New Castle News

Lisa Madras

March 17, 2014

Lisa Madras: My life, as see on TV? Geez, I hope not!

NEW CASTLE — What makes life easier?

If you've ever seen an "As Seen on TV!" product, you might believe that there are a lot of things out there that will make your life easier.

And I guess there is, if you've ever found yourself wondering how to make the perfect bacon bowl or how to have a pair of jeans that feel like jammies. Heck, I'm sitting on a Forever Comfy as I type this blog. (Don't judge; my bum likes the good life.)

We live in a great time for convenience products, and if you can think of something in this world you'd like to make easier, there's probably a product for it. (And if you order now, you can get free shipping!)

But what do you do if your life isn't all about slicing the perfect egg or resting your pampered behind on a memory-foam cloud of butt-shaped perfection? What if the one thing making your life difficult is ... you?

I'll be the first to admit to that I'm my own worst enemy. If I can find something to worry about, to get in my own way, or to make anything and everything more difficult, I will. It's not that I set out to do so, just like I don't set out to trip over every obstacle in my path or spill every cup of liquid that I'm trying to drink. Some of us are just bumblers — the type of people who seem to be dancing just one step off from the rest of the world, so lost in our music that we don't realize the beat has shifted until it's too late to avoid a catastrophe.

Life would certainly be easier for me if I noticed every puddle before I stepped in it or paid every bill before receiving an angry "second notice" from the biller. I've tried being more conscientious about my movements and my organization, but nothing ever seems to work.  

Unfortunately, there's no infomercial selling a cure for what ails me. I've learned to let certain things go, like the possibility of ever being good at sports, or of making it through a doorway without acquiring a new bruise. And I've learned to compensate in situations where safety is vital, such as driving a car or caring for my children, by focusing for brief periods of time with a sort of hyper-vigilance.

The point is, we can't truly change who we inherently are, not about certain things anyhow. Trying to make a clumsy person be less so is about as effective as getting someone to change their eye color, right?  But there are plenty of things we do to make our own lives difficult, even if we don't realize we're doing them.

It doesn't hurt to take a few moments every once in a while to evaluate whether our problems are something that could be easily fixed by readjusting our own behavior. Oftentimes, when life doesn't look like the picture in our head, we get so caught up in our despair that we fail to make simple changes that could make life so much easier.  We talk to ourselves with unkind inner dialog. We refuse to acknowledge that the way we've always done it just doesn't work anymore. We can't figure out how to meet in the middle. Sometimes we let our fear of failure keep us from even trying to make a change.

I've known that I'm a clod for as far back as I can remember.  It's part of how I identify myself.  I'm 41 years old, and I'm probably not going to change now.  Or are these all just things I tell myself, all the while taking the easy path to a difficult life?  What if this isn't who I really am, and there's a solution I just haven't considered yet?

The honest truth is, this is something that I probably won't ever change about myself. But it can't hurt to try, right? Well, in my case, it probably CAN hurt to try ... but you don't have that problem.

So, what's your excuse?

 

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