
5. Slacking off as needed – I can understand how grown-ups get hooked on Ritalin. The efficiency! The things checked off on your to-do list when you can stay up all night! Frankly, it’s tempting. But also horrible. Nothing bad happens if you don’t finish every single chore before bed. The world doesn’t end if you let the dishes sit in the sink another night because you’re super tired and want to try to stay awake to watch Castle.
6. Reading books – Maybe this is unique to me, but I doubt it. I love to read. I’m good at it. It’s relaxing, it’s quiet and it’s total escape without getting in the car and driving away from my family in an overly-dramatic-made-for-TV-movie scene. Does Tina Fey’s book Bossypants count as literature? Yep.
7. Showing up for work – You don’t have to love it, but if you have a job and you’re showing up then that’s good. You’re paying your bills. And if you wish you had a job and you don’t, that sucks. So avoid reading all these checklist articles because it will put you in a bad state of mind for your job hunt. And if you are a stay-at-home parent then you are a bad ass because that job never ends and you don’t even get to dress up in your cute shoes for it.
I’m on a social media diet right now. Social media is fun. Sometimes. But it’s not very constructive. And it seems to me there is a lot of fodder for anxiety and comparing yourself to others, neither of which is useful or wanted in my life.
But just in case you want to improve your spring cleaning, those articles are linked.
P.S. Game of Thrones season premier is April 12 at 9 pm on HBO. And I’m all caught up.
P.P.S. I have a great board on Pinterest called My Wish List. Just in case I forget what I want for my birthday. Like that Death Star cookie jar.